Mining Patagonia

Michele Gisser | 2011 | 17 min.

2013 Official Selection

Situated in the mountains of Southern Arizona, the town of Patagonia has one of the most diverse populations of plants and animals in the country. Though the area has a past history of mining, in the last 50 years the town has successfully redefined itself as an eco-tourism destination. Current proposals for open pit mines threaten the beauty and activities which draw tourists to Southern Arizona. Cattle ranching and organic agriculture are also at risk. At the heart of the conflict is the 1872 mining law, which encourages exploitation of public lands, thereby turning the U.S. into another third world country.