Supporters fill first public meeting for proposed mine

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Saturday was the first chance for the public to give input on the environmental impact of the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine.

The forest service has released it's initial assessment of the pros and cons to creating the Rosemont Copper Mine.

"We're talking about 400 direct jobs and about 1700 indirect jobs so we'll have  about 2000 people employed for quite a while,"

Rosemont Copper's Kathy Arnold was quick to point out the positive, economic incentive.

It's a message that resonated with mine supporters wearing green tags, visibly outnumbering the opposition.

"Without revenue the city falls under the three D's; debt, depression and decay," said one mine supporter

"Having Rosemont Copper produced here in Tucson will bring down the cost of copper," said another mine supporter

But Lisa Froelich with Save the Scenic Santa Ritas says Tucson doesn't need more mining jobs, "If there are people in the industry looking for jobs, they are available right now."

It needs to protect it's natural resources.

"We want to bring in sustainable industry and people are not going to want to move here if we keep destroying what makes this a great place to live," Froelich said.

Save the scenic Santa Ritas feels Rosemont is bolstering support through a number of informational videos.

"It's very easy for Rosemont to spend money and to convince people that we need a mine," said Froelich.

The group is now producing it's own videos on the mine's impact.

Those who oppose the Rosemont Copper mine still have plenty of time to provide their input.  There will be several other public hearings and chances to fill out comment cards for the U.S. Forest Service.