Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Reservation of California and Arizona


American Indian cultural and religious sites on the edge of Arizona would be irreparably harmed by putting an open-pit gold mine near them, said Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt in announcing he was killing the project. Babbitt's action Jan. 17 blocked Glamis Gold Ltd. of Reno, Nev., from opening the mine on 1,571 acres of Bureau of Land Management property about 45 miles northwest of El Centro, Calif. The tribe, whose reservation sits near the proposed mine, was jubilant. "No amount of gold - whatever they pay, whatever it costs - will take the place of history,'' said a tearful President Mike Jackson. "History was saved.'' Angry company officials said they would try to reverse the decision in court. The National Mining Association called the decision "outrageous'' and said it would deny Imperial County 120 well-paying jobs and millions of dollars in economic benefit. "We are very disappointed that the outgoing administration has abandoned the domestic mining industry,'' said Kevin McArthur, Glamis' president.