U. of Arizona (UA) Claim: "…the San Carlos Apache Tribal Council has adopted a neutral stance on the Mount Graham facility."The Truth: This is not true. The Tribal Council approved five formal opposition resolutions and over 25 signed Tribal Council opposition documents to the desecration between 1990 and 2002. One 1993 neutrality resolution lasting only 15 mos. was preceded and followed by countless opposition documents.
UA Claim: "No response was received" [UA claims the San Carlos tribal council did not respond to a 1985 UA form letter and 1986 USFS Impact Statement]
The Truth: Tribal Chairman Buck Kitcheyan wrote to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in 1990: "…the Tribe has never been contacted by your office to inquire about potential impacts of the project on the Apache religion…"
UA Claim: "In late 1991 Dr. Pacheco addressed the Tribal Council in San Carlos. In July 1993 the San Carlos Tribal Council voted to remain neutral regarding the Observatory…"
The Truth: In fact, the opposite happened. The Council passed an opposition resolution in the presence of Pacheco after patiently listening to him offer not-so-veiled bribes to the tribe.
UA Claim: "The MGIO has repeatedly indicated its willingness to work with the religious leadership of the San Carlos Apache Tribe."
The Truth: UA lobbyists sneaked a "rider" through in the final hours of Congress in 1988 without hearings or debate which UA lawyers have repeatedly argued exempts UA from all cultural and religious protection laws.
UA Claim: The MGIO has offered to work with those who wish access to the area adjacent to the observatory site.
The Truth: UA observatory police arrested an Apache who was praying on the mountain. UA has demanded that all Indians must submit a prayer permit two weekdays in advance, in writing, and state exactly where they will be praying.
UA Claim: "The authority to build the observatory that has been confirmed in court is based on meeting the legal obligations regarding notification and requirements of the federal administrative process."
The Truth: Absolutely untrue! UA lawyers repeatedly claimed they were exempt from such requirements. The word "Apache" did not appear once in the text of the impact statements! The USFS refused to reply to public NEPA testimony submitted regarding the sacred rituals and Apache cultural usage at the mountain. When challenged, UA lawyers repeatedly argued the process was exempted from cultural protection laws. The Court rulings did not confirm UA's claim of meeting legal obligations regarding Apache notification and consultation, rather the court upheld the short-circuiting of the incomplete NEPA process.