For over 20 years, different groups have fought for control of the nearly seven mile stretch of land in the Tonto National Forest called Oak Flat. It’s a sacred place for Native Americans and is also home to many species of plants and animals. But it sits on top of a copper deposit, sparking the interest of mining companies.

Recently, the 9th Circut Court denied their request to block the land transfer, upholding a lower court’s decision. The divided court voted 6-5 to uphold the lower court’s ruling.

Vanessa Nosie and her dad Wendsler Nosie Sr. are apart of Apache Stronghold, a non-profit organization that defends holy sites, religious freedom, fight colonization and build a better community. She said now, they will make their appeal to the Supreme Court in the coming months.

Because for Nosie, she said Oak Flat is an amazing experience and the heart of their culture.

“My drive my passion, what’s in my heart to protect oak flat is for my children and those yet to be born,” she said. “To teach my girls how to pick the acorn and the medicine.”

But a mining company called Resolution Copper wants to mine Oak Flat. In a statement to KGUN9, Resolution Copper officials said “There is significant local support for the project, which has the potential to supply up to one quarter of U.S. copper demand, add up to $1 billion a year to Arizonas economy, and create thousands of local jobs in a region where mining has played an important role for more than a century.”

At the Center for Biological Diversity, Russ McSpadden, the Southwest Conservation Advocat, said mining would create a crater in the ground, completely collapsing the area.

“It would create a crater two miles wide and 1,000 feet deep so you could hide the Eiffel tower in this pit,” he said. “It would be about 17 million gallons of water a day every day for 40 years to mine oak flat.”

So while their court battles continue, they’ll continue to pray together and they urge others to join the fight.

“Even if we lose, I’m going to be standing right next to my dad and go with it go with oak flat,” she said.