Category Archives: Grand Canyon

6/18/2011 Havasupai: Peoples Movements Assembly Southwest Organizing Tour

6/18/2011 Havasupai: Peoples Movements Assembly Southwest Organizing Tour By the Peoples Movements Assembly. Southwest Organizing Tour A road trip through the United States Southwest Region to organize social movement gatherings, Peoples Movements Assembly, and to meet and interview ‘luchadores’ and ‘luchadoras’ of the frontline struggles for social change. Dianna Uqualla from the Supai Tribe. It was an honor for us to interview with Dianna Uqualla from the Havasupai Tribe located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon on the southern rim. She is a traditional elder and leader of the tribe and has served on the Tribal government council. She is fighting to save her village and people from the encroachment of uranium mining. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lBuq7UMVBA Posted by brendanorrell@gmail.com at 9:54 AM

6/10/2011 @ 2 p.m. EDT, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will be addressing Grand Canyon protections during a live online chat

Pressure Mounts to Save Grand Canyon From Uranium Mining Web chat with Secretary Salazar on America’s Great Outdoors, Friday, 2:00 pm EDT. Submit your questions in advance by sending them to newmedia@ios.doi.gov. Or ask them during the chat at The Kansas City Star. In less than six weeks, the current two-year ban on destructive uranium mining in the Grand Canyon watershed will expire — and 1 million acres in and near the massive landmark are at stake. While the mining industry pushes the Department of the Interior to open up the area to uranium interests, the Center for Biological Diversity and allies are pushing back to defend the Grand Canyon’s water, soil and species from contamination and degradation. The Center has filed suit four times to help save the Grand Canyon area from uranium mining and won’t give up till this beautiful natural marvel is protected from new mines.

5/15/2011 AZ Daily Sun: Uranium report ripped by Coconino County board

Uranium report ripped by Coconino County board by CYNDY COLE Sun Staff Reporter azdailysun.com | Posted: Sunday, May 15, 2011 5:20 am: Local conservation groups and the Coconino County Board of Supervisors have found what they call “serious” flaws in a federal analysis weighing the risks and benefits of uranium mining here. The Coconino County Board of Supervisors, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Grand Canyon Wildlands Council and Grand Canyon Trust are all questioning estimates that mining in northern Arizona could employ hundreds directly and thousands indirectly — saying those figures appear greatly inflated. These groups all support putting federal land bordering the Grand Canyon off-limits to new uranium mines for 20 years. It’s a scenario that would allow perhaps 11 existing mines to open instead of 30 and end new exploration rather than permitting more than 700 sites to be explored.

These questions have growing significance this summer because a 2-year-old moratorium on new uranium mining issued by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar expires in mid-July, opening the door for mining exploration to resume across about 1 million acres.

An Interior spokeswoman said she did not know when Salazar might make a decision on the issue.

GROUNDWATER HARD TO TRACK

“The problem with this area is that there are more unknowns than knowns — especially north of the canyon, there is a huge area where the science has not been done to determine how groundwater is moving,” said Alicyn Gitlin, of the Sierra Club.

She raised the example of the drinking water for the Grand Canyon, which is supplied by a spring on the northern side of the canyon.

When snow melts on the North Rim most years, the water quality in the springs gets cloudy, raising an evident connection between events on the surface and water quality.

Estimates of how much uranium ore could come from each mine appear to be overstated by a factor of four in the long analysis (about the size of three Flagstaff phone books), said one consultant.

Projections on how much the ore could be worth into the future appear volatile, and determining who benefits from the industry is problematic, economic development consultant Richard Merritt wrote to the Interior Department on behalf of the Grand Canyon Trust.

“… inaccuracies in modeling the economic impact of the withdrawal … cause us to seriously question the veracity of the final conclusions …” Merritt wrote.

Federal agencies didn’t adequately weigh the risks of lasting aquifer contamination related to uranium mining, the four conservation groups wrote.

“(The analysis) avoids discussion of the monumental tasks and hundreds of millions or billions of dollars required to clean up deep aquifer contamination, assuming it is even possible. Commenting organizations raised this issue in scoping. Neither the federal government nor industry can guarantee that uranium mining would not deplete or contaminate aquifers,” they stated.

They raised other uranium-mining-related contamination in the Southwest, and drew a comparison to the Gulf oil spill.

“In their permitting of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil drilling, Interior Department agencies repeatedly dismissed the possibility of a deepwater oil spill and assumed that response resources and systems were adequate to prevent significant environmental harm in the event that a spill did occur,” they wrote.

DOMESTIC USE NOT GUARANTEED

The Coconino County Board of Supervisors unanimously signed a letter in April asking that a lot of federal land in Coconino County be put off-limits to uranium mining, raising concerns about the impacts to tourism and questions about cleanup in case of an ore truck overturning.

The county cited “hot spots” of radioactivity at former mines, as uncovered in tests by the U.S. Geological Survey a few years ago, and a mine on standby for more than 20 years that had not been closed.

The board contended that uranium jobs were possibly counted multiple times, but that tourism revenues might be undercounted, and raised complaints that monitoring for radioactive materials along haul routes into Fredonia, Flagstaff, Page and Cameron wouldn’t be adequate.

The agency noted that it might feel somewhat differently about the risks if there was a guarantee that the uranium mined from the Colorado Plateau were to end up supplying power in the United States, but there is no such guarantee.

“There is entirely too much risk, too many unknowns and too many identified impacts to justify threatening one of the most important U.S. landmarks and one of the most world-renowned national parks to justify the relatively small economic benefit associated with mining of uranium in the Grand Canyon region,” the supervisors stated.

5/5/2011 Public News Service: Arizonans Call for Canyon Mining Moratorium

Public News Service: Arizonans Call for Canyon Mining Moratorium PHOENIX, Ariz. – Hundreds of thousands of Americans, including 36 Arizona groups, have weighed in to support a federal proposal for a 20-year ban on new uranium mining claims on 1 million acres near Grand Canyon National Park. A public comment period has just ended. The Obama administration is expected to decide the issue in the next few weeks. Lynn Hamilton is the executive director of Grand Canyon River Guides, a nonprofit group of professional river guides and individuals who love the Grand Canyon. She warns that runoff from existing uranium mines has already polluted several rivers, creeks and springs within the national park. “It’s really alarming for people to feel like the areas that they’re visiting and recreating in, which they consider to be wilderness areas, are tainted in this way.”

Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva and 62 other members of Congress have sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar urging him to approve the proposed 20-year moratorium. Several local governments and Native American tribal governments have also endorsed the proposed mining ban. The industry maintains that modern mining techniques prevent environmental damage.

Hamilton says Native Americans living in northern Arizona have been especially hard-hit by water pollution resulting from uranium mining.

“It’s really a deadly history. Many Native Americans have died from drinking tainted water or from using that water to sustain their livestock and crops when it’s contaminated.”

Hamilton also expresses concern about the potential effect on tourism from uranium mining claims that are “right on the doorstep” of the Grand Canyon.

“This is an area that draws 5 million visitors each year. It contributes almost $700 million annually to the regional economy.”

Grand Canyon tourism supports some 12,000 full-time jobs, she adds.

5/4/2011 – 306,000 Comments submitted today in support of 1-million-acre protection of the Grand Canyon

5/4/2011 – Forgotten People just learned, a total of 306,000 comments were submitted in support of Alternative B (full 1-million-acre protection), which is nothing short of historic. Great work Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and the People!
Grand Canyon Uranium Mining PSA
vimeo.com
Please take action by May 4th to protect the Grand Canyon! Narrated by Craig Childs and directed by James Q Martin, this short video makes a compelling case for the Obama administration’s proposal to protect 1 million acres of public land surrounding…,

Save the Grand Canyon from uranium mining
Posted on April 30, 2011 by forgottenpeople

Uranium mining rips up huge tracts of land to extract radioactive material for use in nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants.1 For the past two years, the Grand Canyon has been protected from these ravages. But now, the temporary mining moratorium is set to expire. The Grand Canyon’s fragile ecosystem, stunning beauty, and vital water supply are threatened by 1,100 new mining claims that have been filed within five miles of this priceless “crown jewel.” The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering a 20-year ban on mining to protect the Grand Canyon’s entire one-million acre watershed. But there are other proposals on the table, and industry lobbyists are encouraging BLM to open the floodgates for the uranium mining rush. It’s essential that we urge the BLM to protect the Grand Canyon.

Tell the Bureau of Land Management: Ban uranium mining at the Grand Canyon. Submit a public comment now. The high price of uranium makes its extraction extremely lucrative for mining companies, but shockingly, the practice is regulated by the antiquated 1872 Mining Law which has no environmental standards to limit the devastation and radioactive damage that results to wildlife, soil, ground and surface water. In fact, the law actually makes exploitative mining a priority over all other uses of public lands. The legacy of mining in the Grand Canyon and has already wrought lasting damage to surrounding areas and tribal communities, who have banned mining on all their lands…. Read More

Please sign on to the letter to save the Grand Canyon from uranium mining

Please sign on to the letter to save the Grand Canyon from uranium mining. Uranium mining rips up huge tracts of land to extract radioactive material for use in nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants.1 For the past two years, the Grand Canyon has been protected from these ravages. But now, the temporary mining moratorium is set to expire. The Grand Canyon’s fragile ecosystem, stunning beauty, and vital water supply are threatened by 1,100 new mining claims that have been filed within five miles of this priceless “crown jewel.” The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering a 20-year ban on mining to protect the Grand Canyon’s entire one-million acre watershed. But there are other proposals on the table, and industry lobbyists are encouraging BLM to open the floodgates for the uranium mining rush. It’s essential that we urge the BLM to protect the Grand Canyon. Tell the Bureau of Land Management: Ban uranium mining at the Grand Canyon. Submit a public comment now. The high price of uranium makes its extraction extremely lucrative for mining companies, but shockingly, the practice is regulated by the antiquated 1872 Mining Law which has no environmental standards to limit the devastation and radioactive damage that results to wildlife, soil, ground and surface water. In fact, the law actually makes exploitative mining a priority over all other uses of public lands. The legacy of mining in the Grand Canyon and has already wrought lasting damage to surrounding areas and tribal communities, who have banned mining on all their lands.

If mining companies are allowed to move ahead with their new claims, the damage to the local wildlands and habitat would be extreme. And with the huge risk that polluted water will run into the Colorado river — which supplies water to cities including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Tucson — this mining literally poses a risk to the health of nearly 30 million people.2

Tell BLM: Ban uranium mining at the Grand Canyon. Submit a public comment now.

It’s tragic that, as we observe the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster this week, and as the Fukushima disaster continues to unfold in Japan, the thirst for nuclear energy and power would now threaten one of our most precious places, and millions of people who depend on it.

The two year ban came as a result of intense public pressure to stop dangerous uranium mining. That’s what we need to help show again. Please submit a public comment now.

1. “Uranium Mining 101,” EarthWorks Action
2. The Grand Canyon Uranium Rush,” New York Times, March 8, 2011

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Grand Canyon Uranium Mining PSA

Save the Grand Canyon from destructive uranium mining A two year ban on uranium mining is set to expire – and the Grand Canyon’s precious lands and vital water supply is threatened by more than 1,100 new mining claims. The Bureau of Land Management is considering a 20 year mining ban. Tell the BLM: Protect the Grand Canyon! Please take action by May 4th to protect the Grand Canyon! Narrated by Craig Childs and directed by James Q Martin, this short video makes a compelling case for the Obama administration’s proposal to protect 1 million acres of public land surrounding Grand Canyon from new uranium mining. By visiting this website, protectgrandcanyon.org, you can send the administration an email in support of those protections; that email will be considered in the government’s formal environmental analysis. May 4th is the last day the government will be accepting public comments, so please act today! Please tell your friends by distributing this video and the protectgrandcanyon.org web link on your blogs, websites, and Facebook. Thanks!

Grand Canyon Uranium Mining PSA from James Q Martin Media on Vimeo.

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3/26/2011 Stop Uranium Mining concert a great success

Thank you to everyone that helped organize the 3/26/2011 Benefit Concert to Stop Uranium mining at the Orpheum Theatre in Flagstaff AZ. We were fortunate to bring 20 students from La Sierra University Project Pueblo students to a great event. Their awareness of the issues will help spread the word about uranium mining permits that were approved in the wetlands of the Grand Canyon.
3 26 2011 Benefit Concert to Stop Uranium Mining

Community Benefit Concert "No uranium mining in the Grand Canyon"

SAVE THE DATE: Community Benefit Concert “No uranium mining in the Grand Canyon”  Time: Saturday at 6:00pm – Sunday at 1:00am, Orpheum Theater, 15 W. Aspen St, Flagstaff, AZ. For over 25 years, international uranium mining companies have aggressively pursued uranium at Grand Canyon. The citizens of Arizona need to be informed about the dangers and everlasting health effects caused by uranium mining. Past uranium activity has caused direct health affects to the local Indian Tribes living in and around the Grand Canyon region. For instance, many Navajo families have been diagnosed with many types of cancer due to the abandoned uranium mines located all over the Navajo, Reservation.

Furthermore, the Havasupai Tribe has been fighting proposed uranium mines on the rim of the Grand Canyon, which are located directly above their groundwater source and near their sacred Red Butte for many years. The Tribe has learned about the irreversible contamination that uranium mining can cause to Havasu Creek. For this reason, many non-profit organizations have joined forces with neighboring Tribes and community members to continue the fight for clean water for all humans and animal life whom reside in the Grand Canyon region.

We are proposing a Community Benefit Concert for an evening of networking and uranium education. “If the mine poisons our water, it will be the end of my people,” said Carletta Tilousi, a Tribal Council member working to protect the health and future of her tribe. Promoting awareness to protect the Grand Canyon Watershed is the utmost important reason to host a Community Benefit Concert to promote “life”.