Tag Archives: National Park

Grand Canyon Under Attack

Proposed bills in Congress would gut protections on 1 million acres of public lands around the Grand Canyon and halt a much-needed 20-year ban on new uranium mining. We’re not getting a break in our fight to stand up for wildlife, clean water, clean air and wildlands — a vote on the Grand Canyon rider, and other anti-environment riders, could come as early as midday tomorrow.

House Republicans, led by Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., have introduced a radical, industry-driven legislative rider that, if passed, would block the Obama administration from imposing a long-term ban on new uranium mining across 1 million acres of public land surrounding Grand Canyon National Park. We need to do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Soon, a bi-partisan group of congresspersons is expected to introduce an amendment to kill the uranium rider. Grand Canyon’s future hangs in the balance.

We need your help: I’m asking you to consider an emergency gift to the Center for Biological Diversity’s Grand Canyon Defense Fund and to then call and email your congressperson and say NO to any proposal that risks Grand Canyon to destructive, poisonous new uranium development.

Without new protections — which the Obama administration is working to enact — new uranium mines will ruin iconic wildlands, put endangered species like the California condor and humpback chub in danger and risk irreversible contamination of aquifers feeding Grand Canyon’s biologically-rich springs and creeks.

For several years the Center has campaigned tirelessly to stop uranium mining near this national park. Now, Rep. Flake’s rider could destroy the progress the nation’s made to protect this incredible, biologically rich and diverse area.

This fight is so critical that a Center donor has pledged to match every dollar donated to this campaign 1-to-1 to double your gift and double your impact. Please give generously to the Grand Canyon Defense Fund today. Our staff will put it right to work.

We can win this fight, but we can’t do it without your financial support and your action to contact Congress and tell them to vote NO on any proposal that puts this national park in danger. Please, forward this email to your friends and social networks to help create a groundswell of support in this critical moment.

Thank you for standing up for the Grand Canyon and all its species,

6/29/2011 Gallup Independent: 9 percent decrease in Colorado River flow projected

6/29/2011 Gallup Independent: 9 percent decrease in Colorado River flow projected By Kathy Helms, Dine Bureau: WINDOW ROCK – The average natural flow of the Colorado River as measured at Lees Ferry will decrease by approximately 9 percent over the next 50 years, according to a Bureau of Reclamation study. In addition, the average yield of the river could be reduced by 10 to 20 percent due to climate change. The “Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study Interim Report No. 1,” released June 6, also anticipates increases in the frequency and severity of droughts. The Colorado River Basin is one of the most critical sources of water in the West. The seven basin states include some of the fastest-growing urban and industrial areas in the United States. The river is the lifeblood for at least 15 Native American tribes, seven national wildlife refuges, four national recreation areas, and five national parks. Its tributaries provide municipal water to 30 million people and irrigation for nearly 4 million acres of land.

Water supply and demand imbalances already exist in some areas of the basin and are projected to increase in the future. Storage capacity of approximately four times the average inflow has helped offset demands in periods of sustained drought, such as is currently being experienced, according to Reclamation.

The ongoing study will assess water supply and demand throughout the study area through 2060 and the reliability of the Colorado River system to meet the needs of basin resources, such as water allocations and deliveries under the Law of the River.

The study, begun in January of 2010, is a collaborative effort with interested parties throughout the basin. Reports and analysis prepared as part of the study will help define options for future water management of scarce water supplies.

The interim report provides a comprehensive snapshot of the initial effort to define current and future imbalances in over the next 50 years. Reclamation is seeking comment on the interim report by July 8. Additional interim reports will be published with a final report targeted for July 2012.

Information: http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/programs/crbstudy.html

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.