First hand account of experience at the Grand Canyon from Sierra Club director, Michael Brune.
“Grand Canyon National Park was first protected by President Theodore Roosevelt more than 100 years ago — initially as a national monument. But most of the public wilderness lands immediately surrounding the park are managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Last year, President Obama imposed a 20-year moratorium (the longest allowable by law) on developing new uranium mines in that surrounding area. That made sense because uranium mines could easily contaminate the watershed that includes the national park.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Forest Service has decided to allow Energy Fuels Resources, Inc. to reopen an old uranium mine located in the Kaibab National Forest, just south of the park. That should be a serious concern for anyone who cares about the Grand Canyon, but it’s especially worrisome to the local Havasupai people. We met with tribal elders who shared both their fears about radioactive contamination and that the mine would disturb lands that are sacred to their people.
Shouldn’t the Grand Canyon be considered sacred by all Americans? Do we want to risk contaminating it for what amounts to forever — just so mining companies can profit from high uranium prices? Not to mention that, according to the Outdoor Industry Association, Grand Canyon tourism generates $687 million in annual revenue.”
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