“If the mine poisons our water, it will be the end of my people.” — Carletta Tilousi, Havasupai Tribal Council member
For more than 25 years, international mining companies have aggressively pursued uranium deposits in and around the Grand Canyon. The Havasupai Tribe, other First Nations, conservationists and citizens of Northern Arizona have joined forces to inform the surrounding community of the dangers and everlasting health effects caused by uranium mining.
Past uranium activity has caused direct health affects to the local First Nations communities living in and around the Grand Canyon region. For instance, many Navajo families have been diagnosed with many types of cancer because of the abandoned uranium mines located all over the Navajo Reservation. The proposed uranium mines on the rim of the Grand Canyon are located directly above the Havasupai Tribe’s groundwater source and near their sacred site at Red Butte and the uranium mining companies have proposed to transport uranium directly through First Nations and other communities
in Northern Arizona.
TAKE ACTION HERE.
It is approaching time for the Bureau of Land Management to once again consider whether or not to allow bids for uranium mining on more than one million acres of land near the Grand Canyon. The two-year moratorium that is now set to expire was a challenge to win in the first place, and lobbyists are putting the pressure on to let the mining begin.
Prior to the moratorium, BLM had already authorized uranium exploration despite a congressional resolution the year before that barred new claims near the park, and the issue continued to be a controversial one even during the moratorium.
Other recent BLM decisions in the West do not lend much confidence that the agency prioritizes protection and conservation over exploration.
If the federal government doesn’t renew the ban, writes social action site Avaaz, “a ‘Uranium Rush’ of mining would permanently scar the face of this unique and priceless land, devastate local communities, and endanger water supplies for millions who live nearby.”
A public outcry helped secure the embargo last time, and thanks to a wave of citizen outcry last week, the deadline for public comment has just been extended through May 4. Write comments to urge Secretary Salazar and the Obama administration to protect the Grand Canyon and extend that protection for the full one million acres of land for at least the next 20 years.
Thanks to First Nations communities, The Grand Canyon Trust, The Sierra Club and local conservationists and citizens for leading the charge.
TAKE ACTION HERE.
We’re excited about the latest round of Mountainfilm guest speakers to be announced. In keeping with the 2011 Moving Mountains Symposium theme of “Awareness into Action,” the series of special guests announced last week, “have all committed their lives to rolling up their sleeves and making a serious difference in the world,” Festival Director David Holbrooke said.