Grand Canyon Saved from Uranium Mining
Monday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a 20-year mining protection for 1 million acres of public land near Grand Canyon National Park. The announcement marked an overwhelming success for tens of thousands of individuals, businesses, and local and tribal leaders who have spoken out demanding the Obama administration oppose uranium mining around one of America’s greatest natural wonders.
Visited by more than 4 million people from around the world each year and contributing over $680 million to the Northern Arizona economy, Grand Canyon National Park has inspired generations of Americans with its seemingly effortless beauty.
The decision will protect areas surrounding the Grand Canyon from uranium and other hard rock mining whose effects go beyond environmental impacts. Mining would directly damage the sacred sites of numerous Native American tribes, threaten wildlife and permanently contaminate groundwater and springs of the mighty Colorado River watershed, which provides drinking water for millions of people downstream.
-- By Leana Schwartz