April 02, 2008

Leave the Grand Canyon alone

Five tribes say no to Grand Canyon area uranium mineDespite assertions that uranium extraction is safer now than 50 years ago, some northern Arizona tribes and officials aren't willing to trust an industry they say hasn't taken responsibility for what it left behind during the last mining boom.

"It served as an excellent example of how not to do things," said Kris Hefton, Chief Operating Officer of Vane Minerals, of past practices. "The industry of the past 25 years has learned from that."
More on the story:Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Steve Martin said that while all of the land under his purview is under protection, he is concerned about mining activity close to the park border.

On the Tusayan Ranger District alone, there are 2,100 uranium claims, five uranium exploration projects slated and the possible opening of one uranium mine.

"There is some concern for the protection of the resources," he said, noting that the Native American cultures and values are part of that.

All five tribal leaders said that the mining was an affront to the land--not just the reservation land, but all aboriginal land--and their sacred traditions.

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