July 24, 2009

Havasupai vs. mining claims

Canyon's 'guardians' press for protections

By Matthew PutesoyThe Grand Canyon is a national treasure, inviting 5 million people every year to explore and be inspired by its beauty. To the Havasuw 'Baaja, who have lived in the region for many hundreds of years, it is sacred.

As the "guardians of the Grand Canyon," we strenuously object to mining for uranium here. It is a threat to the health of our environment and tribe, our tourism-based economy, and our religion.

Thank you, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, for announcing a two-year moratorium on new mining claims in the 1 million acres of lands around Grand Canyon National Park.

But existing claims, such as those pursued by Canadian-based Denison Mines Corp., still threaten the animals, air, drinking water and people of this region. Denison, which has staked 110 claims around the Grand Canyon, is seeking groundwater-aquifer permits that would allow it to reopen the Canyon Mine, near Red Butte on the South Rim, as well as two other mining sites.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Hualapai to Represent Grand Canyon and Havasupai Tourist Spot Closed.

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