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Don't Allow the Grand Canyon to Become a Mining Site!

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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

Sign the petition opposing all future uranium mining plans in or around the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon needs your help!

Mining companies are looking to take advantage of a uranium-rich piece of land just outside of the majestic national park. Increasing metal prices worldwide have prompted a rush to claim mining sites and begin extracting immediately.

If these companies move forward with their mining plans, countless plant and animal species will be in grave danger, not to mention the indigenous Native American tribes whose reservations are located near the area.

Uranium mining bores deep into vertical rock formations, making uranium soluble to groundwater and risking pollution to Grand Canyon's biologically rich springs. But uranium mining is not consistently profitable, and mining operations may be abandoned for decades at a time — without any oversight or continued maintenance of the work area1.

Large drilling sites, tailing piles and mines are often left behind — leading to leaks into groundwater, dispersal of airborne uranium pollution and dust, and unsafe conditions for recreational visitors to public lands. Manmade ponds containing uranium-contaminated water are left uncovered and used by native birds and other wildlife. These mines affect habitat for more than 100 sensitive species, including mule deer, mountain lions, imperiled California condors and highly endangered native fish. Groundwater pollution has the potential to seep into underground aquifers used for drinking water and into seeps and springs that are the lifeblood for animals in the arid Grand Canyon region1.

If and when these old mines are cleaned up, the cost burden usually falls on the American public.

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular national parks in America, and is of incalculable value to Northern Arizona and the Havasupai and other Native American tribes. The Havasupai have been in the Grand Canyon region for 800 years, and the groundwater-fed springs that they rely on for drinking water would be under threat by uranium contamination2.

In 2012, the secretary of the interior put a temporary stop to uranium exploration by issuing a 20-year ban on new uranium mines on 1 million acres of public lands surrounding the Grand Canyon. As of October 2020, there were still over 600 active mining claims on national forest and other public lands around the Grand Canyon3.

The Grand Canyon Protection Act could protect more than a million acres adjacent to the national park from future uranium mining while leaving existing claims intact4. It has passed the House, but still faces a challenge in the Senate5.

Sign the petition below, support the Grand Canyon Protection Act and protect this national landmark!

More on this issue:

  1. Center for Biological Diversity"Grand Canyon Uranium Mining."
  2. The Wilderness Society (2021), "Opening the Grand Canyon area to uranium mining is a horrible idea."
  3. Grand Canyon Trust (2021), "Uranium Mining."
  4. Ryan Heinsius, KNAU (18 February 2021), "Grand Canyon Uranium Mining Ban Reintroduced In Congress."
  5. Congress.gov (26 February 2019), "H.R.1373 - Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act."
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The Petition:

Dear Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,

I am writing to enlist your help on an urgent issue that could affect millions of people, plants, and animals: private interests are looking to establish mining sites near the Grand Canyon where the land is rich with uranium.

Uranium mining poses grave environmental problems. Drilling for radioactive substances has proven to contaminate air and groundwater. If the mining plans move forward, the uranium could leach into the Colorado River, a river that supplies water to places as far away as Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Indigenous Native American tribes still inhabit areas around the Grand Canyon and would be in danger of contamination as well.

Rising metal prices have spurred on this rush to drill for uranium and other metals like copper and gold. But that's simply no reason to risk valuable plant, animal, and human life. We must not sacrifice our natural resources in the name of profit.

The Grand Canyon Protection Act could protect more than a million acres adjacent to the national park from future uranium mining while leaving existing claims intact. It offers the best possible outcome for all stakeholders, including our environment, and the health of millions of Americans.

The people have spoken and we demand you protect this national landmark by calling a vote on the Grand Canyon Protection Act.


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