Target: U.S. Forest Service
Goal: Don’t build a uranium mine near the Grand Canyon
Energy Fuels Resources Inc. intends to construct a uranium mine near the Grand Canyon and unfortunately received federal approval for the construction. The move has angered environmentalist and tribes alike, as they are concerned for the soil, water and pollution. Despite a ban from President Barack Obama, the Canadian company was able to get federal approval through a loophole and utilizing a study that is 25 years old. Organizations like the Sierra Club, the Grand Canyon Trust and the Havasupai tribe filed a lawsuit against the company, stating that the study is outdated and this shouldn’t give Energy Fuels the rights to mine the land. The Havasupai tribe has been especially vocal, claiming that the mining operation could pollute the land and water that they live off of, and potentially endangering the local wildlife. The tribe has been fighting against uranium mines for years.
The energy company believes that there is no harm in what they are doing. The mine will take up as much space as a Walmart parking lot, but the danger lies in the 2,000-3,000 miles of drilling underground. Underwater springs could filter inside the shafts, and become contaminated by the uranium, and possibly drain into unpolluted waters. There is concern that the mining will also pollute the Red Wall aquifer, which is the main source of water in the canyon aside from the Colorado River. Once contaminated, the effects are irreversible.
Another case with a different energy company implicated the Navajos, whose reservation land was mined after World War II. The operation left 500 abandoned uranium mines. The clean up took five years to complete and even then the Navajos claimed it was ineffective. Now that demand for uranium is growing, resource companies such as Energy Fuels and other countries, are eyeing the Grand Canyon because of its rich untapped minerals.
Demand the U. S. Forest Service deny Energy Fuel Resources Inc. access to this treasured land and stop construction of the mine.
Dear U.S Forest Service,
The Grand Canyon is a treasured land mark of the United States, one that is known throughout the world. So news that a uranium mine is being constructed is rather unsettling. President Barack Obama has banned such operations, and yet Energy Fuels Inc. wormed its way into acquiring access. This is rather unscrupulous and tells the public that the company cares more about profits than efforts to preserve the land.
As a department that’s meant to serve the forest, I implore you to deny them access and stop the construction. The Havasupai tribe has opposed uranium mining in their land as it could destroy their culture and the surrounding wildlife; they have been vocal in their opposition for many years. Indeed the mining operations is catching the attention of environmentalists and they wish for it to stop. For the sake of protecting this cherished land, stop the construction.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Schertow via intercontinentalcry.org