Tensions are high at the Grand Canyon this year after a judge’s ruling in April that denied a request to stop new uranium mining at the canyon.
The neighboring Havasupai tribe and conservation groups like the Grand Canyon Trust work hard to put a permanent end to uranium mining at the canyon. The groups are weary of the potential dangers the mining poses to wildlife, the risks of contaminating freshwater springs, and the religious and cultural concerns of several tribes in the region.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has led the push to re-open uranium mines after the federal government ruled in 2012 to put a stop to mining in the area.
“So much of what’s happening today in the environmental movement is not about science. It’s not about quality of life. It’s not about clean air. It’s not about clean water,” Burnovich told the Arizona Chamber of Commerce last month. “It’s about control.”
Roger Clark, the program director for the Grand Canyon Trust, said a group of activists working to “protect and restore the Colorado Plateau” has been a prominent figure in the battle to make the uranium mining ban permanent.
“There’s places where uranium mining probably can be done appropriately, and without any severe risk to public interest,” Clark told Cronkite News last April. “But the Grand Canyon is not one of those places.”
Mining operations at the Grand Canyon halted in 1990 because of plummeting uranium prices. The Grand Canyon’s uranium mines then re-opened in 2010 after explorations began again due to a sharp spike in uranium prices.
For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/article/2015/11/uranium-mining-in-northern-arizona-has-a-controversial-history