Worldwide Campaign to Save the Grand Canyon
  • Petitioned U.S. Bureau of Land Management

This petition was delivered to:

U.S. Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Department of the Interior
Secretary Ken Salazar

Worldwide Campaign to Save the Grand Canyon

    1. Suzanne Sparling
    2. Petition by

      Suzanne Sparling

      Mesa, AZ

January 2012


Victory! Interior Secretary Ken Salazar this week signed a 20-year ban on uranium mining around the Grand Canyon. The move will protect one of America's most treasured places from a uranium mining rush, and comes as the result of a the efforts of dozens of local and national environmental groups around the nation, as well as hundreds of thousands of citizens taking action.

Suzanne Sparling, who added to the chorus of voices by recruiting 55,000 people to sign her petition, said this:

"I'm humbled to tears to know that tens of thousands around the world took up and joined the cause and we can officially announce a victory. For too long we have been waiting, hoping and praying for this result!

Millions of lives have been spared in this one decision. It's truly overwhelming when you stop to consider the vastness the repercussions of what the alternative decision could have lead to. Even now with this incredible victory, our work mustn't stop -- 20 years will go faster than we realize and this sacred ground deserves an endless protection from threats of destruction."

I moved to Arizona over seven years ago, and I immediately fell in love with its beauty. I soon began searching for ways to make a difference to protect and preserve this land. With a like-minded fellow activist also in Arizona, I co-founded, with a mission to educate others about sustainability and conservation.

My love for Arizona's environment sparked our first campaign to save the Grand Canyon from uranium mining. When we heard that one of the world's greatest treasures, located in our state, was under threat, we had to act.

Currently, a mining moratorium is protecting the Grand Canyon. But that ban is going to expire soon.

Mining companies are lining up to destroy the land. If the federal government doesn't renew the mining ban, this is the future we face, according to The Grand Canyon Trust:

Within 5 miles of Grand Canyon National Park, there are now more than 1,100 uranium claims, compared with just 10 in January 2003. The Kaibab National Forest has reported more than 2,100 claims filed in the Tusayan Ranger District; thousands more have been staked on BLM lands north of the Grand Canyon in the Kanab Creek drainage and House Rock Valley.

At this time, the Interior Department is taking public comments on whether they let the moratorium expire or, instead, enact a 20-year mining ban. 

The Grand Canyon is among the earth's greatest on-going geological spectacles. Its vastness is stunning, and the evidence it reveals about the earth's history is invaluable.

When we speak of the Grand Canyon, we refer to not only the Canyon itself, but also include the vast and surrounding areas such as the Colorado River Drainage Basin and it's ecosystem, a vital source of water to wildlife and millions of people, numerous wildlife refuges, surrounding designated park and wildlife areas, communities, and cities.

Our opinion matters. We have to tell the Interior Department to protect one of America's greatest treasures.

Already, there is pollution in the area from some exploratory mining that has gone on.  Again from the Grand Canyon Trust: The National Park Service already advises against "drinking and bathing" in the Little Colorado River, Kanab Creek, and other Grand Canyon waters where "excessive radionuclides" have been found.

Several areas of and surrounding the Grand Canyon have already been declared by the U.S. Forest Service and other national agencies as toxic areas. Water supplies and land have been poisoned by radiation from uranium mining run-off. Human, animal and plant lives and species have been lost and continue to be endangered by the toxic contamination.

We must all ACT NOW to Save the Grand Canyon! Please join us in signing this petition to halt uranium mining in and around the Grand Canyon.

Recent signatures


    1. Save the Grand Canyon - Ban Plastic Bottles in the Park

      Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      This is another important way we can help to protect and preserve the Grand Canyon. Please take action to help support the ban on plastic bottles in the Grand Canyon.
      Just days before Grand Canyon National Park instituted a ban on sale of individual plastic water bottles, the ban was indefinitely suspended on orders from the Director of the National Park Service (NPS). After receiving reports that this abrupt about-face was tied to large donations from the Coca Cola Company, which sells bottled water, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) today filed a lawsuit to obtain records on this policy u-turn after NPS declined to surrender them.

    2. Thank Secretary Salazar

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      Take a moment to sign the petition thanking Secretary Salazar for his support of a 20-year uranium mining ban, and urging him to make the decision final!

    3. Giant step toward victory! 20-yr ban planned on Grand Canyon uranium mining

      Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      Obama administration announced its intention to place 20-year ban on mining 1 Million acres of land bordering the Grand Canyon, extending current moratorium six months until December, in order to complete steps necessary to establish the 20-year ban.

    4. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      Arizonans Call for Canyon Mining Moratorium

      May 5, 2011

      PHOENIX, Ariz. - Hundreds of thousands of Americans, including 36 Arizona groups, have weighed in to support a federal proposal for a 20-year ban on new uranium mining claims on 1 million acres near Grand Canyon National Park. A public comment period has just ended. The Obama administration is expected to decide the issue in the next few weeks.

    5. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      As The Battle Continues Over Uranium Mining At The Grand Canyon, Most Arizonans Are Unaware That A Big Decision Is Looming

      By John Guzzon - Modern Times Magazine .com

      Whether one realizes it or not, the Grand Canyon impacts virtually every Arizonan every day. Millions visit the canyon every year to take in the natural beauty and to commune with the nature. But more importantly, much of the water that arrives in the Phoenix metropolitan area at one time flowed through the Grand Canyon thanks to the Colorado River.

    6. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      Pressure builds against Grand Canyon Uranium Mining - May 4, 2011 by Bob Berwyn

      Decision on moratorium due soon

      By Summit Voice — SUMMIT COUNTY — Lawmakers, conservation groups and other major stakeholders are stepping up the pressure to prevent uranium mining on public lands around the Grand Canyon.

    7. Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      Less than 48 hours to add your voice to this campaign.

    8. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      CREDO has initiated a letter campaign to save the Grand Canyon from uranium mining. Please add your voice and share this through all your networks:

    9. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      We have just 5 short days left! If you haven't sent these already, here are more letters you can personalize and voice your support for protecting public lands in and around the Grand Canyon! Write a comment today!
      Sierra Club letter campaign:
      Earthworks letter campaign -

    10. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      Did you know that the Colorado River and its tributaries supply irrigation and drinking water for millions of people in the American West? This is the same water that will be contaminated with toxic chemicals and waste if uranium mining is permitted. Of the 5 parks listed in this report, included is the Grand Canyon.

      "New Colorado River Study Finds Water Uses Impair the Health of National Parks in the Southwest "

    11. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      Wow!!! We have reached the 50,000 signature goal and setting our sights even higher! Our new goal is to reach 75,000 signatures and we really need all the support we can get from everyone worldwide! We have a deadline of May 4, 2011 to get as many signatures as possible to help this campaign be a success!

      Thank you everyone for all your efforts! Let's keep going! Keep sharing the petition with everyone in all of your social networks!

    12. Reached 50 signatures
    13. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      Arizona Tourism Alliance supports 20-year uranium mining ban:

    14. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      How do you like the idea of hundreds uranium-mining operations near the Grand Canyon?

    15. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      "Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Mead

    16. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      Amazing! We're almost to 50K signatures! :) Less than 2 weeks remaining for comments ~ the May 4 deadline is coming up fast and we need your continued support to reach our goal ~ under 400 signatures needed!

    17. Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      Did you know this week is National Parks Week? Take action this week to help us protect the Grand Canyon from uranium mining. Check out this editorial from the Kansas City Star, and help us get to 50,000 signatures:

    18. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      WOW! We're less than 1,000 signatures to 50,000! I can't find the words to express enough gratitude to each and every person who has signed the Petition -- and shared it with others. Let's keep the momentum going! We have only til May 4 to get our voices heard... that's only 16 days left ~ We can do this! :)

    19. Benjamin Joffe-Walt
      Vice President and Chief of Staff

      OpEd: Grand Canyon "Worth protecting"

    20. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      Groups Tell Congress to Protect Grand Canyon from Mining, Dam Operations and Other Environmental Threats:

    21. Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      Uranium mining threatens Grand Canyon and Mt. Rushmore, new report warns:

    22. Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      Arizona Trout Unlimited supports 20 year mining ban:

    23. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      This brief excerpt is from a wonderful piece, the sharing of an experience of hiking the Grand Canyon. Enjoy! :) (Read the full piece here:

      "Winter of 1969" -- David Nelson

      "... We were all a little dazed, or perhaps overawed is a better description. The Grand Canyon had altered me permanently in ways which even now I can't fully describe. I knew I'd be back just as soon as possible. One really dramatic change that the Canyon had worked in us was a modification in our sense of scale. As we arrived back in Boulder, we were all struck by how small everything seemed. Houses were tiny. Distances seemed trivial. Even the mountains that rear up 8000 feet in altitude just west of town seemed shrunk to half their former size. And images from that trip into the Canyon found their way into my dreams for years afterward."

    24. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      Havasupai Tribe has been fighting proposed uranium mines on the rim of the Grand Canyon, which are located directly above their groundwater source and near their sacred Red Butte for many years. The Tribe has learned about the irreversible contamination that uranium mining can cause to Havasu Creek.

      “If the mine poisons our water, it will be the end of my people.”
      - Carletta Tilousi, Havasupai Tribal Council member

    25. Suzanne Sparling
      Petition Organizer

      A must watch: A 3 minute documentary on the state of Uranium mines near the Grand Canyon from a bird's eye view. - Ecoflight Grand Canyon Trust


    Reasons for signing

    • Kyler Donlan HARWICH, MA
      • about 2 years ago

      One of the most spectacular places in the world. Please protect it.

    • Shan You BOSTON, MA
      • over 2 years ago

      This is a no brainer!

    • Echo Mitchell MINNEAPOLIS, MN
      • over 2 years ago

      thi victory makes the whole website a proven tool for soical and envrionmental change

    • Denise Denton HASTINGS, MI
      • over 2 years ago

      I'm signing just to let TPTB know that I care about the Grand Canyon (even if I've never been there).

    • Terri Scheinuck COTTONWOOD, AZ
      • almost 3 years ago

      What is wrong with making one of the seven wonders of the world a toxic dump?

      It is such a magnificent gift to destroy, millions of years old, cherished by so many....

      R I P Grand Canyon Arizona? 2012

      Oh, don't bet on that happening!

      Will Washington WAKE UP ALREADY!

      Before all our beauty, as America, is flushed away down the polluted Colorado River to our oil filled Gulfs and into our poor dying seas.

      Someone just must use their power for good and save this beautiful masterpiece!



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