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 SEN4Earth.org, 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.
- U.S. Bureau of Land Management
- U.S. Department of the Interior
Secretary Ken Salazar
We are disheartened to hear that the action to halt uranium mining in and around the Grand Canyon was denied by federal court decision on June 17, 2010. This was a devastating blow in the fight to protect the already fragile ecosystems throughout the Colorado Plateau. Results of further ecological destruction include a dramatic increase in toxic pollution, radiation poisoning, and the extinction of life already protected through the endangered species protection enactments.
Development of mining claims result in the loss and destruction of habitat, vegetation, wildlife, and contamination of these critical ecosystems. Most of the mining claims are unsubstantiated, therefore allowing the explorative operations is far more devastating to life and the environment.
There is no doubt in our understanding of uranium mining practices that the cumulative effects of the mining, milling, transporting and detonating radioactive materials are causing long-term effects on water resources in the Grand Canyon region. It is the responsibility of not only the NPS, but also the DOI and all global citizens to preserve critical processes and linkages that will ensure the preservation of rare, endemic, and specially protected plant and animal species, and all human residents and visitors of the Grand Canyon region.
The fate of millions of lives are dependent upon and affected by all that happens in and around the Grand Canyon ~ the fate of these lives is in our hands.
We respectfully ask that you enact a 20-year ban on uranium mining around the Grand Canyon.
Suzanne Sparling started this petition with a single signature, and won with 52,981 supporters. Start a petition to change something you care about.