Image: Wikimedia Commons
It is approaching time for the Bureau of Land Management to once again consider whether or not to allow bids for uranium mining on more than one million acres of land near the Grand Canyon. The two-year moratorium that is now set to expire was a challenge to win in the first place, and lobbyists are putting the pressure on to let the mining begin.A 20-year ban is under consideration, but there are doubts that it is a serious option.
Prior to the moratorium, BLM had already authorized uranium exploration despite a congressional resolution the year before that barred new claims near the park, and the issue continued to be a controversial one even during the moratorium.
Other recent BLM decisions in the West do not lend much confidence that the agency prioritizes protection and conservation over exploration.
If the federal government doesn't renew the ban, writes social action site Avaaz, "a 'Uranium Rush' of mining would permanently scar the face of this unique and priceless land, devastate local communities, and endanger water supplies for millions who live nearby."
There is a public comment period on this issue that expires April 4th. If you're inclined to save the Grand Canyon, speak up now. (Avaaz has a sample letter, if you need some guidance.)
More on the Grand Canyon and uranium mining:
Grand Canyon Should Be a "No Glow Zone"
Rash of Mining Claims Threatens Grand Canyon and Other Natural Monuments
Uranium - "Yellow Monster" - Threatens Grand Canyon