Victory for the Grand Canyon
We helped convince the Obama administration to protect one million acres of land next to the Grand Canyon from the threat of uranium mining for the next 20 years. Now we need to make sure the decision isn’t overturned in the courts or blocked by Congress.
1,100 mining claims next to the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s natural wonders. From its jagged cliffs to the winding Colorado River that runs through it — from the geologic history written on its walls to the 25 native species sheltered in its caverns.
But over the past decade, mining companies have staked roughly 1,100 uranium mining claims within just five miles of Grand Canyon National Park. Toxic uranium mining poses a serious threat of contamination to the park itself, and to the 25 million people who drink water from the Colorado River.
As our 2011 report Grand Canyon at Risk showed, no uranium mine in the United States has ever operated without some degree of toxic clean-up required. Opening over one thousand uranium mines within 5 miles of Grand Canyon National Park was not a risk we were willing to take – for our water supply or for one of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet.
Years of effort culminate in success
In 2009, we helped to pass a temporary two-year moratorium on new mining claims – forcing U.S. Secretary Ken Salazar and the Department of Interior to complete an Environmental Impact Statement on over one million acres of critical land near the canyon.
Once the impact statement was complete, we worked to mount the public pressure it would take for Secretary Salazar to do the right thing and withdraw the land for the next 20 years from new uranium mining claims. We helped deliver more than 300,000 public comments from citizens in Arizona and across the country.
Working with Rep. Raúl Grijalva, we organized more than 60 members of Congress to a sign a letter of support for the Grand Canyon, and also submitted a list of over 50 local elected officials and organizations in the southwest who opposed uranium mining around the canyon.
At the same time, Our report about the toxic legacy of uranium mining in the southwest received coverage on the local FOX 10 News in Phoenix – calling out Rep. Jeff Flake and other Arizona Republicans for supporting uranium mining near Grand Canyon.
Your activism and our advocacy helped make the difference - we can't stop now.
Your activism and our advocacy are a powerful combination. Thanks in part to our efforts, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar put 1 million acres around the park off limits to mining for 20 years.
But mining companies and their allies in Congress haven’t given up the fight — and neither can we.
Several of Arizona’s own lawmakers introduced a bill that would stop the administration from protecting the Grand Canyon, and the courts will likely hear challenges from the mining industry.
We need you to get involved if we’re going to defend the canyon once and for all.
If enough of us speak out, we can ensure the Grand Canyon is protected. Join our campaign by sending the Obama administration a message today, showing your support for the Grand Canyon.
Join our campaign by sending the Obama administration a message today.
The Obama Administration announced plans to protect the Grand Canyon, but polluters are trying to block them.
- Interior Secretary Salazar (above, at podium) announced a plan to put 1 million acres around the park off limits to mining for 20 years.
- Mining companies have already staked more than 1,100 uranium mining claims within five miles of the Grand Canyon.
- More than 300,000 people have demanded stronger protections for the Grand Canyon.