LB - Northland Motorsports

Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Milestones | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS |
Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news May 27, 2016

3/26/2013 11:10:00 AM
Judge denies motion to overturn uranium-mining ban near Grand Canyon
Ruling keeps ban adopted in January 2012 in place on 1 million acres of public land near the Grand Canyon
The dormant Canyon Mine in the Kaibab National Forest south of the Grand Canyon. Photo/Tara Alatorre
The dormant Canyon Mine in the Kaibab National Forest south of the Grand Canyon. Photo/Tara Alatorre
Christina Silvestri
Cronkite News

Conservation groups celebrated a federal judge's ruling that denied a motion to overturn the Obama administration's ban on uranium mining on 1 million acres of public land near the Grand Canyon.

The March 20 decision by U.S. District Judge David Campbell in Phoenix rejected arguments from uranium mining interests that the federal government couldn't withdraw such a large tract.

"If it had been instituted, it really would've crippled the ability of the Interior Department to say, 'Hold on, we need to take some time to set these lands aside because there's other lands out there we want to protect,'" said Ted Zukoski, an attorney with the environmental law firm Earthjustice.

The 20-year moratorium was adopted in January 2012 to protect the canyon's watersheds by prohibiting new mining claims and any development on old claims that lacked "valid existing rights."

The National Mining Association, Nuclear Energy Institute and Northwest Mining Association, among others, challenged the withdrawal.

A handful of conservation groups countersued, including the Grand Canyon Trust, a nonprofit that aims to protect and conserve the Colorado Plateau.

"The whole idea of the 20-year ban is a precautionary and prudent decision by the federal government, because once you contaminate groundwater there's no reversing it," said Roger Clark, director of air and energy for Grand Canyon Trust.

Taylor McKinnon, wildlands campaigns director for the Center for Biological Diversity, said that if government and industry cannot prove that uranium mining is safe, it shouldn't happen at all.

"Any new mining threatens to industrialize wild lands, harm wildlife and endangered species, and irretrievably pollute groundwater that feeds Grand Canyon springs," he said.

The plaintiffs are pursuing other avenues to block the withdrawal, including a challenge to the Interior Department's environmental analysis.

"We're obviously disappointed in the decision, but in the same token, not all the issues that were before the court were addressed in this decision," said Luke Popovich, vice president of external communications for the National Mining Association.

Clark, with the Grand Canyon Trust, said he hopes the ban on uranium mining will eventually be permanent.

"We're confident that the 20-year ban will not only provide time to not allow claims to move forward, but give time to better document the impacts of the existing mines," he said.

    Recently Commented     Most Viewed
Mapmaker continues quest to document indigenous cultures
New documentary focuses on Native American veterans on Navajo Nation
Letter to the editor: Where do children learn to speak fluent Navajo?
Delegate Edmund Yazzie continues work for Thoreau, N.M. clinic
Pirates of the Navajo Nation under attack

Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. The email and phone info you provide will not be visible to the public. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to 1300 characters or less. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit your comment entries to five(5) per day.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Find more about Weather in Flagstaff, AZ
Click for weather forecast

Submission links
 •  Submit site feedback or questions

Find It Opinions Features Submit Extras Other Publications
Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Milestones | Contact Us | Subscribe | e-newsletter | RSS | Site Map
LB - Northland Motorsports

© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Navajo-Hopi Observer is the information source for the Navajo and Hopi Nations and Winslow area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Navajo-Hopi Observer Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the site's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Navajo-Hopi Observer Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved