Take Action | Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Uranium Mining and the Grand Canyon

The following has been taken from The Grand Canyon Trust. We strongly encourage you to visit their website and view their resources.

In 2012, the Secretary of the Interior issued a 20-year ban on new uranium claims on more than a million acres of public lands adjacent to Grand Canyon. However, the withdrawal does not apply to existing mines, even those located within a few miles of the North and South Rims.  In the 1980s, the BLM approved plans of operations for numerous uranium mines on the outskirts of Grand Canyon National Park. When uranium prices plummeted in the early 1990s, the operators placed the mines in a regulatory purgatory known as "non-operation, "  where the mines sat idle for the next two decades. When uranium prices surged again, federal agencies allowed operations to resume without new environmental reviews.  And this is where we stand today.  

The potential trucking route to begin in July

Map and picture by Stephanie Smith of the Grand Canyon Trust

Uranium Claims surrounding the Grand Canyon

Map and picture by Stephanie Smith of the Grand Canyon Trust

The Fight

Working in a coalition with the Havasupai Tribe and other conservation groups, the Grand Canyon Trust sued the U.S. Forest Service over its decision to allow Canyon uranium mine to open without adequate tribal consultation or updating a 1986 federal environmental review.  Few people realize how close they are to a uranium mine when they visit Grand Canyon National Park. Located six miles south of Grand Canyon Village, Canyon Mine also sits within an area of religious and cultural importance to tribes like the Havasupai. The mine is also located above groundwater that supplies some of Grand Canyon's most treasured seeps and springs, including Havasu Springs and Havasu Creek. After a 20-year hiatus, Canyon Mine plans to resume operations this summer, but we're doing everything we can to stop it.

Photo by Michael Collier

Photo by Eco Flight

The Petition

Even though the Secretary of the Interior issued a 20-year ban in 2012 on all new uranium claims around Grand Canyon National Park, mines that opened prior to that decision continue to operate based on outdated permits and obsolete environmental reviews, with plans of operations more than 30 years old.

The petition we are asking AZHG and Grand Canyon supporters to sign calls for the following changes to be made;

1. Time-limits on Mine Permits

Limit the duration of approved plans of operations to 20 years, with the option to apply for 20-year renewals.

2. Updated Environmental Review

Require supplemental review under the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Endangered Species Act as well as a new approval for any mining operation that has been inoperative for ten or more consecutive years.

3. Inspections and Full Disclosure

Require BLM and the Forest Service to regularly inspect mining operations, and mining operators to regularly gather and disclose information regarding the status and conditions of those operations, during non-operational periods.

4. Groundwater Monitoring and Real Deadlines

Impose deadlines for beginning and completing reclamation activities once a mining operation ceases and impose long-term monitoring requirements for surface water and groundwater quality.

Sign the Petition

If you wish to join the fight to keep our Canyon Grand, please sign the petition by clicking below!

Additional Action

The Grand Canyon Trust serves in four states to protect the entire Colorado Plateau.  Check out additional ways to help preserve air, water, land, and wildlife in this beautiful and fragile part of the world.