Mining the Grand Canyon Bill

H.R. 3155 “Mining the Grand Canyon for Uranium Bill”

H.R. 3155, “The Northern Arizona Mining Continuity Act of 2011”, or “Mining the Grand Canyon for Uranium Bill”, introduced by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), would strip the Department of Interior of its ability to prevent uranium mining near the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park is one of America’s greatest natural treasures, and the first National Monument, designated by Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. Recent run-ups in uranium prices caused a uranium mining boom to take place, with mining companies rushing to establish mining claims for uranium in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon under the antiquated 1982 Mining Law.

To prevent further damage from mining near the Park, Secretary Salazar recently used his authority to “withdraw” vulnerable areas from the old Mining Law. The Department of Interior’s decision to prevent uranium mining near Grand Canyon National Park is based upon sound science and on the ground information. However, some in Congress wish to allow unfettered uranium mining in the area and are attempting to block the protective withdrawal by passing a new bill. This would ignore the calls of great Americans, such as President Theodore Roosevelt, who upon seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time said, “Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American if he can travel at all should see.”