Land too important for more uranium mining

This letter appeared in the Arizona Daily Sun on July 15, 2018:

Re: “Sportsmen push to keep uranium mining ban near Grand Canyon” Arizona Daily Sun, 6/20/2018.

As an Arizonan and sportsmen, I heartily support the sportsmen’s groups who are calling on Secretary Zinke to uphold the current ban on uranium mining in the Grand Canyon.

The Kaibab Plateau and the Arizona Strip, a vast area north of the Grand Canyon, supports what is arguably the finest mule deer herd on the planet. Theodore Roosevelt recognized the unique value of the herd when he established the Grand Canyon Game Preserve in 1906. Today, it’s a hunter’s paradise not just for mule deer, but also bison, big horn sheep, and wild turkey.

Unfortunately, the area is once again being threatened by the prospect of new uranium mining. Here in Arizona, we know the dangers of uranium mining — just ask the Navajo Nation, which has suffered mightily from the lingering pollution caused by uranium mining. Some places are simply too valuable to open up to risky new uranium development and threaten one of the last unspoiled landscapes and finest hunting areas in the southwest.

I support the current ban on uranium mining around the Grand Canyon. I encourage you go to http://www.azwildlife.org/ and let Secretary Zinke know he should do the same.

JOHN HAMILL

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