What's at Stake If Trump Allows Uranium Mining Near Grand Canyon?

What's at Stake If Trump Allows Uranium Mining Near Grand Canyon?

In 2012, President Barack Obama’s administration put a 20-year freeze (called a mineral withdrawal) on all new mining claims in 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon. The reason for the withdrawal was simple: Scientists didn’t know enough about the complex hydrology of the area to say whether mining could cause irreparable damage. And with the entire Grand Canyon ecosystem and tourism industry at stake — not to mention the Havasupai who live in the park and the millions of people who live downstream from the Colorado River — there was overwhelming public support for the decision.

However, now there are signs that the moratorium may not survive Donald Trump’s presidency. His administration has spent the last year systematically trying to undermine his predecessor’s environmental policies, an agenda that has included reducing regulations and opening up vast areas of public land for mining, drilling, and fracking. As a result, many environmentalists fear for the park's future. — Miriam Wasser


In 2012, President Barack Obama’s administration put a 20-year freeze (called a mineral withdrawal) on all new mining claims in 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon. The reason for the withdrawal was simple: Scientists didn’t know enough about the complex hydrology of the area to say whether mining could cause irreparable damage. And with the entire Grand Canyon ecosystem and tourism industry at stake — not to mention the Havasupai who live in the park and the millions of people who live downstream from the Colorado River — there was overwhelming public support for the decision.

However, now there are signs that the moratorium may not survive Donald Trump’s presidency. His administration has spent the last year systematically trying to undermine his predecessor’s environmental policies, an agenda that has included reducing regulations and opening up vast areas of public land for mining, drilling, and fracking. As a result, many environmentalists fear for the park's future. — Miriam Wasser
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