【petition】Grand Canyon: Radiation alert via Avaaz

Dear friends across the US,

My people have lived for centuries in the Grand Canyon, and I hope my children’s children will get to enjoy this incredible place. But crazy plans for new radioactive uranium mines around the Grand Canyon could make that impossible — poisoning the land and giving people cancer — unless we stop them.

Four years ago we got President Obama to temporarily halt new uranium mines above our canyon home. But now the industry is using every lever they can pull to get permission to dig on our ancestral land.

Obama can permanently protect the Grand Canyon by creating a National Monument around it — he just created three Monuments last week, ahead of the National Park Service turning 100 this year, and there’s a big push here in Arizona. But to overcome pressure from rich mining companies, we’ve got to make him hear from everyone around the country!
Uranium mining is nasty stuff. The open pits scar the face of the earth, wheezing a fine powder of radioactive dust into the air, potentially discharging toxic waste into nearby groundwater and rivers. You can’t see the dust, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t deadly for wildlife and people nearby. Just weeks ago, uranium pollution from existing mines in Arizona caused radioactivity levels to spike, sending regulators into alarm.

It’s almost unimaginable that something so vast could be threatened by something so small. But the Grand Canyon actually consists of a fragile ecosystem that’s already heavily taxed by overuse, logging, and mining, which got it named one of the “Most Endangered Historic Places” in the US this year by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

We’re not just fighting for a beautiful canyon — we’re fighting for our culture and our lives. It’s not surprising that my people, who are surrounded by thousands of uranium mine claims, also report more rare cancers than people living in other places.

My people, the Havasupai, have come together with ten neighboring tribes and created a proposal that would protect the Grand Canyon for good, and are working with allies in Congress to make it happen. We know Obama is taking his legacy on Federal land and with Indian tribes seriously, recently restoring Denali (formerly Mount McKinley) to its original name. And on Thursday he protected 1.8 million acres of of California desert.

The centennial for the National Park Service is the perfect opportunity to make a bold move and protect the Grand Canyon. If you join our call, we can help show the President that this is important to people near and far. Sign the petition, send it widely, and we’ll deliver it directly to the President’s National Parks team in DC:


Arizona continues to push for new uranium mines near Grand Canyon (The Arizona Republic)
Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva announces bill banning Uranium mining near Grand Canyon (Phoenix New Times)

Obama creates 3 new national monuments to protect 1.8 million acres of California desert (LA Times)
Arizona state legislators urge President Obama to protect the Grand Canyon’s watershed as a national monument (Sierra Club)

Grand Canyon named one of USA’s “Most Endangered Historic Places” (USA Today)

Grand Canyon at Risk: Uranium Mining Doesn’t Belong Near Our National Treasures (Environment America)

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