Tag Archives: uranium

Grand Canyon - AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011

Judge Upholds Mining Ban Near Canyon

U.S. District Judge David Campbell late yesterday denied a uranium industry motion to overturn the Obama administration’s ban on new uranium mining on 1 million acres near the Grand Canyon. The ban was adopted January 2012 to protect the Grand Canyon’s watersheds. The withdrawal prohibits new mining claims and development on old claims that lack “valid existing rights” to mine.

“It’s a great day for the Grand Canyon, and for rivers, wildlife, and communities across the West,” said Ted Zukoski of Earthjustice, one the attorneys representing conservation groups and the Havasupai tribe in the case. “The uranium industry was hoping to cripple the Interior Department’s ability to temporarily protect lands from destructive mining. Today’s opinion upholds the Interior Department’s authority to take such protective measures.”

The National Mining Association, Nuclear Energy Institute, Northwest Mining Association and others last year filed four lawsuits challenging the withdrawal and the underlying federal authority to enact any withdrawals larger than 5,000 acres. The Havasupai tribe and conservation groups intervened to uphold both.

“Today’s decision upheld the government’s important role in preventing private profiteers from poisoning public lands under the authority of an antiquated mining law,” said Grand Canyon Trust’s Roger Clark. “We look forward to the court’s upholding of other federal responsibilities to protect the Grand Canyon.”

Judge Campbell denied industry’s motion to overturn the withdrawal and the underlying federal authority to enact withdrawals larger than 5,000 acres. The industry groups had claimed that the presence of an unconstitutional legislative veto in the subsection that contains the Interior Secretary’s authority to withdraw land parcels larger than 5,000 acres means that the Interior Secretary had no authority at all to withdraw such lands. The judge ruled — as the government, Havasupai tribe and conservation groups had argued — that the unconstitutional veto provision could be “severed” from the law without affecting the Grand Canyon’s watershed withdrawal or the Interior Department’s general authority to protect such lands.

“Today’s ruling protects not only the Grand Canyon’s watershed, but millions of acres of other public land that have been withdrawn to protect natural values from destructive mining,” said Taylor McKinnon with the Center for Biological Diversity. “By upholding the federal withdrawal authority, today’s ruling is good news for public lands, water and wildlife.”

If successful, the uranium industry’s argument would have eliminated the Interior Secretary’s authority to protect large tracts of public lands from mining. Over the last five years, the secretary has used his authority to “withdraw” areas greater than 5,000 acres for up to 20 years to protect lands all across the West. Examples include nearly a half-million acres within national wildlife refuges; habitat for desert tortoises and pronghorns as well as archeological treasures in Nevada; habitat protecting the largest wintering Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep herd in North America (on Wyoming’s Whiskey Mountain); recreational areas in Washington and Wyoming; forests in Oregon; and special features like the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

“Currently, there are limited tools to protect sensitive public lands and wildlife from harmful uranium mining — this is one of them,” said Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter. “Today’s decision will mean the Grand Canyon watershed and other withdrawn lands throughout the West will continue to be protected from new mining claims.”

The court’s decision does not end the four industry lawsuits challenging the Grand Canyon mineral withdrawal decision. Industry can still raise arguments that Interior Secretary Salazar failed to properly consider environmental and economic impacts of the withdrawal. Those issues are likely to be briefed this spring.

centennial top 10, AZ Big Media

10 Top Discoveries In Arizona

10 Top Discoveries in Arizona

There are many mysteries about Arizona. Before it was officially established as the 48th state in 1912, and far before colonization, there was life here. Archaeologists and investigators have been discovering ancient life and civilizations across the state, telling stories about the land before it became what it is today — as well as helping us learn about our potential future. Here are 10 of the top discoveries made that have changed Arizona as well as the world that we know.

10.

Ruins of 10 Villages Found — 1924

Byron Cummings, a professor of anthropology at University of Arizona, and his students discovered villages over 1,000 years old near Tucson. Read More >>

Hills by squeaks2569

9.

700-Year-Old Relic Found — June 22, 1965

21-year-old Lynda Bird Johnson, President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s daughter, helped uncover remains in eastern Arizona during a two-week vacation study at the University of Arizona archaeological camp on the Fort Apache reservation. Read More >>

8.

20,000-Year-Old Butcher Shop — 1931

The discovery of large elephant-like mammoth bones in Yuma County, hacked with flint knives, indicates that America has been inhabited for at least 20,000 years. Dr. Harold J. Cook of the Cook museum of natural history explains this and the significance to the finding. Read More >>

Columbian Mammoth by edenpictures

7.

Hohokam Village of Pueblo Grande — 1920s

The site which can be viewed by the public at the Pueblo Grand Museum, includes an 800-year-old platform mound — where ancient buildings were constructed — and excavated prehistoric ballcourt. The central part of what is now the museum was first preserved in 1924. Read More >>

6.

Rich Uranium Ore Found — April 7, 1950

Three new high-grade uranium minerals — which were used in building atomic bombs — were reported by the Geological Survey. The minerals were discovered by Dr. Charles A. Anderson in the Hillside Mine in Yavapai County. Read More >>

Uranium by Marcin Wichary

5.

Columbian Mammoth Found — 2005

Now known as Tuskers, the remains of a Columbian Mammoth were discovered in a construction site when one of the workers found the first cervical membrane of the mammoth. The area located in Gilbert is now known as Discovery Park as a result. Read More >>

4.

Dinosaur Tracks Found — 1929

It was reported to be one of the most important discoveries of dinosaur tracks, with a group of 300. They were found near Tuba City and the largest print was found to be nine inches long. Visitors are now invited to walk where these ancient reptiles did. Read More >>

Dinosaur Tracks by Dave Boyer

3.

Winona Meteorite — 1928

This meteorite was found near the ruins of the prehistoric Elden pueblo. It was in a stone cist on the ancient burial ground, suggesting that the people of the area treated it like a living being and buried it after witnessing it fall. Read More >>

2.

Oldest Dinosaur Found — 1985

A 200-pound, plant-eating creature’s remains were discovered in the Petrified Forest by paleontologist Robert Long. The almost-intact skeleton was 225 million years old, four million years older than any previous dinosaur fossil discovered at the time. Read More >>

Dinosaur by Ivan Walsh

1.

Las Capas Canals — 1998-2009

Irrigation canals built as early as 1200 B.C. were discovered in the Tucson area. They are the oldest known canals north of central Mexico. This site has revealed much about ancient irrigation and agriculture. Read More >>