The leaders of Arizona’s northwestern-most county are asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to reconsider the current ban on uranium-mining near the Grand Canyon.
On Monday, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a letter to be sent to Zinke in which they argue that the ban is costing the county money. In 2012, then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar withdrew from uranium-mining some 1 million acres of public lands north of the Colorado River in what is known as the Arizona Strip. Salazar cited concerns about possible contamination of springs, waterways, and public drinking water as the reason for the 20-year moratorium. But in their letter, the county supervisors say the Grand Canyon would not suffer because of mining. They write, “Uranium is useful in many ways,” and say mining would have brought nearly $29 billion into the local economy over four decades. They ask Zinke to start a process to withdraw the ban.