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I just finished reading the article “Council reaffirms its support of ban” where the Flagstaff City Council once again showed its ignorance by reaffirming a resolution to ban uranium mining in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon.

The council’s decision is based entirely on false “facts” and emotional hype presented by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Grand Canyon Trust, the Sierra Club, Congressman Raul Grijalva and others. I’m quite sure none of these individuals or organizations have any real-life experience when it comes to mining uranium.

I’m disappointed that industry representatives have never had the opportunity to address the council. Back in 2009 just before the ban was passed, a fact-finding meeting was held in Flagstaff. The meeting was very well attended and the environmental community had the opportunity to present their case first.

When the environmentalists finished and it was time for industry to present their case, Congressman Grijalva and his staff, the representatives of the environmental organizations, members of the local Indian tribes and most of the Flagstaff City Council got up and walked out so they could party and picnic on the South Rim. What an insult! These individuals were not interested in a thing industry had to say.

The Museum of Northern Arizona sponsored a forum last year where they thoroughly trashed the industry. I attended that meeting and was truly amazed by the misinformation that was disseminated and the overall ignorance of the crowd. A representative of the museum offered to sponsor a forum in support of uranium mining – guess what, it never happened!

I’ve offered to lead field trips on numerous occasions to examine naturally occurring uranium outcrops in the vicinity of Grand Canyon National Park. Not a single representative from Grand Canyon National Park, the U.S. Government, the Flagstaff City Council or any of the environmental groups responded. I guess wearing blinders is more important than seeking the truth.

A question for Flagstaff Councilman Jim McCarthy – thousands of tourists walk across radioactive ground at the Grand Canyon every day; a burger stand on the South Rim was built on radioactive ground and is serving hundreds of burgers every day. I haven’t heard of a single case of anyone getting sick from this. If you propose sealing ore hauling trucks to prevent uranium contamination in Flagstaff, perhaps we should close or “seal” the Grand Canyon because uranium might contaminate a tourist. The city council should not be passing resolutions about subjects they know nothing about, especially without having the courtesy to hear the views and get the facts from everyone involved.


Registered Professional Geologist


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