Take Action to Protect Bears Ears – Sept. 10 Deadline
The Native American Rights Fund, representing the Hopi Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe filed a lawsuit on December 4, 2017, to protect Bears Ears National Monument from President Trump’s illegal attempt to revoke and replace the monument’s protections. That suit is paused while we wait for the judge to decide in which court it will be heard. However, actions that threaten these sacred lands continue.
Despite the fact that Trump’s action is in violation of the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution and currently under scrutiny by the courts, the Trump administration is rushing through the planning stages for the illegal monument changes. The sooner that the new boundaries are established, the sooner that mining can begin.
At the same time, at the request of two uranium mining companies, the U.S. Department of Commerce is considering asking President Trump to impose uranium mining quotas. In a saturated uranium market where we already have enough uranium to meet defense needs through 2060 and low demand has led to low prices, the quotas would artificially boost prices and create much greater interest in mining on public lands. With mining claims already in place on the lands protected by the original Bears Ears National Monument, a uranium quota and subsequent higher prices could have a direct effect. Artificially inflated prices would make these mining claims more valuable.
The Department of Commerce has opened the proposed quotas to public comment until September 10. Please take action and urge them not to recommend these quotas. Some concerns to consider as you write your comment:
- The effect on utilities with nuclear plants, which would be affected by higher prices and could drive up the cost of electricity.
- The low demand for uranium and stockpiles that already are in place in the United States.
- The adverse environmental and economic impact of increased uranium mining on local economies and tourism.
Thank you for taking action to protect our public lands and a region that is so essentially important to Indian Country against a blatantly attempt by uranium suppliers to increase their profits.