For Immediate Release
Andy Bessler, Sierra Club, (928) 380-7808
Carletta Tilousi, Red Rock Foundation, (480) 488-6821
Taylor McKinnon, Center for Biological Diversity, (928) 310-6713
Roger Clark, Grand Canyon Trust, (928) 774-7488
Media Advisory: Grand Canyon Rally to Focus on Uranium Threats
A July 25-26 Gathering at the Sacred Red Butte Will Host Traditional Havasupai Ceremonies, Concerts, and Forums to Stop Uranium Mining Near the Grand Canyon and Havasupai Traditional Lands
GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Conservation groups today announced support of the Havasupai tribe
in its convening of a traditional gathering at Red Butte, a sacred site
just south of the Grand Canyon. The gathering will include prayers,
ceremonies, concerts, and forums focused on protecting the Grand Canyon
and traditional Havasupai lands from uranium mining. Members of the
public are invited to attend and add their voice in support of saying
no to uranium mining. The media are invited to attend the entire event,
which will include a press conference at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 25.
rally responds to sharp increases in new uranium mining claims,
exploration, and permitting to reopen old mines on public lands
surrounding Grand Canyon National Park. Uranium development threatens
to damage wildlife habitat, industrialize iconic wildlands, and
contaminate surface water and groundwater feeding regional seeps and
springs, including Havasu springs and waterfalls near the Supai Village
in Grand Canyon. The Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, and
Grand Canyon Trust have mounted legal challenges against new uranium
exploration in the area and have urged the Obama administration to
protect those lands, which are sacred to the Havasupai and other tribes.
Havasupai tribe and conservation groups have also been actively
opposing efforts of the Denison Mine Company to reopen the Canyon Mine,
an old mine located on the Kaibab National Forest near Red Butte, the
site of the upcoming rally. Denison is seeking groundwater aquifer
permits from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to operate
the Canyon Mine and extract uranium. The tribes’ sources for drinking
water, as well as sources for other communities along the South Rim and
Colorado River, lie directly downstream from the site of these proposed
This gathering will be held south of
the Grand Canyon National Park near Red Butte, a sacred site for the
Havasupai tribe. On Friday, members of the Havasupai tribe will hold a
private ceremony meant to use prayers to focus positive change towards
ending uranium mining. On Saturday, members of the public will be
invited to join the Havasupai at a free public concert at 6 p.m. with
performances by traditional Havasupai, Hopi, and Aztec dancers; bands
like Burning Sky, joined by John Densmore, drummer for the Doors;
Casper from Hopi Land; and Navajo songwriter Clarence Clearwater.
media are welcomed to attend at any time during the events on Saturday
and Sunday and a news conference will be held Saturday afternoon at 3
p.m. at the conclusion of the private Havasupai ceremony. A map to the
gathering can be found at www.arizona.sierraclub.org.
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