Archive for the ‘uranium’ Category

from HaulNo.org

Energy Fuels Inc. is planning to poison the Grand Canyon including the precious Colorado River. Are we going to let our future be poisoned for thousands of generations by this greedy corporation? We say, “Haul no!”

#HaulNo! is an awareness & action tour that is being planned for Spring 2017 throughout Northern Arizona and Southern Utah along the proposed uranium haul route from Energy Fuel’s Canyon Mine to its White Mesa Mill. Volunteers from organizations such as Diné No Nukes, Clean Up The Mines, Grand Canyon Trust, and concerned community members have joined forces to spread awareness and empower action to ensure that the Grand Canyon, sacred sites, precious water, and our communities are safeguarded from the deadly and toxic threat of uranium contamination.

Click here to read more…

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(Don’t miss the coverage of last year’s event from Unicorn Riot!)

“The whole earth is in jail and we’re plotting this incredible jailbreak.”

Online fundraiser live!

We are very happy to announce that, for the 8th year running, the Wild Roots Feral Futures (WRFF) eco-defense, direct action, and rewilding encampment will take place in the forests of Southwest Colorado this coming June 18-26, 2016 (exact location to be announced). WRFF is an informal, completely free and non-commercial, and loosely organized camp-out operating on (less than a) shoe-string budget, formed entirely off of donated, scavenged, or liberated supplies and sustained through 100% volunteer effort. Though we foster a collective communality and pool resources, we also encourage general self-sufficiency, which lightens the burden on communal supplies, and which we find to be the very source and foundation of true mutual sharing and abundance.

We would like to begin by acknowledging that Wild Roots Feral Futures takes place on occupied/stolen indigenous territory, primarily of the Nuutsiu (occasionally spelled Nuciu or Nuchu, aka “Ute”) people, as well as Diné [“Navajo”], Apache, and others. In recognition of this reality and as a first step in confronting it, we seek to establish proactive working relationships with those whose stolen land we gather upon, and open the space we temporarily gather in to the centering and amplification of indigenous voices and struggles. Our understanding is that any community of resistance that doesn’t center the voices of indigenous people and put their leadership in the forefront is a movement that is part of the problem. [Read more here…]

We would like to invite groups and individuals engaged in struggles against the destruction of the Earth (and indeed all interconnected forms of oppression) to join us and share your stories, lessons, skills, and whatever else you may have to offer. In this spirit we would like to reach out to frontline community members, local environmental groups, coalitions, and alliances everywhere, as well as more readily recognizable groups like Earth First!, Rising Tide North America, and others to come collaborate on the future of radical environmentalism and eco-defense in our bio-regions and beyond.

We would also like to reach out to groups like EF!, RTNA, and the Ruckus Society (as well as other groups and individuals) in search of trainers and workshop facilitators who are willing to dedicate themselves to attending Wild Roots Feral Futures and sharing their skills and knowledge (in a setting that lacks the financial infrastructure to compensate them as they may have come to expect from other, more well-funded groups and events). We are specifically seeking direct action, blockade, tri-pod, and tree climbing/sitting trainers (as well as gear/supplies).

Regarding the rewilding and ancestral earth skills component of WRFF, we would like to extend a similar invitation to folks with skills, knowledge, talent, or specialization in these areas to join us in the facilitation of workshops and skill shares such as fire making, shelter building, edible and medicinal plants, stalking awareness, tool & implement making, etc. We are also seeking folks with less “ancestral” outdoor survival skills such as orienteering and navigation, etc.

Daily camp life, along with workshops, skill shares, great food, friends, and music, will also include the volunteer labor necessary to camp maintenance. Please come prepared to pitch in and contribute to the workload, according to your abilities. We encourage folks who would like to plug in further to show up a few days before the official start of the event to begin set-up and stay a few days after the official end to help clean up.

Site scouting will continue until early June, at which point scouts and other organizers will rendezvous, report-back their scouting recon, and come to a consensus regarding a site location. We are also planning on choosing a secondary, back-up site location as a contingency plan for various potential scenarios. Email us for more info on getting involved with scouting and site selection processes.

WRFF is timed to take place before the Earth First! Round River Rendezvous, allowing eco-defenders to travel from one to the other. Thus we encourage the formation of a caravan from WRFF to the EF! RRR (caravans and ride shares can be coordinated through our message board at feralfutures.proboards.com.

We are currently accepting donations in the form of supplies and/or monetary contributions. Please email us for details.

Please forward this call widely, spread the word, and stay tuned for more updates!

For The Wild,

~The Wild Roots Feral Futures organizers’ collective

Email: feralfutures(at)riseup(dot)net

lynx_rendezvousimagesmall squared

For the sake of comprehensiveness, we are including below our original call-out as used in years past, which is a living document, changing and evolving as we ourselves learn and grow:

We are looking for folks of all sorts to join us and help facilitate workshops, talks, discussions, skill shares, direct action and medic trainings, wild food walks, conflict transformation, and much more! We will be focusing on many things, including but by no means limited to anarchist theory and praxis, unpacking privilege, decolonization, rewilding, ancestral skills, indigenous solidarity, direct action, forest defense, earth liberation, animal liberation, security culture, civil disobedience, hand to hand combat, survival skills, evasion tactics, green anarchism, anti-civ, post-civ, star watching and navigation, maps and orienteering, shelter building, permaculture, and whatever YOU care to bring and provide. But we need everyone’s help to make this as safe, positive, and productive a space as it can be. Our own knowledge, skills, and capacities are limited. We need YOUR help!

(more…)

Nihígaal béé Íina: Our Journey For Existence

The Navajo Nation sits on one of the richest energy corridors in the United States, and for close to a century, we have been on the frontline on resource colonization to provide cheap energy and water to the cities in the Southwest. Since the 1920’s, our land and people have been sacrificed for energy extraction for oil, gas, uranium, and coal, which is poisoning our land, water, air, and people. Despite being at the forefront of energy extraction, our people do not see its benefits; approximately 1/4 of our people today live without electricity and running water on the Navajo Nation, while our economy functions at an unemployment rate of about 60%, and our young people are leaving due to lack of opportunity. Now our people and land are facing the onset fracking and a proposed pipeline, which will transport crude oil through 130 miles in Dinétah, the emergence place of our people, in the name of “economic development”.

As young Diné people, we realize that we can’t continue on like this. We need clean air, water, and a viable lifeway for our people and for all human beings. In facing this crisis of our future, the idea of walking to raise awareness was born.

We are walking to honor the legacy of our ancestors during Hwééldi, who, a 150 years ago, were forced to walk hundreds of miles in the winter during away from our homelands in the winter to be imprisoned for four years in the name of American colonization. During this time of great suffering, our ancestors thought of our homeland, mountains, and prayed that future generations would carry on our way of life. It is in their memory and out of this profound love for the land that we are walking. It is time to heal from the legacy and trauma of colonization that we having been living under for too long.

It is our intention to walk throughout the Navajo Nation to document both the beauty of land and people and how this is being desecrated by resource extraction. We will do this through a social media campaign and a documentary films. Along our route, we will visit communities to listen to the issues our people are facing and share information about the state of water, air, land, and health, as our communities often have very little access to media or information about these issues. Our hope is that we can help to inspire our people to become engage in the care our land, air, and water, and culture so that we will have a future as Diné.

On January 6, 2015, we will start from the fireplace and doorway of Diné Bikéyah, at Dził Nahodiłii (Huerfano, NM) and Ch’ool’i’i , the emergence place of our people, which is threatened by fracking. There are over 400 proposed drill sites and within the past couple months over 100 have been started in the region. From there we will walk to communities through the Eastern Agency, and then to Tsoodzil (Mt. Taylor, Grants, NM) which also threaten by uranium mining. This first leg of our journey will be nearly 300 miles, and will take us approximately 3 weeks.

In the seasons to come, we will extend our walk to the other mountains and regions of Diné Bikéyah. To Doo’o’k’osliid (San Francisco Peak, Flagstaff, AZ) in the Spring, the Dibé Ntsáá (Hesperus, CO) in the Summer, and in the fall we will go all the way to Sisnajiní (Blanca Peak, Alamosa, CO). All combined, we will be walking over 1000 miles in 2015.

We are asking for support to cover the expenses of this journey through 2015 including gear, food, media/outreach and educational materials.

Gear – It is our intention to use as little fossil fuels as possible during our journey, so we want to carry as much as possible, therefore we are asking for funding for packs and lightweight gear including sleeping bags, tents, etc… We will also be facing extreme weather during this walk, so funding will also be used for jackets, thermals, and other cold/extreme weather clothing. We also will be needing socks, good shoes, and first aid supplies to keep us going.

Food – food to feed our walkers daily and our support crew.

Media/Outreach – a major component of this walk is to raise awareness about the issues we are facing and document the impacts of resource colonization, so we need funding for media equipment and too get the word out via internet, newspaper, radio, and television.

Educational Materials – this is to cover the expense of printing materials and documents to distribute to communities as we pass through. We want to share as much information as possible

Axhé’hee! Thank you for your support!

Fundraiser | Facebook

nihigaalbeeiina [at] gmail [dot] com

Spill at Cotter Mill lets loose up to 9,000 gallons of toxic water

Contamination allegedly “restricted to Cotter property”

By Shelby Kinney-Lang, Colorado Independent

As much as 9,000 gallons of uranium-contaminated water from underground pipes spilled onto Cotter property south of Cañon City on Tuesday, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Officials say no members of the public have so far been exposed to the spill.

Cotter Corporation informed the health department of the leaking pipes on Tuesday in a “verbal report” delivered over the phone. No health department personnel have inspected the spill site, as yet, and no formal report has yet been filed. Cotter said it will let the contaminated ground dry before excavating and repairing the pipe.

From the beginning of its operations in 1958, Cotter’s uranium mill site near Cañon City has visited a plague of leaks, spills and contamination to the area. The company has wracked up a long series of fines. Uranium mining is a dirty business that frequently results in environmental degradation and risks to public safety. In the past, government oversight of the Cotter property has been lax, turning on self reporting by the company. Community groups have been frustrated by the what they characterize as the meager information Cotter releases on its operations.

“We’ve got a company looking to walk away from a problem without actually cleaning it up,” said Travis E. Stills, an energy and conservation lawyer who has been working with community groups in Cañon City since the mid-2000s. Stills represents Colorado Citizens Against Toxic Waste on several ongoing state open records suits that seek information that passed between Cotter, the state health department and the Environmental Protection Agency concerning the uranium mill and the Lincoln Park Superfund Site, but which health department withheld from public review.

Uranium is extraordinarily toxic. The health department reports that if the pipe did in fact leak 9,000 gallons, the concentration in the water of uranium would be 834 micrograms per liter and the concentration of molybdenum, also a toxic chemical, would be 2,018 micrograms per liter. For perspective, the EPA places the health safety level of uranium at 30 micrograms per liter.

“This is water that they’ve sucked out of the ground, and they’re pumping back to evaporate,” said the health department’s Edgar Ethington.

In fact, he said, the contamination is not new. The leak comes in a pipe used to pump contaminated water from the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) Dam pumpback to ponds on the Cotter property where the contamination will slowly return to solid form. He made the release sound simple.

“They got a hole in the pipe and it leaked back into the ground,” he said.
Warren Smith, community involvement manager in the Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division of the department, insisted there was no danger to public health.

“There is no public health risk here, because there is no exposure to the public,” Smith said. “Health risk depends on two factors: the release and exposure. If there’s no receptor to be exposed to it, where’s the risk?”

Smith said that the health department performs regular inspections of the Cotter site. The most recent was a September inspection. Because the pipe was buried, Smith said it would be a stretch to “characterize it as an [inspection] oversight.”

Smith said it would be a serious lapse if Cotter had failed to report the spill. Inspections don’t occur often enough for the state to have happened upon the spill any time soon.

“A lot of this is performance based,” Ethington said. “You expect a breakdown from time to time. You just have to make sure the breakdown does not result in a release that gets off-site.”

The Cotter site is not operational. Most of the buildings have been demolished. Yet spills are a regular occurence. The process of closing the mill has been in the works for years, as community groups, the EPA, and Cotter see-saw through negotiations on what the cleanup will look like. That’s why the trickling information from Cotter frustrates interested locals.

“We should be getting immediate, actionable, good information on the agency’s website so the community can understand what’s going on,” said Stills. “We keep hearing back from the CDPHE that there is no problem there, and we can just leave the place and go on, without cleaning up the ground water, and without doing a full cleanup of the site.”

Stills said the community group in Cañon is working “to get some real clean-up, that doesn’t allow General Atomic, which owns Cotter, to walk away and leave a contaminated neighborhood in its wake.”

Paradox Valley uranium mill on hold

Posted: September 8, 2013 by earthfirstdurango in environmental justice, mining, uranium
Tags: ,
The proposed Piñon Ridge uranium mill would sit on the flat land in the foreground in this view of the Paradox Valley, in between Naturita and the hamlet of Paradox, in Montrose County.

The proposed Piñon Ridge uranium mill would sit on the flat land in the foreground in this view of the Paradox Valley, in between Naturita and the hamlet of Paradox, in Montrose County.

Some analysts doubt it will ever be built

By Joe Hanel, The Durango Herald

A proposed uranium mill in Southwest Colorado will not be built unless there is an unexpected turnaround in the price of uranium, the president of the company that is developing the mill said Friday in a conference call with investors.

Energy Fuels Resources Inc. will keep holding its license to build the Piñon Ridge uranium mill in the Paradox Valley of Montrose County, but it has no plans to act on the license, said President and CEO Stephen Antony.

“We intend to keep that license in a current, valid form, but not move on construction of the mill until market conditions support it,” Antony said.

The statement is old news to uranium experts, but it comes as a surprise to some Coloradans.

The company’s Piñon Ridge website says, “Energy Fuels anticipates starting construction in late 2012 or 2013.” And its plan on file with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment calls for the mill west of Naturita to be operational by early 2017, with construction beginning in 2015.

Warren Smith, a community involvement manager for the state health department, said Energy Fuels has not contacted his department with any plans to deviate from the schedule it has submitted. The license is valid for five years.

But uranium market analysts have known since Energy Fuels bought the White Mesa uranium mill in Utah that the company has put Piñon Ridge on the back burner. In fact, the company said so itself in a little-noticed statement in December 2012. It came in an annual report filed with financial regulators in Canada, where Energy Fuels is incorporated.

From Al Jazeera, by The Stream Team:

The vast reserves of uranium under Navajo Land have shaped the experiences of generations of Navajo, from the miners who were first employed to extract and refine the yellow ore to the families who still live with radioactive waste sites in their backyards. Approximately four million tons of uranium ore were extracted on Navajo Land between 1944 and 1986, and the Navajo people are still paying a steep price.

The Navajo Nation spans the Four Corners area, where the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado meet. When the US Atomic Energy Commission announced in 1948 that it would buy all uranium mined in the country, private corporations set up thousands of mines on Navajo Land.

Click here to read more…

Protect Mt. Taylor: No Uranium Mining On Sacred Lands!

From the Albuquerque Journal:

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A uranium mining company seeking a mineral lease on state land in northwestern Arizona could have a hard time transporting the ore off-site because of the Navajo Nation’s objections to an industry that left a legacy of death and disease among tribal members.

The section of land in Coconino County is surrounded by the Navajo Nation’s Big Boquillas Ranch. The tribe has said it will not grant Wate Mining Company LLC permission to drive commercial trucks filled with chunks of uranium ore across its land to be processed at a milling site in Blanding, Utah.

The Navajo Nation was the site of extensive uranium mining for weapons during the Cold War. Although most of the physical hazards, including open mine shafts, have been fixed at hundreds of sites, concerns of radiation hazards remain.

The tribe banned uranium mining on its lands in 2005, and last year passed a law governing the transport of radioactive substances over its land. The ranch itself is not part of the reservation, although the Navajo Nation owns it.

“Given the (Navajo) Nation’s history with uranium mining, it is the nation’s intent to deny access to the land for the purpose of prospecting for or mining of uranium,” officials from the Navajo Department of Justice wrote in response to the mineral lease application.

The parcel of state land is in a checkerboard area of Arizona, east of the Hualapai reservation and south of the Havasupai reservation and Grand Canyon National Park. Tribal officials and the park superintendent have said any mining would threaten nearby water sources, though Wate Mining disputes that.

VANE Minerals spokesman Kris Hefton said mining would provide dozens of jobs in the remote area. VANE Minerals formed Wate Mining with Uranium One Exploration U.S.A. Inc.

The state parcel is reached by traveling on Interstate 40 to Seligman, then northwest on US 66 before hitting Indian Route 18. The company said it would need to construct a mile of road and improve some existing ranch roads to haul uranium ore.

Documents filed with the Arizona State Land Department indicate Wate Mining had requested approval from the Navajo Nation for the proposed access route, but the tribe said it has nothing on record showing that, nor does the state have access to the property.

“We have no intention of allowing them to cross Navajo lands unless they have appropriate access rights,” Navajo Deputy Attorney General Dana Bobroff said in an email.

Hefton declined to comment on road access and whether the Navajo Nation’s stance would impede the project.

Land Department spokesman Bill Boyd said it’s up to the applicant to secure whatever rights it needs to access neighboring, non-state trust lands. The parcel that Wate Mining is seeking to mine traditionally had been leased for grazing, Boyd said.

Wate Mining’s proposal would have seven trucks per day hauling uranium ore from the mine site over 1.5 years. The mine would operate five days per week, extracting 70,000 tons of ore that would produce 1.1 million pounds of processed uranium, or yellow cake.

Aside from a mineral lease, the company also needs permits from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

“We’d like to get this started as soon as we can,” Hefton said.

The “Canyon” uranium mine, seen here in the foreground, with Grand Canyon National Park six miles to its north. Photo by Bruce Gordon, Ecoflight.

Forest Service OKs Uranium Mining Without Tribal Consultation or Update to 27-year-old Environmental Review

From The Center for Biological Diversity:

(March 7, 2013) GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK— The Havasupai tribe and three conservation groups today sued the U.S. Forest Service over its decision to allow Energy Fuels Resources, Inc. to begin operating a uranium mine near Grand Canyon National Park without initiating or completing formal tribal consultations and without updating an outdated 1986 federal environmental review. The Canyon Mine threatens cultural values, wildlife and endangered species and increases the risk of soil pollution and pollution and depletion of groundwater feeding springs and wells in and near Grand Canyon. The lawsuit alleges violations of environmental, mining, public land and historic preservation laws.

“We regret that the Forest Service is not protecting our sacred site in the Red Butte Traditional Cultural Property from destruction by uranium mining,” said Don Watahomigie, chairman of the Havasupai tribe. “The Havasupai are returning to the federal courts to protect our people, our religion and our water.”

The mine is located within the boundaries of the Red Butte Traditional Cultural Property, which the Forest Service designated in 2010 for its critical religious and cultural importance to several tribes, especially Havasupai. As a “traditional cultural property,” Red Butte is eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. The lawsuit alleges that the Forest Service violated the National Historic Preservation Act by failing to undertake any process, as required by the Act, to consult with interested tribes to determine how the adverse impacts of the mine on Red Butte could be avoided or mitigated prior to approving mining.

“The Forest Service should be protecting the Grand Canyon instead of shielding the uranium industry’s dangerous plans from public, tribal, environmental and scientific scrutiny,” said Taylor McKinnon with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Sacrificing water, culture and wildlife for the uranium industry was a bad idea in 1986, doing so now while ignoring 27 years of new information is absurd.”

The mine falls within the 1-million-acre “mineral withdrawal” approved by the Obama administration in January 2012 to protect Grand Canyon’s watershed from new uranium mining impacts. The withdrawal prohibits new mining claims and mine development on old claims lacking “valid existing rights” to mine. In April 2012, the Forest Service made a determination that there were “valid existing rights” for the Canyon mine, and in June it issued a report trying to explain its decision to allow the mine to open without updating the 27-year-old environmental review.

“After 27 years, the Forest Service is still ignoring the significant and harmful impacts of this proposed uranium mine, so near Grand Canyon and Red Butte, and in the heart of an area that provides important wildlife habitat,” said Sandy Bahr, chapter director for Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter. “The agency should be a steward of these lands and their resources, not a broker for the uranium mining industry.”

The lawsuit also alleges that the Forest Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act for failing to conduct a “supplemental environmental impact statement” to analyze changes in the planned mining and new science and circumstances that have arisen since the mine’s 1986 environmental impact statement. Those include the 2010 designation of the Red Butte Traditional Cultural Property, reintroduction of the endangered California condor, and formal and informal authorizations. Scientific studies published since 1986 demonstrate the potential for rapid aquifer recharge and connectivity between perched and deep aquifers and regional springs and creeks.

“Failure to consider new, comprehensive groundwater studies done during the 1990s for the region south of Grand Canyon is unconscionable,” said Roger Clark of the Grand Canyon Trust. “Why would the Forest Service intentionally ignore information that could prevent permanent harm to springs, which are the sole source of water for Havasupai people and lifeblood for Grand Canyon plants, animals and hikers?”

Plaintiffs in today’s suit include the Havasupai Tribe, Grand Canyon Trust, Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club. The suit seeks injunctive relief ceasing all mine operations and enjoining the Forest Service from authorizing or allowing any further mining related activities at the Canyon Mine site pending compliance with the law.

To view a copy of today’s complaint, click here.

Background

The Canyon Mine is located on the Kaibab National Forest six miles south of Grand Canyon National Park. The mine’s original approval in 1986 was the subject of protests and lawsuits by the Havasupai tribe and others objecting to potential uranium mining impacts on regional groundwater, springs, creeks, ecosystems and cultural values associated with Red Butte. Above-ground infrastructure was built in the early 1990s but a crash in uranium prices caused the mine’s closure in 1992 before the shaft or ore bodies could be excavated. Pre-mining exploratory drilling drained groundwater beneath the mine site, eliminating an estimated 1.3 million gallons per year from the region’s springs that are fed by groundwater. A 2010 U.S. Geological Survey report noted that past samples of groundwater beneath the mine exhibited dissolved uranium concentrations in excess of EPA drinking water standards. Groundwater threatened by the mine feeds municipal wells and seeps and springs in Grand Canyon, including Havasu Springs and Havasu Creek. Aquifer Protection Permits issued for the mine by Arizona Department of Environmental Quality do not require monitoring of deep aquifers and do not include remediation plans or bonding to correct deep aquifer contamination. Originally owned by Energy Fuels Nuclear, the mine was purchased by Denison Mines in 1997 and by Energy Fuels Resources Inc., which currently operates the mine, in 2012.

no uraniumUranium-mining concerns seek Navajo Nation projects

SHIPROCK, N.M. – Uranium-mining companies are showing signs of renewed interest in the Navajo Nation.

The Daily Times of Farmington reported that several companies during the past year have addressed the tribe, seeking permission to once again mine the tribe’s uranium-rich land.

The history of uranium in the area, however, is proving an obstacle.

“As you can guess, there is opposition. There’s no doubt about that,” said Albuquerque’s Mat Leuras, vice president of corporate development for Uranium Resources Inc.

In addition, several environmental studies have suggested that elevated levels of uranium in and around the mines caused health problems for the people working in and living around them.

The Navajo Nation sits on more than 70 million tons of naturally occurring uranium, a radioactive ore.

Uranium mining companies maintain that history will not repeat itself, especially since they are using advanced technologies and take more precautions.

The tribe still is reeling from the nearly 30 years that the federal government allowed uranium mining on and around the Navajo Nation. Between the late 1940s and the mid-1980s, about four million tons of uranium were extracted from the Navajo Nation.

At the time, uranium was mined to produce nuclear weapons for World War II and the Cold War.

The ore was removed via conventional underground mining, a practice that allowed uranium to seep into the land and water in the surrounding area.

“The industry’s learned its lesson,” Leuras said.

While the companies will not be able to extract the uranium within tribal boundaries, they might be able to get at the uranium deposits near them.

The tribe banned uranium mining on its land in 2005, though federal government has jurisdiction on Navajo Trust Land and in the “checkerboard” of Indian and non-Indian land. The trust land is land generally saved for the tribe, and the checkerboard is intermixed federal, state and tribal ownership.

Many of the companies already have secured mineral rights in the checkerboard area.

Uranium companies such as Uranium Resources Inc., Strathmore Minerals Corp., Rio Grande Resources and Laramide Resources Ltd. all have investments around the reservation boundaries. In some instances, however, the companies do need access on the Navajo Nation just to get to their projects.

Also see:  Uranium miners lobby Navajo for renewed access in New Mexico

Uranium mill appeal is denied

DENVER – An environmental group has lost its request for the state to deny a license for a proposed uranium mill in southwestern Colorado.

The Denver Post reported that Colorado health department director Chris Urbina on Thursday denied the appeal by Sheep Mountain Alliance but said the group’s testimony will be considered as officials decide whether to grant Energy Fuels a radioactive materials license for the mill.

The health department originally issued a radioactive materials license in 2011 for the company’s proposed Piñon Ridge uranium and vanadium mill near Nucla, but after legal challenges, it was forced to hold full public hearings on the issue last year. Sheep Mountain Alliance wanted health officials to deny a license after the hearings.

A final decision about the license is expected in April.

A year ago, Energy Fuels bought the U.S. assets of its rival Denison Mines, which includes an operational uranium mill in Southeast Utah.

Greetings from Black Mesa Indigenous Support,

We are writing to ask for support for an amazing event this October. The Big Mountain Survival School Remembrance Gathering will be held the 6th and 7th of October. This is an anniversary of sorts; it’s been 20 years since the last Sovereign Dineh Nation (SDN) Survival School.  Funds/supplies are being raised with the intention of this being a NEW beginning.

Long time resisters from Big Mountain, Jeddito, Sanders, Flagstaff, and New Mexico are collaborating with Martha Bourke, a 25 year+ supporter to Remember and Reinvigorate by holding a Survival School gathering. Martha has been involved first through the Big Mountain Support Group that published “Big Mountain News,” ran caravans to two Spring Survival Gatherings, coordinated the Weaving for Freedom Project, and was a core facilitator for the SDN Survival School from ’89-’92, as well as assisting with two delegations to the Peabody shareholders meetings.

Several BMIS collective members plan on playing a support role at the gathering this October and want to encourage our network to read Martha Bourke’s inspiring letter and account of Survival School and make a donation with Survival School in the bylines.

“The SDN survival school was a traditional and contemporary arts and crafts day camp that was held for several weeks each summer 1989 – 1992 at the SDN-Big Mountain Survival Camp / Resistance Outpost.  We served 50+ children (including providing shuttle, snacks etc.), creating a space where families from “both sides of the fence” could experience multi-generational recreation in a culturally supportive context which provided respite from the stresses and divisions created by relocation policies. As well as develop opportunities where families on the Land, visiting family members and supporters could experience positive outcomes in the face of what continues to be the slow grind of Genocide.”

“A young woman, a mom herself now who saw me at this year’s Big Mountain Sundance, was reminiscing and told me, “I’ve never tasted a cheese sandwich as good as the ones you made at Survival School.”  I hugged her close and said, “Sweetheart, it WASN”T the sandwich…it was the GOOD feelings!”  In the few weeks that I have been working on this, here are some comments from people who participated as children between 1989 and 1992….

“Awee, I remember those times.. fun crafts and pottery making… my all time favorite was making masks.. n decorating em… also candle making on the roof of the underground storage room….”

“I think this might have been my initial inspiration for community based youth programs and youth empowerment. FUN TIMES!”

This year while most will be enjoying a three-day weekend in “honor” of Columbus…let us come together to Reactivate, Revitalize, Rededicate the sovereign oriented efforts of Dineh land-base learning.
 
Support we are looking for:

  • Funds -for foods, art supplies, to haul firewood & water, rent a generator, canvas shelter,
  • Materials – Art supplies in general and specifically, watercolors, brushes, ass’t paper, beads, bath towels and straw mats for felting,
  • Instructors / Helpers – Folks who have a traditional or contemporary art/ craft/ skill to share either half or full day projects geared towards elementary, middle school and youths.
  •  A gifted elementary art instructor (who has a history on the land) is interested in doing watercolors and printmaking; paper and t-shirts. Community members from Black Mesa have expressed interest in sharing herbal knowledge and felting and beading.
  • Audio/Visual Assistance -We want someone to manage and setup for an outdoor movie night, or either taking complete responsibility or working with me (so I can know what is needed and try to get equipment here in Taos).
  • Who Is Invited:
  • ·       Dineh kids and youth with their families who are affected by relocation and cultural displacement.
  • ·       Non-Native volunteers and instructors.

o   If you are coming through BMIS please contact us about volunteering or instructing because this is a community focused event and if there are more volunteers than needed, we might see if you can go to another home site to herd sheep or support in other ways. It is emphasized that you provide your own camping supplies and transportation.

Agenda Overview:
Saturday Oct 6th will be devoted to crafts, games and a movie night.
Sunday October 7th we will be ecological, culture hike to the original Survival Camp site and have more activities.

Twenty years after the last Survival School…..Twenty years after the great swell of awareness re: indigenous struggle in the face of the celebrating Columbus…..Won’t you support / join in honoring the Dineh spirit of resistance…..

Contact: Martha Bourke – 575-758-7045
sdnsurvives@hotmail.com
or blackmesais@gmail.com