BLM's received 83,000 letters on Northern Arizona uranium
One of our correspondents reports that about 50 people showed up in Phoenix for the first public hearing on the proposed withdrawal of 1 million acres of federal land from mining exploration and development for 20 years.
BLM Project Manager Chris Horyza stated that the U.S. Interior Dept. has received 83,000 letters from 90 countries regarding the withdrawal action. When asked if there was a theme in the letters, he said the writers were concerned about damaging the Grand Canyon. This is not surprising given so much of the news coverage shows pictures of the Canyon itself when reporting on proposed exploration in northern Arizona. BLM says they are going to make their decision based on 'substantive' comments and not hold a vote on the matter, but also admit that popular opinion will influence that decision.
Chris Horyza gave the overview presentation and answered written questions from the audience. There were no verbal questions. However, an hour was provided to visit the various displays on relevant topics. Agency representatives from BLM, Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife, Park Service and USGS staffed the displays and they were almost equal in number to the public.