Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kaibab National Forest taking comments on uranium mining

The Kaibab National Forest starting hosting public meetings last night to on VANE Minerals proposed uranium exploratory drilling project in northern Arizona. [right, USFS scenery shot. This is not where the exploratory work is proposed.] According to the announcement,

The purpose of the meetings is to provide information and allow the public to comment on the proposed VANE Minerals, Inc. Uranium Exploratory Drilling Project, which would be undertaken on the Tusayan Ranger District. The Kaibab National Forest is preparing an environmental impact statement for the proposed project and is looking for comments on the scope and direction of the EIS.

The meetings will be held at the following locations and times:
August 11, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Coconino Community College Lone Tree Campus, Board Room, 2800 South Lone Tree Road, Flagstaff, Arizona
August 12, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (MDT), Tuba City High School Gymnasium, 67 Warrior Drive, Tuba City, Arizona
August 13, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn, 100 Highway 64, Tusayan, Arizona
August 17, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Supai, Arizona

A Kaibab National Forest representative will present a brief summary of the proposed project at the beginning of the meetings, approximately 15 minutes after the start of each meeting.

Kaibab National Forest is seeking public input during a 30-day comment period, which will begin Aug. 3 and end Sept. 2. The comment period is intended to provide local residents and the public with an early and meaningful opportunity to learn about the proposed project and participate in the process. VANE’s proposed project is to conduct uranium exploratory drilling at 24 sites on the Tusayan Ranger District. All drilling would be strictly limited to exploration holes. No actual mining of ore would occur at this time.

For comments to be most informative to the analysis, they should be postmarked or received by the Kaibab National Forest no later than Sept. 2. However, comments will also be accepted during the period following the release of the Draft EIS. Written comments may be mailed or hand-delivered to:

Kaibab National Forest
ATTN: VANE Minerals Uranium Exploratory Drilling Project
800 South 6th Street
Williams, Arizona 86046

Comments may be submitted by facsimile to (928) 635-8208 or by e-mail to E-mail and facsimile comments must include the words “VANE Minerals Uranium Exploratory Drilling Project.”

Comments may also be submitted and additional information obtained through the project website at A toll-free comment phone line has been set up to record comments at 1-888-xxx-xxxx.  [update 2-17-10:  this number has been reassigned to another organization, so I have removed it]

For further information on the VANE Minerals Uranium Exploratory Drilling Project, please contact Tom Mutz, Lands and Minerals Staff Officer, in writing at Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts, 742 South Clover Road, Williams, AZ 86046 or by telephone at (928) 635-5600. Questions regarding the Forest Service National Environmental Policy Act process may be directed to Alvin Brown, Forest NEPA Coordinator, at 800 South 6th Street, Williams, AZ 86046 or by telephone at (928) 635-8200.

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