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Groups lobby for law to protect U.S. parks Print

by Gargi Chakrabarty
Rocky Mountain News
April 24, 2008

More than 150 recreation and conservation groups from two dozen states, including 24 groups from Colorado, called on the U.S. Senate on Thursday to reform the nation's 135-year-old law that governs the mining of uranium, gold and other hardrock metals on Western public lands.

The move comes as mining claims are skyrocketing near places such as the Grand Canyon. As of January, 1,130 claims to mine hardrock metals have been staked within five miles of the canyon boundaries, according to an analysis of federal data by the Environmental Working Group. In January 2003, only 10 claims were within that radius.

Nine other national parks in the West, including Yellowstone, Yosemite, Death Valley and Black Canyon of the Gunnison could see more claims near their boundaries, EWG said.

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