Southern Utah’s Washington County Administration Building became a battleground Wednesday when the proposals of U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar drove close to home. For some residents, the proposals were too close.
Residents from counties throughout much of Utah and Arizona attended the meeting to share their concern of Salazar’s proposal to ban Uranium mining on roughly 1,000,000 acres of public land. Residents believe the ban would bleed their communities out until there is nothing left.
“Our purpose was to bring Secretary Salazar the data,” BLM Public Affairs Officer Rachel Tueller told SUN News. “He will look over the data and then make a decision.”
But that decision has been postponed until December, giving residents against this ban time to relay their word. Salazar was a no-show during the meeting, even though he was scheduled to appear.
Salazar argues the mining would damage tourism and water supplies in those areas, but concerned citizens battered those claims throughout the meeting, with little to no opposition.
More ground is expected to be covered in the decision making process near the end of this year, where Salazar will be able to pick from up to four different plans.