Canyon Uranium Mine Tower, Arizona, 2013. (credit: Kaibab National Forest)
The US Forest Service recently submitted a report (PDF) to the Trump Administration, suggesting that an Obama-era order could be revised to allow uranium mining on National Forest land, reopening old tensions in an area that sustains tribal interests, mining operations, and outdoor activities.
The report was submitted in response to a March presidential order requiring all agencies to review their body of rules, policies, and guidelines pertaining to energy development in the United States.

Agencies were directed to provide the White House with a list of items that might weigh down the development of domestic energy resources “with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources,” according to the Forest Service, which is an agency within the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The Forest Service ultimately outlined 15 agency rules, regulations, and agreements that could be rescinded or modified to favor fossil fuel or nuclear energy. Many of the recommendations involved revisions to existing paperwork or fee schedules that the Forest Service imposes on energy companies seeking to do business in National Forest land. One item suggested that the Forest Service exclude low-risk energy projects on national land from “unnecessary and possibly time consuming environmental assessments.” Another suggested a revision of how energy projects are assessed in sage-grouse habitat.

The wild bird’s habitat has been a political sticking point for fossil fuel advocates and environmental advocates alike.
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