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Mining Puts National Parks At Risk

<p>Mining has expanded around many of the country's national parks, causing concern that the legal extraction of natural and hazardous materials is harming the protected ecosystems.</p>
August 19, 2007, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Areas surrounding iconic locations in the western US such as Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon risk being intensively mined in coming years, says the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit research organisation based in Washington DC."

"Its study draws on data from the government's Bureau of Land Management to identify 2900 new mining claims that have been staked within five miles of national parks since 2003. "This is a modern-day land rush," says Dusty Horwitt, one of the report's authors."

"These prices have triggered a rise in the number of plots of land staked out by mining companies – called mining 'claims'. Claims rose from 207,540 in January 2003 to 376,493 in July 2007, according to the EWG. Many are close to treasured locations. Since 2003, more than 800 claims, mostly for uranium, have been staked within five miles of the Grand Canyon."

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Published on Friday, August 17, 2007 in New Scientist
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