Pueblo Design
 La Jicarita

A community advocacy newspaper for northern New Mexico

Box 6 El Valle Route, Chamisal, NM 87521

Volume XIII

December 2008

Number XI


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 Concerns About LANL Affects on "Downwinders" Aired at Picuris Pueblo Meeting By Kay Matthews

Editorial: Change We Can Believe In? By Mark Schiller

Miranda Canyon Preserve Update By Kay Matthews


Uranium Boom and Bust "Otra Vez" By Kay Matthews

Concerns About LANL Affects on "Downwinders" Aired at Picuris Pueblo Meeting

By Kay Matthews

Folks from the upper and lower Rio Pueblo/Rio Embudo watershed came together on November 11 at Picuris Pueblo to talk about their concerns regarding Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) air and water contaminants that have been found in their downwind communities. The meeting was hosted by the Embudo Valley Environmental Monitoring Group (EVEMG) and the Picuris Pueblo Environment Department, groups that have been working with the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and LANL to measure both air and water radioactive and toxic contaminants since the Cerro Grande Fire in 2000.

As reported previously in La Jicarita News (see March 2008) the NMED has found higher than normal levels of uranium 234 in watershed lettuce samples and "extraordinary" levels of radionuclides cesium 137, strontium 90, and plutonium 239 and 240 in a soil sample near the Las Trampas Lakes at the top of the watershed. Bill Bartels of the NMED told the folks at the meeting that his department, in conjunction with EVEMG, is currently testing soil samples taken at other 12,000 foot sites, and plans on testing samples at 1,000 foot increments down the Las Trampas River to the Rio Grande. If there is available funding the department also plans on taking fish samples.

Bill Bartels of the NMED, Yesca Sullivan of EVEMG, and Cheryl Archuleta of the Picuris Pueblo Environment Department, at the AIRNET station

NMED, EVEMG, and Picuris Environment Department also maintain and monitor a high volume sample AIRNET station at the pueblo that measures dust particles for plutonium, americium, cesium, and tritium. Community members at the meeting expressed the need for another AIRNET station, particularly in El Valle, the highest elevation community in the Las Trampas watershed.

Tom Carpenter and Marco Kaltofen of the Government Accountability Project (Kaltofen is an engineer doing research for the organization) also attended the meeting . The group published a study last year that revealed elevated and potentially harmful levels of radioactivity in dust samples they collected in communities surrounding LANL (see La Jicarita News, July 2007). They were back in town to collect more samples, and individuals were encouraged to allow their homes to be used as sites for sampling. Apparently LANL has disputed some of the group's previous findings, particularly methods used to identify where these radioactive particles came from, and Kaltofen said the purpose of this second visit was to try to "get people to agree about where the materials come from." He explained that there are ways in which these dust particles can be fingerprinted to identity their area of origin. Radioactive dust particles from the original sampling were found in many communities, including Picuris Pueblo and Llano, near Peñasco.

For more information on the ongoing sampling projects, or to encourage the NMED to set up another AIRNET station in the watershed, contact Sheri Kotowski of EVEMG at 505 579-4076 or Thomas Skibitski, Chief, DOE Oversight Bureau, 505 845-5932.

Editorial: Change We Can Believe In?

By Mark Schiller

On her Friday, November 14 radio and television program, "Democracy Now!," Amy Goodman interviewed Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. Ayers and Dohrn, you may recall, were leading members of the radical Weather Underground during the late 60s and early to mid 70s, and Ayers' support of Barack Obama's candidacy was exploited by Republicans in an effort to demonstrate Obama was associated with a "domestic terrorist." During the course of the interview Ayers and Dohrn proclaimed their "jubilance" at the election of Obama and Ayers went on to say, ". . . this vote is a repudiation of the era of war and fear. . . ." While I respect both Ayers and Dohrn, and agree that the vote was a repudiation of war and fear, Obama's record and actions subsequent to the election, as critiqued by guests Goodman interviewed on her show in the following weeks, indicates his election will not bring an end to the era of war and fear. In point of fact, the election demonstrates that voters have a far more progressive agenda than Obama, who is showing every sign that it's going to be (big) business (both foreign and domestic) as usual during his administration.

Addressing Obama's foreign policy, award winning author and journalist Jeremy Scahill noted on Goodman's November 20 show, ". . . Obama has already charted out several hawkish stances, among them: His plan to escalate the war in Afghanistan; An Iraq plan that could turn into a downsized and rebranded occupation that keeps U.S. forces in Iraq for the foreseeable future; His position, presented before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, that 'I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend . . . our ally Israel' and that Jerusalem 'must remain undivided;' [and] His plan to continue the War on Drugs, a backdoor U.S. counterinsurgency campaign in Central and Latin America." These are all positions, I believe, the majority of voters who supported his candidacy don't endorse.

Scahill went on to say ". . . the best immediate indicator of what an Obama administration might look like can be found in the people he surrounds himself with and who he appoints to his Cabinet." So far that group consists of "hawkish, old-guard Democrats" left over from the Clinton Administration, which "bombed and dismantled" Yugoslavia; "presided over a ruthless regime of . . . bombing [and] economic sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis" and set the stage for the invasion; ". . . accelerated the militarization of the so-called War on Drugs in Central and Latin America;" and "supported privatization of U.S. military operations, giving lucrative contracts to Halliburton and other war contractors." Beginning with Vice President elect Joe Biden, who voted in favor of the invasion of Iraq and "promoted the [Bush] administration's false claims that were used to justify the invasion, declaring on the Senate floor, '[Saddam Hussein] possesses chemical and biological weapons and is seeking nuclear weapons,' Scahill critiqued twenty appointees and close associates of Obama who will help shape foreign policy.

I won't go through the entire list but here are a few of Scahill's assessments. Rahm Emmanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff, is "the only member of the Illinois Democratic delegation to vote for the invasion of Iraq . . . a vote [he] still defends. . . ." He's also a rabid Zionist and one of the leading congressional recipients of contributions from hedge funds. Hillary Clinton, Obama's choice for Secretary of State, "not only voted to authorize the war [without, according to the New York Times, "even reading the intelligence assessment"], but aided the Bush administration's propaganda campaign in the lead-up to the invasion." She too is an uncritical supporter of Israeli aggression and has threatened to "totally obliterate" Iran if it "foolishly consider[s] launching an attack on Israel." Madeleine Albright, Clinton's former Secretary of State, who "served as proxy for Obama at the G-20 summit earlier this month . . . . was one of the key architects in the dismantling of Yugoslavia in the 1990s . . . [and when] the Clinton administration unleashed the 78-day bombing of Serbia, which targeted civilian infrastructure [Albright commented that] 'the Serbs need a little bombing.'" She was also "an enthusiastic support[er] of the economic war against the civilian population of Iraq [and] when confronted by Lesley Stahl of "60 Minutes" that the sanctions were responsible for the deaths of 'a half-million children . . . more children than died in Hiroshima,' Albright responded, 'I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it.'" Scahill suggests that "whether or not she is awarded an official role in the administration, Albright will be a major force in shaping foreign policy." John Brennan, Obama's top adviser on intelligence, has already been pressured to take his name out of the running for any official intelligence post within the administration because of his horrific record. Brennan has been described as "an ardent supporter of torture and one of the most emphatic advocates of FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] and telecom immunity." And finally we have James Jones, Obama's choice for National Security Advisor, a man who sits on the boards of Chevron and Boeing and is on record saying that setting a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq "would be against our national interest." The common denominator for all these appointments, Scahill suggests, "is their unified support for the classic US foreign policy: the hidden hand of the free market, backed up by the iron fist of US militarism to defend its America First Doctrine."

This, unfortunately, is just the tip of the iceberg. On Goodman's November 17 program she interviewed Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who addressed Obama's promise to close the Guantanamo detention center. Ratner stated that Obama's transition team has "floated" two schemes, which he described as "rewrapping Guantanamo to make it more palatable . . . ." One is preventative detention (being placed in prison without being charged or brought to trial) in the United States and the other is national security courts (which won't afford the same Constitutional protections as the federal court system). In other words, after seven years of the most outrageous disregard for basic judicial rights, Obama's reforms may be nothing more than Guantanamo lite.

Moving on to appointments that will affect domestic policy, Goodman interviewed author and journalist Naomi Klein on her November 18 program. Klein addressed the current economic collapse asserting, "the logic that has really gripped lawmakers is that you can't rock the boat. And we hear this across the board . . . in talk of . . . who to appoint as Treasury Secretary [and] how to approach economic policy in this period. We hear all these phrases - you know, continuity, smooth transition. And really, that's code for more of the same, because what the market wants is for there not to be tough regulation . . . . What will upset the market . . . is if it's clear that there's a new sheriff in town, that they're going to have to follow the law, that they're going to cut off all of this corporate welfare, there's going to be real accountability. . . . The market really doesn't want that. Unfortunately for the market, voters have just voted for change. They voted for a candidate who really turned the election into a referendum on this economic policy of rampant deregulation. So you've really got a problem here. How do you reconcile the market's desire for status quo with voters' demand for real change? And I'm quite concerned that what we're seeing from Obama's team is an accepting of this logic that they need to give the market what it wants . . . . [W]hen you hear names like Larry Summers bandied about for Treasury Secretary, that's feeding the market exactly what it wants, which is more of the same." So guess who was just appointed Treasury Secretary? Timothy Geithner, under-secretary of the Treasury under both Lawrence Summers and Robert Rubin (Clinton appointees), the two men experts assert are most responsible for the deregulation of the financial markets that led to the current economic collapse. And guess who Obama appointed as Geithner's main advisor? Lawrence Summers. Economist Dean Baker, codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Professor of Economics at Bucknell University, and former senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, likened their selection to "selecting Osama Bin Laden to run the war on terror."

In her November 19 program Goodman noted that former Deputy Attorney General under Clinton, Eric Holder, is the leading candidate for Obama's Attorney General appointment (Holder subsequently was designated for the position by Obama). Responding to this prospect, Hofstra University professor Mario Murillo remarked, "Eric Holder . . . is currently defending Chiquita Brands International in its defense against dozens of plaintiffs . . . in Colombia, working families who were targeted by paramilitaries who were funded [by Chiquita] to the tune of $1.7 million over the last several years. And if this guy becomes the Attorney General under an Obama administration, then it's going to be really hard to find justice in this case coming from the United States."

On the same program, Princeton professor and outspoken Obama supporter Cornel West summarized his own concerns about the people Obama is surrounding himself with saying, "he ends up selecting people who the mainstream are going to herald as legitimate, rather than making that break and acknowledge this is a new day, and it ought to be the age of . . . ordinary people. And it's ironic, because there's a sense in which . . . Barack Obama might be reluctant to step into the new age of Obama . . ."

On Goodman's November 28 program MIT professor Noam Chomsky posited a grittier assessment of Obama's strategy. "The public relations industry, which runs elections here - quadrennial extravaganzas essentially - makes sure to keep issues in the margins and focuses on personalities . . . . They do that for good reasons. They know - they look at public opinion studies and they know perfectly well - that on a host of major issues both parties are well to the right of the population. That's one good reason to keep issues off of the table. And they recognize the success. So, every year the advertising industry gives a prize to the best marketing campaign of the year. This year Obama won the prize. Beat out Apple Company. The best marketing campaign of 2008. Which is correct, it is essentially what happened . . . . What he [Obama] had was an army of organized of people who got out the vote . . . for what the press calls, Brand Obama . . . . Now that's quite different than what happens in a functioning democracy . . . ."

Just as Obama and his inner circle are floating schemes to repackage the Iraq occupation and the Guantanamo detention center in order to make them more palatable, "Brand Obama" will put a kinder, gentler face on American imperialism, but it's unlikely to produce substantive reforms of a system predicated on exploitation of people and monopolization of resources. More to the point, it's time to acknowledge that both the Democratic and Republican parties are completely invested in a global capitalist paradigm they will continue trying to prop up no matter how dire things become.

I began this editorial by referencing an interview with former Weather Underground members Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, who "look forward" to Obama's presidency with "rising expectations" and "new hopes". I'll end it with what I believe is a more penetrating analysis by one of their comrades, David Gilbert: "I see this world as a world where wealth and power are tremendously polarized . . . . We need a total change in the structure of power and I know from experience that this type of power doesn't concede through moral argument or goodwill."

Miranda Canyon Preserve Update

By Kay Matthews

In last month's article regarding the status of the Miranda Canyon Preserve's proposal to subdivide a 5,100-acre parcel into 150 residential lots on part of the former Cristobal de la Serna Land Grant, we provided an overview of the responses from the administrative agencies that had deemed the proposal incomplete (the primary review agency of the project is Taos County). Project Manager Todd Barbee responded to the concerns of the New Mexico Department of Transportation, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs Historic Preservation District, the Office of the State Engineer (OSE), and Taos Soil and Water Conservation District.

After expressing concerns about information regarding traffic patterns in the Llano Quemado area, which is the main entrance to the proposed subdivision, the Department of Transportation signed off on the proposal in a letter to Taos County Deputy Planning Director Edward Vigil. The Department of Cultural Affairs Historic Preservation District also approved the proposal in a November letter to Vigil, but of course must receive a cultural resource survey report for the planned infrastructure of all the common areas and a plan for a sample survey for the house lots.

The OSE's initial concern was that the developer could not guarantee the required three gallons per minute water delivery to certain house sites because of low permeability soil conditions and fault lines. Tony Benson, who works as a consultant with Taos Soil and Water Conservation District, also analyzed the water data and came to the same conclusion as the OSE, that some of the house sites will have difficulty drilling functional wells because of these permeability problems. The developer has addressed that issue by stating that 18 lots located in low-permeability zones in the aquifer and along the fault in the central part of the subdivision will share wells that are located on an adjacent higher permeability zone. The OSE also noted in its letter of approval that pending litigation may affect the way the agency reviews and approves requests for domestic wells. In a landmark decision on July 10, 2008, Judge J.C. Robinson of the Sixth Judicial Court in Silver City held that the Domestic Well Statute "is unconstitutional, is an impermissible exception to the state doctrine of prior appropriation, and that the State Engineer should be required to administer applications for domestic well permits in the same manner as all other applications to appropriate water" (see August 2008 issue of La Jicarita News). In other words, the Judge ruled that development wells could impair already existing wells and therefore should be subject to the due process required by other water application before the OSE. The OSE appealed this ruling, which stays its enforcement, and therefore provided approval of the domestic wells on the Miranda Canyon Preserve.

Peter Vigil of Taos Soil and Water Conservation District has asked for further information from the Preserve before his office can determine if the subdivision meets County code requirements with respect to Terrain Management. Vigils's initial letter raised concerns about soil types within the subdivision that have "severe limitations." The information Vigil received from Project Manager Barbee addressing these concerns was inadequate for the agency to make a determination. His office also made it clear that its review and opinion "are not in any way an endorsement or recommendation of the proposed subdivision by the Taos Soil and Water Conservation District."

Once the District's concerns have been addressed the Planning Division will hold a preliminary plat hearing (this is a public hearing before the Taos County Commission.)









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• Federal funding to pay for the Navajo Nation, Aamodt, and Abeyta water rights settlements that was part of an omnibus legislative package will not be considered before the end of the year. The legislation was opposed by a number of Republicans and could have faced a filibuster. According to the New Mexico congressional delegation, the legislation will be reintroduced in January under the new administration. Costs associated with the three settlements are estimated to be more than $1.5 billion.


• The New Mexico Water Dialogue 15th Annual Statewide Meeting, "Bringing Accountability to Water Planning: Does it Take a Crisis?", will be held on Thursday, January 15, 2009 at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center - Chaco I & II, 2410 12th Street NW, Albuquerque. According to the Dialogue newsletter, this meeting will try to deal with "concern that the state may not have been sufficiently rigorous about ensuring that our water supplies were not over allocated, a problem compounded by drought and other unanticipated variations in weather. Many people are concerned that the water problems New Mexico faces have some parallels to the financial woes faced by the nation." Costs for the meeting are: early registration (prepaid before January 9), $30; registration at the door, $35. You can get a registration form at bokatz@cybermesa.com.

Uranium Boom and Bust "Otra Vez"

By Kay Matthews

During the fire seasons of 1975 and 1976 I was the fire lookout on La Mosca Peak, right next to Mount Taylor, or Tsoodzil, as the Diné refer to this sacred mountain near Grants, New Mexico. What was happening all around me had more to do with the profane than the sacred, however. These were the boom years of uranium exploration, mining, and processing throughout what is called the Grants mineral belt, stretching from Milan to Laguna Pueblo, right through the San Mateo Mountains surrounding Mount Taylor. Below me mining rigs crisscrossed forest roads on their way to exploration sites, sending up dust clouds that I had to learn to distinguish from forest fire smoke. To the west I could see the Ambrosia Lake, Kerrmac, and Homestake mines and mills where the yellow cakes of uranium ore were taken to be processed; to the north, the intense activity centered around the San Mateo underground mine; to the east, the huge scar in the earth that was the open pit Jackpile Mine at Paguate, on Laguna Pueblo. By the early 1980s the boom was over, however. The rigs were gone, all the mines and mills closed down, and the Jackpile mine was left unreclaimed to send radioactive dust into the air and radioactive sediment into the aquifer.

The Jackpile Mine before it was eventually filled in and smoothed over

Drilling rig on Mount Taylor in the 1970s

Now that the price of uranium has risen to approximately $60 a pound (from a high of $90 a year ago) the mining industry is talking big money, anywhere from a potential of $30 to $67 billion to be made in New Mexico, along with 250,000 jobs. Both the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, based in Santa Fe, and the Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC), based in Albuquerque, have "debunked" the claims of this new "boom" in published reports. The Law Center commissioned Dr. Thomas M. Powers, a preeminent natural resource economist (Professor Emeritus of the University of Montana) to evaluate the true meaning of the economic impacts of uranium mining in New Mexico. His report is called An Economic Evaluation of a Renewed Uranium Mining Boom in New Mexico. SRIC compiled an overview called "Debunking the Uranium 'Bonanza'" in its fall newsletter, Voices From the Earth.

Economic Benefits

Both reports say that the industry's claims of even $30 billion is a "gross exaggeration" of the money that could be made in New Mexico. As Powers points out, it assumes that uranium prices will increase to the former $90 to $100 per pound range and stay there indefinitely. It also assumes that all of New Mexico's uranium reserves can be mined, when in fact, many factors influence how much ore will actually be extracted:

• The amount of uranium extracted will depend upon the actual price per pound. According to federal and state estimates, New Mexico has about 340 millions pounds of uranium if the market price is around $50 per pound.

• The amount of recoverable uranium would be reduced by 150 millions pounds if the Navajo Nation enforces its ban on uranium mining and milling in Navajo Indian County, where much of the ore resides.

• New Mexico's 2% of the world's reserves will have to compete with the rest of those reserves, which are higher grade and lower cost. According to the World Nuclear Association, enough uranium can be produced at existing production sites for 100 years at current usage rates.

• To extract New Mexico's reserves it is estimated that 15 new mines and three new mills will be required. Most of these suggested new mines and mills haven't begun the lengthy permitting process required (Hydro Resources, Inc.'s Crownpoint Solution Mining Project is the only company that has a federal license, but that license is tied up in litigation). Any new conventional mill or in situ (more on this kind of mine later in the article) leaching would take at least five to 10 years to complete the application process, licensing, and construction.

• The current financial crisis has already blocked some proposed uranium development in New Mexico. There will likely be many more financial constraints as the economy weakens.

Existing Economies in Affected Areas

The communities in the Grants mineral belt-the towns of Grants and Gallup in Cibola and McKinley counties-survived the 1980s bust by diversifying their economies. While they lost 6,400 jobs in the uranium sector, more than 17,000 new jobs replaced them in non-mining sectors. According to Powers, "After the bust, payroll for government, services, and trade sectors continued to expand, as did income from retirement and investments." Tourism, recreation, and gaming also accounted for some of these new jobs. Power's report also shows that per capita incomes in McKinley and Cibola counties rose significantly, and unemployment rates declined to near full employment levels by 2007. Powers states very clearly what is at stake: "Communities and regions that have been successful at attracting significant amounts of new economic activity over the last two decades were not those that continued to specialize in natural resource extraction. In fact those areas lagged all other community economic categories. As economic activity in the American economy has become relatively more mobile . . . [a]reas that are perceived to have the human, public, and environmental resources and amenities that make them attractive residential locations have prospered. . . . New Mexico's presentation of itself to the rest of the nation and the world as the "Land of Enchantment" - rather than the land of uranium and copper mining or other industrial activities - sends the message that New Mexico understands the importance of natural and cultural amenities to its continued economic vitality."

Social and Environmental Costs

New, diversified economies are dependent on a clean and healthy environment. The social and environmental costs of the uranium mining industry are devastating, particularly concerning the radioactivity that is generated: "The costs associated with trying to clean up the persistent radioactive waste and other pollution associated with past mining across the U.S. provides a stark reminder that uranium mining is not an environmentally benign activity." (Powers)

In the conventional extraction process, only two pounds per ton of ore is extracted, leaving millions of tons of tailings. If the mining industry has its way 175 million tons of radioactive mill tailings would double the volume of the 90 to 100 million tons that already exists at seven abandoned mill sites. About 85% of the radioactivity of the ore remains after the uranium has been removed, as well as other heavy metals and chemical solvents. With in situ leaching techniques, chemicals are injected directly into the ground to dissolve the uranium. The uranium bearing solution is then pumped to the surface for processing. While this technique avoids massive amounts of mine wastes and tailings, the recovery of all the chemicals from the groundwater has proven difficult, and restoration of groundwater to pre-mining water quality has failed at all commercial scale in situ leaching operations. In addition, evaporation ponds are needed for liquid waste, which poses additional threats to the groundwater.

In testimony before the New Mexico Legislature's Economic and Rural Development Committee in August, Candace Head-Dylla, who lives a mile southwest of the Homestake Uranium Mill and tailings near Milan, talked about what uranium mining had done to her community water supply: "In our community, from the Milan Village limits to the Anaconda millsite at Bluewater to the Ambrosia Lake area, the water beneath at least 60 sections of land - or 38,400 acres - has been polluted. In some areas, this involves up to five different aquifers. We estimate the total volume of water destroyed to be in excess of 883,200 acre-feet, plus 50 years of recharge of 320,000 acre-feet, for a total water contaminated of over a million acre-feet (1,203,200 acre-feet) of precious water that is now unusable for human consumption and agricultural uses."

By 2003 over $2 billion of federal funds were spent across the county to reclaim 24 "inactive'" or abandoned uranium mills and tailing facilities that supplied uranium for nuclear weapons. The U. S. Department of Energy expects to spend many millions more for surveillance and maintenance of these sites. But many of the environmental costs associated with uranium and other metal mining are "nearly permanent," according to Thomas. "Large open pits can never really be reclaimed. Some of the chemical and biological processes triggered when millions of tons of meal ore are brought to the surface and exposed to air and water or where air and water are brought to underground ore deposits cannot be easily stopped. They can only be controlled by perpetual treatment."

The Navajo Nation has also spent millions of dollars for limited reclamation at nearly 1,000 abandoned uranium mines and estimate that at least a half a billion dollars is needed just to initiate full reclamation at more than 500 abandoned mines. The federal government has spent more than $161 million over the past decade on the Navajo Nation on assessment, reclamation, and screening for uranium workers.

That issue is the most tragic of all. The numbers of uranium industry workers who have developed cancers or other serious illnesses because of their exposure to radiation and other toxic chemicals is enormous. Through July 2008, the federal government had paid approximately $625 million to former workers or families pursuant to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). Under this law peple who worked in the uranium industry between 1942 and 1971 are eligible for compensation awards up to $100,000 each. Many more workers were exposed to radiation poisoning through the boom years of the 1970s - including 7,000 who worked in New Mexico - but are not eligible for compensation. "Carelessness, negligence, and willful indifference by the uranium mining industry in early mines, mills, and waste dumps" (Thomas) resulted in the deaths of many workers in New Mexico. Even with improved mining technologies there will be both environmental and social costs to bear. As Candace Head-Dylla stated in her testimony before the legislature: "Please do not let the industry's fairy tales divert you from the critical tasks of addressing the uranium legacy and taking the first steps toward a truly sustainable economic future for our children."

"In 1952, when the [Jackpile]mine first opened, it seemed like a dream come true. It gave so many of my people on the reservation a chance to find employment without having to venture off the reservation. It was a dream come true to many of us. It never occurred to us that we would soon be putting our lives in jeopardy. It never occurred to us that our children and our grandchildren's lives would be put at risk. All we saw was that we were finally going to be self-sufficient, and that we could finally have some pride in ourselves. We never knew about the dangers in the beginning."

-Dorothy Purley of Laguna Pueblo, who died of lymphoma on December 2, 1999 at age 60.

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