On March 7, 2013, four groups joined together to file suitagainst the United States Forest Service over the decision to allow Energy Fuels Resources, Inc. to operate a uranium mine six miles from the Grand Canyon. In a press release concerning the lawsuit, the groups stated that the planned mine would not only threaten cultural values, nearby wildlife and endangered species, but would also pose an increased risk of soil and groundwater pollution near the Grand Canyon.
The Havasupai Tribe, Grand Canyon Trust, Center for Biological Diversity, and The Sierra Club filed the suit, which further claims that the Forest Service did not consult with the Tribe before allowing Energy Fuels Resources, Inc., to go ahead with the mine. In their lawsuit, they allege that the mine would violate various laws, including environmental, mining, public land, and historic preservation laws.
According to a statement by Havasupai Tribe Chairman Don Watahomigie, “The Havasupai are returning to the federal courts to protect our people, our religion and our water.”