KINGMAN - The Mohave County Board of Supervisors met Thursday afternoon and approved a resolution urging the 111th Congress to reject House Resolution 644 and continue to allow access to uranium and other mineral reserves in the Arizona Strip.
The strip is an area of land in the northwestern section of Mohave County between the Grand Canyon and the Utah border. The area has been known to have a rich reserve of minerals, including uranium.
HR 644 would close 1,068,908 acres of federal land in the area of Kanab Creek and House Rock Valley from all forms of entry, appropriation, and disposal by the federal government. It would also prevent the location, entry and operating of any new mines in the area.
Supporters of HR 644 say it will protect important natural resources and the groundwater for generations to come.
The Board and the National Association of Counties argue that the uranium reserves in the Arizona Strip area could provide a significant source of alternative domestic energy for the country and important jobs for the county.
According to the resolution the Board sent to Congress, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates 375 million pounds of uranium oxide may exist within the Arizona Strip area, nearly 40 percent of the nation's uranium reserves.
The Board and the NAC state in the resolution that threats to the watershed are unfounded. The Colorado River already contains trace amounts of uranium at levels far below safe drinking water standards and the deepest mine ever drilled in the Arizona Strip area was 1,000 feet above the nearest aquifer.