The region is rich with archaeology sites, remote hiking and scenic views. It’s also the site of the nation’s only fully-licensed and operating uranium mill, according to Energy Fuels Resources. The Trump administration has scaled back the size of Bears Ears National Monument and already faces lawsuits over the move.
Conservationists say that there are those in Utah that would like to keep the status quo because generations of local residents grew up pot hunting — plundering archaeological sites for artifacts. Bit another reason for reducing the monument has surfaced.
The Washington Post reported earlier this month that Energy Fuels paid $30,000 to a lobbying firm to work on the monument issue. The company also wrote a letter to the Department of Interior requesting that the agency reduce the size of the mine.
Energy Fuels said in the letter that it was concerned the monument might mean more restrictions on its trucks as the passed through the area.
In August 2016, Energy Fuels told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that trucks hauling radioactive sludge from Wyoming to White Mesa Mill in Utah had leaked.