|Prescott eNews reports that the Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking the Sierra Club to retract a fundraising letter that makes false statements about the Arizona endangered condor population. The department (AZGFD) says untrue claims were made about hazards to condor health in a fundraising letter from Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. In his June 24 fundraising appeal, Brune claims a link between uranium mining and condor health.|
Despite a moratorium against uranium mines in effect until 2032, the Sierra Club fundraising letter implies numerous times that uranium mining is a specific threat to condors. The Michael Bruneletter claims that an estimated 3,000 mines (Not True !) could be re-opened. For the 78 remaining critically endangered California Condors that live in the Grand Canyon, that would be nothing short of devastating .. radioactive, toxic waste would deluge one of our nation most iconic, majestic parks and wildlife that live there, (all statements are Not True or exaggerated).
Wildlife scientists working to reintroduce condors in Arizona have made steady progress by limiting condors exposure to lead, convincing Arizona hunters to voluntarily use lead-free ammunition within condor range and eliminating other impediments to their recovery. But according to Allen Zufelt, condor program coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, uranium has not been identified as a factor.
Since 1996, when condors were first released into Arizona, we have had exactly zero cases of morbidity or mortality caused by any sort of uranium poisoning, Zufelt said. There is no peer-reviewed scientific information that indicates any link. Our condor population faces enough legitimate threats that there is no need to create false scares.
Chris Parish, Arizona-Utah Condor Reintroduction Project Director for the Peregrine Fund, has been a hands-on participant in condor recovery. His organization also takes exception to the Sierra Club claims.