Now expanded to include the story of nuclear testing and its consequences, Uranium Frenzy has become the classic account of the uranium rush that gripped the Colorado Plateau region in the 1950s. Instigated by the U.S. government's need for uranium to fuel its growing atomic weapons program, stimulated by Charlie Steen's lucrative Mi Vida strike in 1952, manned by rookie prospectors from all walks of life, and driven to a fever pitch by penny stock promotions, the boom created a colorful era in the Four Corners region and Salt Lake City (where the stock frenzy was centered) but ultimately went bust. The thrill of those exciting times and the good fortune of some of the miners were countered by the darker aspects of uranium and its uses. Miners were not well informed regarding the dangers of radioactive decay products. Neither the government nor anyone else expended much effort educating them or protecting their health and safety. The effects of exposure to radiation in poorly ventilated mines appeared over time.
From 1978 to 1998, Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project contractors removed and secured nearly forty million cubic yards of low-level radioactive uranium reduction mill tailings waste from abandoned mill sites in eleven states and four Indian reservations, enough material to bury 2300 football fields in ten feet of radioactive sand. The contractors also decontaminated over five thousand residential, commercial, and public properties that had been polluted with tailings. In addition to these federal efforts, the private uranium industry interred millions of tons of tailings generated by their mill operations. The UMTRA Project was the world??'s largest materials management program designed to shield the public from potentially hazardous radioactive materials. This is the story of that project, contextualized within the history of American atomic power and uranium mining. "Warm Sands" explores the structural factors that drove the formation of tailings policy, focusing on certain variables such as the legal centralization of authority over atomic energy in the federal government, the autonomy of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and Congress??'s Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (JCAE), public health concerns, and traditional American democracy???vital to understanding the evolution of milling policy. Mogren discovered that non-elected governmental technocrats, scientists, lawyers, and administrators played a more influential role than did politicians or the public in the policy-making process. Furthermore, governmental organizations and semi-autonomous atomic bureaucrats did not function in predictable ways in the formation of mill tailings policy.
How Politics Shapes What We Know And Don't Know About Cancer
Author: Robert N. Proctor
Written by a highly regarded historian of science, this meticulouly researched, eminently fair, and very provocative book attempts to answer the question: Why, given all the time and money spent on cancer research, can't we get consistent answers to the most fundamental questions about prevention and treatment?
Recognizing Human Legacies and Restoring Natural Places
Author: Deborah D. Paulson
A journey through the jaw-dropping landscape of a small but remarkably varied region offers an eye-opening, in-depth evaluation of the ecology of its six subregions, revealing how to recognize human influences on the flora and the fauna, such as logging scars, mine-polluted rivers, and overgrazed grasslands and forests. Simultaneous.
As a collection of geological and climatic phenomena, the earth is a scarred, bent, cracked, and agitated wreck of a place. Nowhere is this more evident than in Utah's redrock canyon country, which is among the most spectacular terrain not only in America but in the world. These extraordinary lands lie at the heart of the Colorado Plateau -- 130,000 square miles of uplifted rock sitting like a huge island in an earthly continental sea, surrounded on all sides by the remnants of once-active volcanoes. Although the Colorado Plateau includes portions of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, in no other part of any other state are its complexity and time-constructed beauty illuminated more brilliantly than in southern Utah. Tourists and outdoor enthusiasts by the millions visit and revisit the area because there is no place else on earth quite like it. In The Redrock Chronicles, T. H. Watkins, one of America's best-known and award-winning writers on the environment and history, focuses on southern Utah's unprotected lands in a loving testament to its warps and tangles of rock and sky. Combining history, geography, and photography, the author reports the full story of the region -- from its violent geologic beginnings to the coming (and going) of pre-Puebloan peoples whose drawings still adorn rocks and caves there, from the Mormon settlement of the 1840s and 1850s to the great uranium boom of the 1950s, from the beginning of tourism and parkland protection in the 1930s to today's controversial movement to preserve millions of acres of wild Utah land in the National Wilderness Preservation System. Indeed, the account of that revolutionary movement is told here in all its color and complexity for the first time. Writing from his own personal experience and extensive research, an appreciative Watkins takes readers on a tour of the Grand Staircase of plateaus, moving from the utterly wild triangle of Kaiparowits Plateau, with its erosion-sculptured mesas, tablelands, benchlands, and canyons, to a more welcoming kind of verdant wilderness that sits northeast, across the rolling desert scrubland of Harris Wash, in the red-walled canyon of the Escalante River. The author has spent much time hiking and camping here among the isolated buttes and mesas, and he draws a vivid portrait of the area's highlights: Comb Ridge, a 90-mile wall of 600-foot cliffs; Waterpocket Fold, an even more spectacular monocline to the northeast of the Escalante River, stretching a hundred miles; the Henry Mountains; Hump of Bull Mountain; Cataract Canyon; and the San Rafael Swell, an enormous oval some 2,200 square miles which rises just north of Capitol Reef National Park. But The Redrock Chronicles is not simply a celebration. Watkins concludes with a spirited call for the preservation of the unprotected wilderness that gives the land its character and color. He offers the legislative device of wilderness designation as the necessary means of saving this plateau country that is not marked by one or two or even three or four scenic marvels but by an enormous kaleidoscope of geological diversity whose impact on the senses can set the mind to reeling with every turn.
This is American history told through the stories of an atypical, for Utah, region. Castle Valley is roughly conterminous with two counties, Carbon and Emery, which together formed a rural, industrial enclave in a mostly desert environment behind the mountain range that borders Utah's principal corridor of settlement. In Castle Valley, coal mining and the railroad attracted diverse, multiethnic communities and a fair share of historic characters, from Butch Cassidy, who stole its largest payroll, to Mother Jones, who helped organize its workers against its mining companies. Among the last major segments of the state to be settled, it was also a generally poor region that stretched the capabilities of people to scratch a living from a harsh landscape. The people of Castle Valley experienced complex, unusual combinations of both social cohesion and conflict, but they struggled through poverty, labor disputes, major mining disasters, and other challenges to build communities whose stories reflected the historical course of the nation as a whole. In order to convey her subject's both unique and representative qualities, Nancy Taniguchi has written an epic history that is not just local history, but American history written locally. Nancy J. Taniguchi, who lived for thirteen years in Castle Valley and was previously on the faculty of the College of Eastern Utah in Price, is professor of history at California State University, Stanislaus. She is the author of numerous published articles in mining, legal, women's, western, and Utah history and of one book, Necessary Fraud: Progressive Reform and Utah Coal.
Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming in the Twentieth Century
Author: Duane A. Smith
This is a lively history of three Rocky Mountain states in the twentieth century. With the sure hand of an experienced writer and the engaging voice of a veteran storyteller, the well-known historian Duane A. Smith recounts the major social, political, and economic events of the period with verve and zest. Smith is thoroughly familiar with his subject and has a genuine enthusiasm for the history of the region. Written with the general reader in mind, Rocky Mountain Heartland will appeal to students, teachers, and "armchair historians" of all ages. This is the colorful saga of how the Old West became the New West. Beginning at the end of the nineteenth century and concluding after the turn of the twenty-first, Rocky Mountain Heartland explains how Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming evolved over the course of the century. Smith is mindful of all the factors that propelled the region: mining, agriculture, water, immigration, tourism, technology, and two world wars. And he points out how the three states responded in varying ways to each of these forces. Although this is a regional story, Smith never loses sight of the national events that influenced events in the region. As Smith skillfully shows, the vast natural resources of the three states attracted optimistic, hopeful Americans intent on getting rich, enjoying the outdoors, or creating new lives for themselves and their families. How they resolved these often-conflicting goals is the modern story of the Rocky Mountain region.