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Navajo Nation officials lead tour of abandoned uranium sites near Cameron

Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

During the Cold War, about 30 million tons of uranium were extracted from the Navajo Nation, and by the time it ended, hundreds of mine sites had been abandoned.

Navajo President Jonathan Nez and tribal officials met with Arizona Congressman Tom O'Halleran and others recently to visit abandoned uranium mines near Cameron.

The tribe estimates there are more than 500 such sites, and, although progress has been made, the cleanup for about 300 remains unfunded.

It has also been active in extending legislation to help downwinders and others who have been exposed to radiation.

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.