Dear Friends of Grand Canyon:
Threats to our beloved canyon come—at times—from dark places. The latest is a ploy to overturn our hard-won 2012 victory: the temporary 20-year ban on all new uranium claims on a million acres of public lands that surround Grand Canyon National Park.
When Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich spoke to the state’s Chamber of Commerce last fall, he blasted the ban as another example of federal overreach.
But the fact is, existing mines are polluting springs and streams within the park and its surrounding watershed
. The preventative ban on new uranium claims four years ago was supported by Native American tribes, town councils, counties, chambers of commerce, and the governor of Arizona. Since then, new evidence
of ongoing contamination keeps pouring in.
Nonetheless, Arizona’s current leaders have joined Utah, Nevada, and others in appealing the Grand Canyon uranium ban before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
. The Trust, in a coalition represented by Earthjustice, is defending the ban before the Ninth Circuit and we expect a final decision later this year. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce is also supporting state and federal bills to prohibit placing a permanent ban on new uranium claims around the Grand Canyon. Last month, the Chamber of Commerce released a policy brief
that spells out these positions and opposes creating a new national monument to further protect Grand Canyon’s watersheds.
Meanwhile, a recent poll found that 80% of Arizona voters support the newly proposed Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument
, with broad-based appeal across party lines.
We are up against a well-organized campaign by the National Mining Association and unidentified underwriters to gut federal laws designed to protect public property from private development and to prevent further harm to water in one of our nation’s most precious places.
We are committed to stopping this latest assault. Thank you for your ongoing support to keep the canyon grand!
Grand Canyon Program Director