The Grand Canyon Trust wishes to sincerely thank Secretary Salazar for announcing his support yesterday for the full 20-year withdrawal of 1.1 million acres of public land watersheds surrounding the Grand Canyon. We look forward to celebrating the Obama administration’s final decision this fall when the Department of Interior releases its Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision.
We also applaud Arizona congressman Raul Grijalva’s commitment to the long-term protection of Grand Canyon’s watersheds through legislation and to Havasupai elders for their lifelong opposition to uranium mining within their historic homeland.
The Grand Canyon Trust is honored to join first Americans, Congressman Grijalva, and Secretary Salazar in protecting our region’s water from contamination by uranium mining. The Secretary said that water is the the Grand Canyon’s and our arid region’s “lifeblood.”
The acreage has been the subject of a temporary, two-year mining exploration moratorium that was to expire on July 20, 2011. The Grand Canyon Trust and its conservation partners, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity and others in Arizona and across the nation, have been working hard to convince the Secretary to protect the Grand Canyon region from the many risks associated with uranium mining.
“We’ve been working towards this goal for over two years and are ecstatic about the withdrawal,” stated Roger Clark, uranium program director for the Grand Canyon Trust. “We want to thank the Secretary for his decision and Congressman Grijalva for his steadfast support throughout the past two years. We also want to thank the Mayor and City Council of Flagstaff, the Coconino County Board of Supervisors, the Tusayan City Council, the Mayor and City Council of Sedona and the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Arizona Tourism Alliance, the Arizona Legislature’s Democratic Caucus, Cottonwood Mayor Diane Joens, Clarinda Vail, Chris Thurston, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and everyone else who stood with us on this issue.”
Tourism is the economic engine for northern Arizona’s economy and the Secretary’s decision today protects thousands of jobs and over $700 million per year in tourism revenues, as well as America’s most iconic natural treasure. It’s a great decision for all Arizonans who take immense pride in being known as the Grand Canyon State.
Photos by Kate Watters
News articles on Salazar announcement:
Arizona Republic editorial
Christian Science Monitor
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
Salt Lake Tribune
Wall Street Journal
Dow Jones Newswire
Arizona Daily Star editorial (Added 6/23)
Santa Fe New Mexican editorial (Added 6/23)
Washington Post editorial (6/24)
Salt Lake Tribune editorial ( 6/26)
Register-Guard editorial (Eugene, Oregon 6/26)
Sierra Club Opinion-editorial (Arizona Republic 6/27)
New York Times editorial (6/28)