Protection of One Million Acres Near the Grand Canyon is a Victory for Wildlife, Sportsmen and Jobs

Obama administration announces 20-year ban on new mining claims near this great national treasure

01-09-2012 // Mekell Mikell
grand canyon north rim

The National Wildlife Federation applauds Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the Obama administration for recognizing the critical importance of one of our country’s most cherished places, the Grand Canyon. Today, the administration announced a 20-year ban on new mining claims near this great national treasure. The move protects over one million acres near the site, as well as wildlife, water and jobs.

Increased mining for uranium so close to  the Grand Canyon could very well have undermined water resources in the region, leading to the devastation of wildlife and habitat,” said Todd Keller, senior manager for public lands campaigns at the National Wildlife Federation. “In a region facing droughts and water shortages, it’s unwise to put those vital resources at long-term risk and destruction for such a short-term gain.”

The mining ban is especially good news for sportsmen and women, not only in Arizona, but all over the Southwest and the United States.  According to a recent study by Arizona State University, hunting, fishing and wildlife-related recreation generates an economic impact of $1.34 billion for the state every year.  In addition, Grand Canyon National Park receives almost 5 million visitors each year. Park visitors spent more than $400 million in 2009 alone.  Protecting the area near the Grand Canyon provides a positive economic benefit and supports sustainable long-term jobs.

The mining ban decision by Secretary Salazar and the administration is a major victory for wildlife, clean water, outdoor recreation and the economy.

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