Grand Canyon Protection Act Will Protect Wildlife, Drinking Water

DENVER – The Grand Canyon Protection Act, sponsored by U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) to permanently ban uranium and other mining on a million acres surrounding the Grand Canyon, will safeguard wildlife, protect Western drinking water, and ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy one of the great natural wonders of the world. The bill will also authorize a study of uranium stockpiles in the United States to ensure that we continue to meet our domestic uranium needs. The National Wildlife Federation urges the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to swiftly pass this common-sense legislation.

“Uranium mining around the Grand Canyon has left a legacy of health issues for Indigenous communities in the area, threatened the drinking water of an important watershed, and cost taxpayers billions of dollars in cleanup costs. This legislation will begin to put that unfortunate history behind us,” said David Willms, senior director of Western wildlife and conservation at the National Wildlife Federation. “The Grand Canyon Protection Act will safeguard wildlife habitat, drinking water, cultural treasures, and popular recreation areas for generations to come.”

“Senator Sinema’s bill will protect the region from the known toxins from uranium mining so that future generations can continue to hike, raft, hunt, and fish on the lands and waters surrounding this great natural wonder. Most importantly, it will protect water that is vital to the existence of the Havasupai tribe and the 40 million users downstream,” said Scott Garlid, executive director of the Arizona Wildlife Federation. “We urge the U.S. Senate to quickly pass this legislation for the sake of wildlife, local and Indigenous communities, and to ensure the vitality of the outdoor recreation economy in the region.” 

"The Grand Canyon Protection Act would not only protect the $1.2 billion annual tourism industry in the region, but also safeguard the Havasu Creek – the only water source of the Havasupai Tribe – against dangerous mining pollutants.  The Havasupai have been burdened by a history of dispossession and displacement for over a century in the region, and the loss of this water source would be a matter of the tribe’s continued erasure,” said José Ignacio Gaona, policy and advocacy manager at HECHO (Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting and the Outdoors). “We urge the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to pass the Grand Canyon Protection Act out of committee to indefinitely extend the mining ban on the 1,006,545 acres of Federal land around the Grand Canyon." 



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