Mining interest groups constantly call to lift a 20-year ban on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, citing the need to make nuclear weapons and bolster domestic energy production. The halt was originally put into place in 2012 to allow time to conduct studies on the effects of such mining on the region.

Uranium mining on the rimlands surrounding Grand Canyon National Park threatens to disrupt, deplete, and pollute aquifers that feed springs and streams in the Grand Canyon. This degradation poisons wildlife, fragments known wildlife corridors, and industrializes iconic landscapes.

Uranium mining is not a new threat of unknown consequence. It represents the ongoing cumulative diminishment of biological and cultural diversity, which has historically permitted industrial exploitation of our natural and human heritage. The cost of previous uranium mining, for example, includes permanent contamination of pristine water sources for wildlife and Park visitors, alongside generational damage to the health and culture of Indigenous families.

In contrast, protecting the Grand Canyon’s wild lands, waters, and healthy air brings generational economic, social, and ecological benefits in place of the fleeting capital gains of mining—especially considering the Grand Canyon region holds less than 1% of known uranium reserves in the U.S. This is no place for uranium mining.

To: U.S. Senator Martha McSally

Grand Canyon and its surrounding rim lands are core to the identity of Arizonans and hold immense significance to the many Native American communities who have cultural and spiritual connections to them. They sustain essential pathways for treasured wildlife and their waters literally bring life to this arid region. We believe they must be protected for all future generations.

Last year, U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema introduced the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act in the Senate, S. 3127, which would protect, for all time, the watersheds, ecosystems, and cultural heritage of Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon landscape is far too precious and important to Arizona to further open it up to uranium mining. Sen. McSally, we ask that you join Sen. Sinema in supporting this legislation and co-sponsor S. 3127. Our futures and our communities depend on it.