Grand Canyon is so much more than an ‘attraction’.
It’s one of the Seven Natural Wonders, a UNESCO World Heritage site, homeland to Indigenous communities, and a vast intricate complex of unique ecosystems, all its own. Each year, the Grand Canyon draws more than 6 million visitors and generates over $900 million for the local economy. While experiencing the Grand Canyon might make you feel small and transitory, you can help to preserve the legacy of its wildness in a big way.
defend the Grand Canyon from uranium mining.
Mining interests 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. But these studies have languished, as the threats have and the ban urgently needs permanence.
Uranium mining on the public lands surrounding Grand Canyon National Park threatens to disrupt, deplete, and pollute aquifers that feed springs and streams in the Grand Canyon. This contamination poisons wildlife, fragments wildlife corridors, and industrializes iconic landscapes.
don’t mine the wild.
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.
support the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act of 2019.
The Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act (S.3127) was introduced in the U.S. Senate late last year by Arizona’s senior Senator, Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
The Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act would protect over 1 million acres surrounding Grand Canyon National Park from new uranium mining by making permanent an existing but temporary 20-year moratorium on mining for the Canyon’s north and south rims.
Grand Canyon and the Arizona Trail are pillars of Arizona’s economy, with outdoor recreation generating $21 billion in consumer spending annually, supporting over 200,000 jobs, and sustaining rural communities. The Canyon’s watershed and the Colorado River it feeds provides life-giving water for wildlife, recreationists, and more than 40 million people in the West.
some history of the bill process.
Marking the 100-year anniversary of Grand Canyon National Park, Chairman Raul M. Grijalva introduced legislation for a permanent moratorium on uranium mining. The Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act, originally co-sponsored by Rep. Tom O’Halleran, would protect approximately 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon from toxic mining contamination and industrialization.
At the Chairman’s announcement of the Act, speakers discussed the pressing need to ban new uranium mining around the Grand Canyon, while telling their personal stories of how mining affects their communities. Read some of their words and gain insight into the devastating legacy of uranium mining.
A statewide study shows that voters overwhelmingly view outdoor recreation and tourism as more important to the economic future of Arizona than mining.
The House bill (H.R.1373) passed in fall 2019 with bipartisan support.
Wild Arizona stands with diverse community leaders, elected officials, and conservation supporters in calling for permanent withdrawal from toxic and damaging uranium mining of the lands adjacent to Grand Canyon National Park. Help us protect the Grand Canyon from new uranium mining industrialization and contamination.
Senator McSally has not taken a position on the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act, although both Arizona’s Senators recently stood together to protect public lands and parks by voting to support the Great American Outdoors Act, which was signed into law earlier this month.