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Arizona

Greater Grand Canyon Watershed

© Jessica Pope

Highlighted Value

Wildlife and Habitat

The Greater Grand Canyon Watershed is a natural wonder that embraces one of America’s most spectacular landscapes—the Grand Canyon.

Stretching across hundreds of thousands of acres of the “Arizona Strip” and on land both north and south of the Grand Canyon, this area is one of the wildest and most ecologically significant regions in the West.

The Threat

Drilling

Despite America’s love for the Grand Canyon and the incredible resources found within the Greater Grand Canyon Watershed, there has been a call to open the area to uranium mining, rolling back a 20-year moratorium on new mining leases put in place by former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in 2012. This is not the first time this region has been threatened with mining, with a handful of Congressmen pursuing legislation in recent years that would strip current protections. Uranium mining in this sensitive and stunningly beautiful area would destroy crucial wildlife habitat, devastate the tourism-based economy and put drinking water for the 25 million people who depend on the Colorado River at risk.

“Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American, if he can travel at all, should see.”
Teddy Roosevelt
After his first visit to the Grand Canyon, 1903
Stop uranium mining in the Greater Grand Canyon Watershed

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recommended re-opening more than 1 million acres of land adjacent to the Grand Canyon for uranium mining, revising a 2012 Obama administration order. In addition to potentially irreversibly tainting the Grand Canyon watershed’s aquifers, new uranium mining projects near the Grand Canyon would industrialize the iconic wildlands flanking the park, introducing exploratory drilling, new roads, power lines and increased traffic. Call you Congress member and tell them to oppose any effort to mine in the Greater Grand Canyon Watershed.