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Grand Canyon Gets Interim Protection from Mining

Posted: 07/07/2011
by Kevin Colburn

The Secretary of the Interior recently announced a 6-month extension to his Department's moratorium on new uranium mining claims on over 1 million acres along the rim of the Grand Canyon.  This extension will protect the area while the Department of the Interior reviews the 300,000 comments received on their proposal to extend the protections for the next 20 years.  At the same time, the Secretary announced that his Department's preferred alternative is the full protection of 1 million acres, as opposed to alternatives that would protect fewer acres.  The Department anticipates making a final decision on how much land to protect later this year. 

Earlier this summer American Whitewater and nine of our affliliate clubs sent a comment letter in support of the full protection of these lands.  AW also joined a similar letter with the Outdoor Alliance, and encouraged our membership to support protection of the incredible scenic values, water quality, and water quantity of the Grand Canyon and especially its iconic tributaries.  We would like to thank all the paddlers that spoke up for protecting the Grand Canyon, Havasu Creek, Kanab Creek, and the Little Colorado River.  Our efforts have been successful at securing interim protection for these special places, and we are hopeful that the Department of the Interior will support a 20 year moratorium on new mining claims in their decision later this year. 

Read the Secretary's announcement or watch a video of it here.

Associated Rivers

Colorado AZ
Little Colorado AZ