National Parks Group Applauds Decision by Department of Interior to Ban Uranium Mining Around Grand Canyon National Park

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   June 20, 2011
Contact:   David Nimkin, Southwest Regional Office Director, National Parks Conservation Association, dnimkin@npca.org, 801.521.0785
Jeff Billington, Senior Media Relations Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, jbillington@npca.org, 202.419.2717


National Parks Group Applauds Decision by Department of Interior to Ban Uranium Mining Around Grand Canyon National Park

Statement by: David Nimkin, Southwest Regional Office Director, National Parks Conservation Association

“This announcement is wonderful news for the millions of people who live near and visit the Grand Canyon each year, as well as the tens of millions more across our nation who believe the integrity and natural state of this awe-inspiring location should not be compromised. By protecting one million acres of federal lands around the Grand Canyon from uranium mining for the next 20 years, Secretary Salazar is making sure future generations will be able to enjoy a Grand Canyon unmarred from this development and has thus earned their thanks for the protection of its majesty and the preservation of the fragile ecology of the Colorado River.

“By keeping this beloved national park unspoiled by inappropriate developments, this action will allow the Grand Canyon to continue to be a major economic engine for Arizona and across the region, estimated in a Northern Arizona University study as being responsible for bringing $687 million in revenue to the region and creating more than 12,000 full-time jobs . And, in addition to securing the Grand Canyon’s natural beauty and its place as an economic jewel, this moratorium will also prevent further infiltration of dangerous contaminants, including uranium itself, into the Colorado River, which supplies drinking water to 25 million people. The Grand Canyon is also a scared place for the many native American tribes who trace their creation stories to this magnificent place and who regard hard rock uranium mining as a sacrilege.  As evidenced by these facts, this action is ethically correct and a case of common sense winning out over special interests.

 “For undeniable reasons, the Grand Canyon was set aside as a national park more than 90 years and, in the words of the late President Teddy Roosevelt, ‘Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. Do nothing to mar its grandeur, sublimity and loveliness. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is to keep it for your children, your children's children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.’”

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