Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New Study Finds Proposed Monument Surrounding Grand Canyon National Park Is One of the Wildest Places in the West
Press Release

RELEASE: New Study Finds Proposed Monument Surrounding Grand Canyon National Park Is One of the Wildest Places in the West

Washington, D.C. — Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most iconic natural areas in the United States. However, the lands and watershed surrounding the park are being threatened by increased development, logging, and a resurgence of uranium mining posing a serious risk to tribal communities, drinking water, and wildlife in the region.

The Center for American Progress has released new analysis conducted in partnership with Conservation Science Partners showing that the area is in the top 3 percent of undeveloped and connected places for wildlife and recreation in the United States. The effort already underway to preserve this area as a national monument would protect it from the severe consequences of overdevelopment, logging, and mining.

“The nearly 1.8 million acre proposed monument is one of the wildest and most connected places in the West,” said Jenny Rowland, Research and Advocacy Associate for the CAP Public Lands team and author of the column. “Preserving this area will enhance the Greater Grand Canyon area’s resilience to climate change while improving ecological connectivity and protecting biodiversity.”

“President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy is strong but not permanent,” said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ). “This administration took important steps to temporarily protect the Grand Canyon from uranium mining, but more needs to be done before President-elect Donald Trump takes office. Tribal nations in Arizona, New Mexico, and across the country – including the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona and the National Congress of American Indians – have asked for permanent protection for the Greater Grand Canyon area for years. This column clearly shows—as if we needed further evidence—that we need to honor their requests. These findings are consistent with the overwhelming local and national public support we see for protecting the Grand Canyon, and I thank CAP for telling this important story. No one can doubt the importance or timeliness of granting this special place the permanent protection it deserves, and CAP deserves our gratitude for its great work in advancing that cause.”

The proposal is supported broadly by locals, elected leaders, tribal nations, businesses, and the citizens who care about the nation’s natural treasures. In fact, a nationwide poll found that 82 percent of American voters support the creation of a Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument and more than a half million Americans have signed petitions urging the president to designate this area.

Click here to read the column.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at [email protected] or 202.481.7141.