By Andrew Nicla | Arizona Republic
An Arizona lawmaker is renewing his push to halt uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, outlining a proposal Saturday that would make permanent a moratorium on new claims across 1 million acres of public lands.
Rep. Raúl Grijalva has introduced other versions of what he’s calling the “Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act” several times in recent years, but he’s likely to find stronger support this time in the Democratic-controlled House, where he is chairman of the Natural Resources Committee.
On Saturday, he pitched the idea at the Canyon, flanked by Havasupai, Hualapai, Hopi and Navajo tribal leaders, in a building near the park’s South Rim that was packed with park visitors, tribal members and environmental advocates.
“Protecting the canyon is just, it’s overdue and it’s life-affirming,” Grijalva said, gesturing to the group. “The public wants us to do it, the economies of the region need it and the Grand Canyon’s future depends on it.”