Arizona sportsmen to Zinke: protect Grand Canyon from mining

Trout Unlimited's picture

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 18, 2018

Contact: Brad Powell, TU Southwest Director, 480-717-1705,

Scott Garlid, AWF Conservation Director, 480-487-4663 , scott@azwildlife.org

 

(Phoenix)—A broad coalition of Arizona sportsmen’s groups today launched a new campaign to protect the Grand Canyon and its natural resources and wildlife from the impacts of proposed uranium mining. The Arizona Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited and other sportsmen and wildlife groups unveiled the “Protect Your Canyon” campaign and called on Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke to protect this iconic national treasure.

In 2012, the Secretary of the Interior imposed a 20-year moratorium on new uranium and hardrock mining near the Grand Canyon—protecting this vital watershed and wildlife habitat from mining impacts and pollution. The Grand Canyon mineral withdrawal is now under siege, with strong efforts in Congress and the Administration to lift that moratorium. The Department of Interior (DOI) recently listed uranium as a “critical mineral,” and is working with the Department of Commerce to research ways to increase domestic uranium production. They are expected to propose actions later this year.

The groups are using several methods to get their message out to sportsmen and outdoors enthusiasts in Arizona, including billboards, petitions, a sportsmen’s video, and a new website (www.protectyourcanyon.org).

We need better science about the complicated, fractured geology of the Grand Canyon before opening it again to uranium mining,” said Nate Rees, Arizona Coordinator of Trout Unlimited’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Project. “Hunters and anglers are asking the administration to keep current protections in place until we know with certainty that mining won’t degrade the canyon’s invaluable fish and wildlife resources, pollute our water supply and undercut our state’s booming recreation economy.”

When former Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar announced the withdrawal he said, “A withdrawal is the right approach for this priceless American landscape. People from all over the country and around the world come to visit the Grand Canyon. Numerous American Indian tribes regard this magnificent icon as a sacred place and millions of people in the Colorado River Basin depend on the river for drinking water, irrigation, industrial and environmental use. We have been entrusted to care for and protect our precious environmental and cultural resources, and we have chosen a responsible path that makes sense for this and future generations.”

Arizona sportsmen are raising their voices to ask the administration to continue this prudent path of stewardship.

“Every American and future generations of Americans are the owners of our public lands,” said Scott Garlid, Conservation Director at the Arizona Wildlife Federation. “And if you’re an owner making long term decisions for the benefit of all Americans, you would never mine for uranium around the Grand Canyon. There is simply very little benefit from taking such a tremendous risk in an area that defines the American West.”

 

 

Other Contacts:

Chris Mitchell, Yuma Valley Rod & Gun Club, 928-580-1461, ccyuma70@gmail.com

Tom Mackin, Coconino Sportsmen, 928-814-2603, region2director@azwildlife.org

Terry Herndon, Arizona Mule Deer Organization, 623-696-5579, terry@azmuledeer.org

Steve Clark, Arizona Elk Society, 602-885-0835, rthrbhntng@cox.net

 

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Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s trout and salmon and their watersheds. Follow TU on and , and follow our blog for all the latest information on trout and salmon conservation.

The Arizona Wildlife Federation is a non-profit sportsman’s conservation organization founded in 1923 to take politics out of fish and game management and to promote the management of Arizona's natural resources on a scientific basis. AWF is dedicated to educating, inspiring, and assisting individuals and organizations to value, conserve, enhance, manage, and protect wildlife and wildlife habitat. Learn more about AWF at www.azwildlife.org .

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