Aug 8, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Biden restricts mining with new national monument near Grand Canyon

Snow falls on Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, Arizona.

Snow falls on Grand Canyon National Park's south rim. Photo: Visions of America/Joseph Sohm/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday will announce the creation of a new national monument near the Grand Canyon, protecting the area from expanded uranium mining.

Why it matters: The creation of the new national monument — called Baaj Nwaavjo I'tah Kukveni — will protect nearly a million acres of land that is sacred to Native American tribes, the White House said.

Between the lines: The designation will safeguard the area from future uranium mining, which Native tribes and environmental groups have long sought in order to protect the Colorado River watershed, the New York Times reported.

  • Uranium mining has been restricted in the area since 2012, when a 20-year moratorium was enacted. The new designation makes the restrictions that were set to end in 2032 permanent.

Yes, but: Existing mining claims that predate the 2012 moratorium and two approved mining operations within the monument's boundaries will not be restricted, according to the White House.

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