Congressional Attack on Grand Canyon’s Watershed
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar had barely made his way back to Washington, D.C. from his announcement to protect the Grand Canyon watershed from 1000’s of new mining claims, when some Arizona congressmen began to interfere.
Secretary Salazar extended an emergency mining ban on one million acres of public lands in Grand Canyon’s watershed and established that ban as Interior’s preferred alternative, which means there is a good chance it will be enacted. That is, unless Congress gets in the way. Rep. Jeff Flake has included a terrible rider in the Interior Appropriations bill that will stop the Secretary from enacting these important protections.
Please contact your congressperson HERE to ask him/her to oppose this rider, as well as the other measures to limit protections of public lands and wildlife. We know the way to protect our economy is by protecting our land and water. “While hotel occupancy rates in Phoenix and Tucson tanked – down 20 percent or more during 2008-09 – Grand Canyon visitation stayed steady throughout the recession,” reports Cheryl Cothran, director of the Arizona Hospitality Research and Resource Center in a Flagstaff Business News article. By protecting this national treasure, we also protect the drinking water for tens of millions of Americans. Don’t let Congressmen like Jeff Flake commit us to a legacy of contamination and sickness, and millions of dollars of cleanup costs.
See Salazar’s speech from Mather Point here.
We also had an op-ed in the Arizona Republic supporting Salazar’s announcement.
Check out some fun pictures of Sierra Club’s work to move the mining ban forward.