Former Arizona Game and Fish Commissioners Call on President to Protect Lands Around Grand Canyon as a National Monument
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2015
Phoenix, AZ – Today, five former Arizona Game and Fish Commissioners, sent a letter to President Obama supporting the creation of the Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument.
The former commissioners stated how important protection of habitat and our public lands is to ensuring that there are healthy populations of wildlife throughout Arizona and also how important these lands are for the array of recreational opportunities they provide, including hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
“Protecting the national forests and Bureau of Land Management lands around Grand Canyon National Park will help limit fragmentation of this important wildlife habitat,” said Bob Hernbrode, former Arizona Game and Fish Commissioner (2005-2010). “Part of the monument proposal includes protection of the Kaibab-Paunsagunt Wildlife Corridor which allows for migration of mule deer from the higher elevations in Utah to the lower elevations in Arizona. The North Kaibab is known as a premiere wildlife area for hunters and non-hunters alike.”
Under the proposed monument, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management will continue to manage the lands, but will prioritize restoring and conserving wildlife habitat and corridors. The Arizona Game and Fish Department will continue the primary role relative to wildlife management.
In the letter, commissioners stated:
“We ask that you further President Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy of permanently conserving lands around Grand Canyon, by protecting old growth forests, keeping uranium mining from contaminating the waters of the region, and protecting those critical wildlife corridors both north and south of Grand Canyon.
Together, we can ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the amazing outdoor experience in Grand Canyon’s watershed.”
The proposed Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument is a magnificent landscape made up of public lands surrounding Grand Canyon. The area’s rugged cliffs, pine forests, deep canyons and grasslands protect and provide clean drinking water for this parched region and for millions of people downstream who depend on the Colorado River, in Arizona, Nevada and California.
At the heart of the Grand Canyon Watershed, the Kaibab Plateau is home to a wealth of wildlife, including an internationally renowned mule deer herd and the Kaibab squirrel, which is found nowhere else in the world.
This area contains more than 3,000 documented ancient Native American archaeological sites, some dating back more than 12,000 years, and more than 125 creeks, springs, and seeps.
This area hosts a broad range of outdoor activities, including hunting and wildlife viewing. These and other outdoor activities in Arizona generate $787 million in state and local revenues and create more than 100,000 jobs.