STATEMENT: President Biden protects Grand Canyon from uranium mining

Media Contacts

FLAGSTAFF, AZ – President Biden will designate the fifth national monument of his presidency in a ceremony on Tuesday. The new monument, proposed by the Grand Canyon Tribal Coalition, will protect more than 900,000 acres of public land that tribes say is important to protect for ecological, historical, cultural and spiritual reasons. 

The new national monument status permanently protects the area from new uranium mining claims which have been on hold since 2012 when the Obama administration enacted a 20-year ban. Uranium is used as fuel for nuclear power plants and nuclear reactors. Environment America Research & Policy Center has documented the risks of uranium mining including contaminated water, airborne uranium dust and toxic chemicals.

Tuesday’s announcement follows a public hearing held in Flagstaff in July and more than 100,000 petitions delivered to the Biden Administration, including petitions from Environment America Research & Policy Center supporters.

In response, Public Lands Campaign Director Ellen Montgomery issued the following statement:

“This is a grand day for the Grand Canyon region. Thanks to the Grand Canyon Tribal Coalition, this critical region and our most precious resource, the water that flows into the Colorado River, are protected for future generations. 

From the soaring bald eagles and California condors to the gila monsters and desert tortoises, hundreds of species are now safer from the toxic pollution that comes with uranium mining and other dangerous development. President Biden is making good on his pledge to protect more nature and we’re celebrating this new monument.”