Biden Set To Announce a Grand Canyon Monument Designation

President Biden has arrived in the Grand Canyon state with plans to formally announce a national monument designation for the greater Grand Canyon, making Native American tribes’ and environmentalists’ decades-long vision to preserve the land a reality.

On Tuesday, Biden is expected to announce plans for a new national monument to preserve approximately 1,562 square miles in an area just outside of the Grand Canyon National Park. This action will mark the president’s fifth monument designation since taking office.

Native American tribes in Arizona have been asking Biden to use his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create a new national monument called Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni.

“Baaj Nwaavjo” means “where tribes roam,” for the Havasupai people. “I’tah Kukveni” translates to “our footprints,” for the Hopi tribe.

Tribes and environmentalists have been working to safeguard the land north and south of Grand Canyon National Park.

Biden will be speaking in an area located near Pinyon Plain Mine.

Representatives of various Arizona tribes will be in attendance during the president’s remarks, including Colorado River Indian Tribes Chairwoman Amelia Flores, Yavapai-Apache Nation Chairwoman Tanya Lewis, Navajo President Buu Nygren and Havasupai Tribal Councilwoman Dianna Sue White Dove Uqualla.

The tribes welcome the federal government’s designation. They feel it isn’t just about the uranium. They want to protect it all, the trees, the land, the animals, the people.

In addition to the desire to preserve the land, the Interior Department, has concerns over the risk of contaminating water. They have enacted a 20-year moratorium on the filing of new mining claims around the national park in 2012.

Officials with the Biden Administration announced that existing mining claims will not be affected by this designation. The monument site involves approximately 1.3% of the nation’s known uranium reserves. The Biden Administration reported there are other substantial resources in other parts of the country that will remain accessible.

Those opposing the monument being established have argued it could prevent thinning of forests and prevent hunters from keeping wildlife populations in check. Ranchers near the Arizona border are concerned the monument designation will strip them of their privately owned land.

Gov. Hobbs, Sen. Kelly and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema are all in support of the designation. Hobbs sent a letter to Biden stating she heard from people across the political spectrum, including sporting groups and outdoor groups, in support of a monument.

Mining companies remain in opposition. They feel the monument proposal is solely politically driven and there should have been additional hearings on the consideration.

After Biden is finished in Arizona, he will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico where he will talk about how fighting climate change has created new jobs on Wednesday, where he will talk about how fighting climate change has created new jobs. Later in the week he will be in Salt Lake City, Utah. The President will be holding reelection fundraiser in each of the cities he visits.