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House Considers Measure to Protect Grand Canyon from Uranium Mining

Increased Urgency as Interior Releases New Plan for Rapid Mining Expansion

Washington, D.C. – WEBWIRE

Today a House Natural Resources Subcommittee is holding a hearing on the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act.  The bill would permanently protect 1 million acres of public lands around the Grand Canyon from new uranium mining claims. It follows the release late yesterday of recommendations from Trump’s Interior Department that clear the way for a vast expansion of dangerous mining on public lands.

The hearing will also address the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act, which prevents heavily polluting oil and gas drilling near Chaco Canyon.

In response, Lena Moffitt senior director of Sierra Club’s Our Wild America campaign issued the following statement:

“The new critical minerals plan from Interior Sec. Bernhardt is another effort to clear the way for more mining -- no matter the cost.  Already the Dept. of the Interior is exploring the mineral potential of lands now excluded from Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. We also know that the uranium industry helped drive the elimination of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Across the border, on the lands around the Grand Canyon, industry is pushing to get thousands of uranium mining claims back on the table, over the objections of the Havasupi and Navajo people.

“There is an urgent need for action on the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act and other measures safeguarding important lands. We thank Chair Grijalva for introducing this vital legislation. The health of our communities, our waterways and our lands is too important, and the threat of uranium pollution’s toxic legacy is too permanent to ignore.”




About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person’s right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit

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