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Yesterday Grand Canyon National Park celebrated its 100th birthday. Fortune explained it best: “on Feb. 26, 1919, Congress passed legislation backed by President Woodrow Wilson recognizing the canyon as a national park. The natural wonder has become an American symbol and a space for visitors to connect with the raw outdoors. The scenic landscape holds both the heritage and culture of America’s first people and a collection of unique historical and geological records.” Yet this national treasure is under threat from the likes of uranium mining, increased tourism, and climate change. That’s why Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee vowed to reintroduce legislation to halt uranium mining near the Grand Canyon.The Arizona Republic reported:
Grijalva has introduced other versions of what he’s calling the “Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act” several times in recent years, but he’s likely to find stronger support this time in the Democratic-controlled House
He made the announcement just days before the 100th anniversary of the Canyon’s status as a national park, and just days after news broke about buckets full of uranium ore sitting in a South Rim museum, exposing visitors and employees to small amounts of radiation.
The bill would recognize the plight of indigenous people who have been affected by mining in the Grand Canyon. Some of the tribes are still dealing with the effects of uranium mines that sickened or killed people who lived or worked nearby. Tribal leaders fear new mines could further contaminate the environment.
Just last week news broke about buckets full of uranium ore sitting in a South Rim museum, exposing visitors and employees to small amounts of radiation.
Go Deeper: Honoring the legacy of the Grand Canyon means protecting it from exploitation. Read Cindy McCain’s (widow of long-serving AZ Senator John McCain) recent joint op-ed about the need to protect this precious national park.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer A condo collapse in Miami is prompting new conversations about the threats rising sea levels and flooding present to the nation’s infrastructure. Experts say that it’s too early to determine whether or not climate change contributed to the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers. But they also warn that as sea levels rise […]
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Louisiana loses almost a football field of land each day, caused by a combination of climate change-fueled sea level rise, reduced sediment flow from the Mississippi River, and the land gradually sinking. One area that’s not slipping underwater: Avery Island, the birthplace of Tabasco hot sauce that’s still the […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and part of the state Cabinet have approved a highway extension spanning a portion of the Everglades. The move rejects a 2020 recommended order from Administrative Law Judge Suzanne Van Wyk, claiming that the project was incompatible with continued efforts to establish protections in the region. Legal challenges are […]
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