Contact: Mike Saccone, Communications Advisor, NWF Action Fund, MikeSaccone@nwa.org, 202-797-6634
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 7, 2020) — Former Vice President Joe Biden’s commitment to protecting the Grand Canyon and surrounding public lands and waterways is welcome news for Arizonans, Tribal nations, and all who cherish this treasured landscape.
“President Theodore Roosevelt once called the Grand Canyon ‘a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world.’ Vice President Biden’s commitment to defend the greater Grand Canyon would uphold a sacred covenant with Tribal nations, local communities, and wildlife that have suffered from toxic uranium pollution for too long,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund. “We welcome the Vice President’s leadership, in partnership with Indigenous communities, local communities, and leaders like Chairman Grijalva, to protect the public health, waterways, and wildlife around the Grand Canyon for current and future generation.”
Uranium mining around the Grand Canyon has been a controversial chapter in the region’s history, with uranium that once supported the Cold War leaving a toxic legacy of health issues for Native American tribes and local communities, clean-up costs in the billions of dollars for U.S. taxpayers, and multiple lawsuits. Uranium mines in Arizona and other states throughout the West have left Native American tribes and local communities to deal with a myriad of negative health effects, according to a recent study from the National Institutes of Health.
The Obama Administration banned new uranium mining around the Grand Canyon in 2012. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) has introduced and championed legislation, supported by Native American tribes and conservation organizations, to codify the withdrawal into law.
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The National Wildlife Federation Action Fund (a 501(c)(4) organization) works to raise the visibility of key conservation issues with voters and elected officials. Through grassroots action and focused legislative campaigns, the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund advocates for wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts from all walks of life and political stripes to ensure they have a voice in the democratic process.
To ensure a big tent for our shared conservation values, we remain fiercely bi-partisan and put conservation of our air, water, land and wildlife above political party. We believe in bi-partisan solutions, and welcome all who are stewards of the earth to join us. We advocate for natural resource protection, wildlife conservation and outdoor education to meet our top goals of protecting wildlife and wild places and connecting people with nature.
The National Wildlife Federation Action Fund is the sister organization to the National Wildlife Federation (a 501(c)(3) organization), America’s largest wildlife conservation organization. The National Wildlife Federation has been on the front lines for wildlife since 1936, fighting for the conservation values that are woven into the fabric of our nation’s heritage.