Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Grijalva pushes creation of monument in far northern Arizona

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva is reviving a push to designate a large swath of northern Arizona as a national monument. Grijalva, a Democrat, said he would introduce legislation next week to create Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument while acknowledging it likely won't get even a hearing in Congress. The goal is to have a template ready that President Barack Obama could consider signing as a proclamation for a new monument, he said. The proposed 1.7 million-acre monument is a mix of towering cliffs and canyons, grasslands, forest and desert that is popular with hunters, hikers, ranchers and other recreationists. It also includes 1 million acres rich in uranium ore that is temporarily banned from the filing of new mining claims. Grijalva, environmentalists and tribes want to make that ban permanent but have faced stiff opposition from Republicans and the mining industry. Tribal leaders who joined Grijalva on Monday in a news conference said the creation of a monument would protect the area's water, sacred sites and other cultural resources. Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said the tribe has struggled with the effects of uranium mining decades after it ceased on the reservation. He said he'd like to see Obama proclaim the area a national monument, using his authority under the Antiquities Act and further strengthen his commitment to American Indians. "We believe this falls right side his agenda," Begaye said...more

Haven't seen a map of the proposal, but I'm curious:  How much of the monument falls within the Navajo Nation?  Since President Begaye is so fond of the designation and the Antiquities Act, I'm sure he wants large areas in the Navajo Nation to be so designated. 

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