Thursday, August 04, 2016

Secretary of the Interior Jewell visits Grand Canyon

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell visited the park July 26 and addressed sexual harrassment on the river and possible designation of a Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument among other topics. Jewell introduced Grand Canyon National Park's (GCNP) new superintendent, Christine Lehnertz, and spoke about the National Park Service's (NPS) plans to change a culture of sexual harassment and hostile work environment that was recently addressed at Grand Canyon and led to the retirement of former Grand Canyon Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. Additionally, Jewell spoke about the possible designation of a 1.7 million acre Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument. Jewell said her experiences and work in Bluff, Utah, where she spent four days meeting with three different county councils, tribal communities and business owners to hear concerns and support for a possible designation of the Bears Ears National Monument, indicates her commitment to listen to different points of view before any action to designate or not either the Bears Ears or Grand Canyon Watershed as national monuments. "We have listened in this administration to different points of view," Jewell said. "We have also allowed the legislative process to work itself through but there are times when we've needed to move and we've been very judicious in doing that." Jewell said the Antiquities Act, which allows President Barack Obama to designate national monument before he leaves office, is an important tool used by presidents but said legislation is also an important tool "In the case of the greater Grand Canyon area there is both a legislative proposal for additional protections (and) there are people that are asking for monuments - we have not held any public meetings," she said...more

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