Officials from the White House indicated on Monday that President Joe Biden will declare a new national monument to protect the area surrounding Grand Canyon National Park and prohibit mining there.
The region, which Native tribes regard as holy, has previously seen restrictions on uranium production, although the ban was slated to end in 2032. The appointment of Mr. Biden will make it enduring.
A new national monument will be created by President Biden’s presidential proclamation on Tuesday to save about 1 million acres of property in northern Arizona surrounding the Grand Canyon.
During a news conference onboard Air Force One, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed that Biden will request the designation during his Tuesday visit to northern Arizona, making it his sixth national monument.
Appealing to the northern Arizona tribes:
Dozens of tribes “stepped up” and requested this memorial, Added Jean-Pierre.
It was hoped that the president’s visit would be motivated by the need to restrict mining near Grand Canyon National Park. The 1,562 square miles that Biden has designated as a new national monument will be preserved for future generations.
The objective of the newly established national monument is to protect the local Native American tribes’ sacred ancestral lands. Senior administration officials who were privy to the announcement stated that the name of the national monument, which incorporates the Havasupai and Hopi languages, is Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni, meaning Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument.
The president’s speech will be attended by members of several tribes from northern Arizona. They include Amelia Flores, the chairwoman of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, Buu Nygren, the president of the Navajo nation, and Dianna Sue White Dove Uqualla, a tribal councilwoman for the Havasupai people. The tribal dancers who will perform a blessing include Uqualla in their ensemble.
Source: World Stride
Environmental Significance of Grand Canyon:
Biden has come under pressure from tribes in Arizona to exercise his power under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to establish Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni as a new national monument. For the Havasupai, “Baaj Nwaavjo” means “where tribes roam,” and for the Hopi, “I’tah Kukveni” means “our footprints.”
For decades, tribes and environmentalists have worked to protect the territory north and south of Grand Canyon National Park, while Republican politicians and the mining industry promote the economic benefits and argue that mining is necessary for national security.
In response to worries about the possibility of tainted water, the Interior Department issued a 20-year ban on the registration of new mining claims near the national park in 2012.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva has introduced legislation to establish a national monument on several occasions.
Specifically, Uqualla added, “We cannot allow uranium getting out of the ground because it will have an impact on everything around us — the trees, the land, the animals, and the people.” It won’t stop, as they say.
Biden’s 2024 campaigning :
Mr. Biden’s travel to Arizona is part of the White House’s broad effort to communicate important policy successes to voters, including a package he signed last year to pour $370 billion in tax breaks into wind, solar, and other renewable energy, as the campaign for 2024 heats up.
Senior government officials are also travelling the country this week, stressing his domestic agenda.
Source: ABC News
Mr. Biden will announce the creation of a national monument — the fifth of this kind designation of his presidency — in a location significant to Native American tribes during his first stop on a three-state tour, administration officials said on Monday.
All new uranium mining will be prohibited under the proposed categorization. Uranium mining has been prohibited in the affected region since 2012, although the Obama-era ban was slated to expire in 2032. Mr. Biden’s appointment would make the situation permanent.