NYTimes Open Letter to Obama Against Mining in the Grand Canyon
Dear President Obama: Since the Grand Canyon received its first national protection under President Theodore Roosevelt, tens of millions of visitors have gazed in awe at its unspoiled beauty. But today this natural treasure it threatened. Thousands of uranium mining claims have been staked on national forest and other federal lands immediately surrounding the park, many within view of the canyon’s rim. In 2009, your administration wisely called a two-year halt to these claims. But now you must decide whether to extend the moratorium for 20 years and, if so, how much of the land to set off limits. What hangs in the balance is not just the Grand Canyon’s splendor for future generations, but important wildlife habitat and the health of the Colorado River, which provides drinking water to millions. Mr. President, please extend the mining claim moratorium and protect all 1 million acres of public land surrounding Grand Canyon National Park.
The ad is sponsored by the PEW Environment Group and signed by many public figures and environmental groups including actors Robert Redford and Edward Norton, filmmaker Ken Burns, Theodore Roosevelt IV, and former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson. The letter also includes signatures from Jacqueline Johnson Pata, the executive director of the National Congress of American Indians and Richard Walema, Sr., vice-chairman for the Hualapi Tribal Council. To see the ad in full, pick up a copy of today’s (Tuesday, June 7, 2011) New York Times or open the .pdf here: 060711 NYT Grand Canyon ad