New Monument needed to protect Grand Canyon National Park from uranium mining threat
Proposal would protect Grand Canyon’s Watershed from effects of new mining claims and logging of ancient forests
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (April 17, 2013)— TrekWest conservation adventurer, John Davis, says that designation of the proposed Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument would guarantee that the Grand Canyon would be protected from industrialization of the wildlands surrounding the national park, and from other major threats to wildlife habitat connectivity.
“The critical wildlife habitat corridor and watershed surrounding much of the Grand Canyon could be lost if protection action is not taken soon,” Davis said during a recent presentation at Flagstaff’s Museum of Northern Arizona.
Davis, who has trekked nearly 1,000 miles over the past 10 weeks from Sonora, Mexico to the Grand Canyon to identify and promote protection of wildlife corridors in a continental-sized “Western Wildway,” is about to trek through portions of the 1.7 million-acre monument proposal, which abuts Grand Canyon National Park and includes the Southwest’s largest remaining ancient ponderosa forest and more than 125 creeks, springs and seeps that feed the watershed of the Colorado River.
While the area proposed for the monument is currently under a short-term mining moratorium, this tenuous administrative protection is already threatened by industry lawsuits. A monument designation would permanently guard these lands from new uranium mining claims. In addition, stewardship of the area’s 300,000-acre ancient forest would focus on conservation of old-growth ponderosa pine, one of the most endangered ecosystems in the Southwest.
Proponents of the new monument, including TrekWest conservation partners and citizens of the Grand Canyon community, are calling for designation by President Obama. Citizens from across the country have responded with 47,000 letters to President Obama in support of the Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument proposal.
In May, Davis embarks on the next leg of his trek through the wildlife corridor-laced canyon country of southern Utah, on his way to reach his ultimate destination in British Columbia during September.
Davis can be available for media interviews by phone or in person during his treks and associated public events (next are Earth Day events at Grand Canyon’s Shrine of the Ages on April 20, and the Visitor’s Center on April 21).
To schedule an interview, contact Kim Vacariu at 520-558-0165 (office); 520-390-3969 (cell) or kim. For complete details about TrekWest and to sign the TrekWest petition to create a mechanism to protect wildlife corridors, visit trekwest.org.