UPDATE | Biden Designates Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument


President Biden on Tuesday was expected to declare a national monument on nearly 1 million acres around Grand Canyon National Park/Rebecca Latson fileEditor’s note: This updates to reflect the president’s signing of the proclamation establishing the national monument.President Biden on Tuesday designated Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument in Arizona, a sprawling, nearly million-acre tract adjacent to Grand Canyon National Park known for its natural, cultural, economic, scientific, and historic resources and recreational opportunities.According to the Interior Department, the new national monument consists of three distinct areas to the north and south of Grand Canyon National Park, totaling approximately 917,618 acres of federal lands in northern Arizona. The lands will continue to be managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, a release from Interior said. The monument designation would honor valid existing rights and does not apply to private property or tribal, state or local government lands.“Today’s action by President Biden makes clear that Native American history is American history. This land is sacred to the many Tribal Nations who have long advocated for its protection, and establishing a national monument demonstrates the importance of recognizing the original stewards of our public lands,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “Indigenous Knowledge is a core piece of what we mean when we talk about collaborative conservation. Today, I am honored to stand with the President, Tribal leaders, and local communities and coalitions that made it possible.”Back in January 2012, then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar withdrew more than 1 million acres surrounding Grand Canyon National Park from hard-rock mining. The move was described as critical to protect the canyon’s watershed from potential adverse effects of additional uranium and other hardrock mining for the next 20 years. However, it also was  condemned by politicians who …

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