New National Monument Will Protect Communities and Ecosystems in Northern Arizona

August 8, 2023
Avalon Fajardo-Anstine, (720) 447-8224,

The Biden administration today issued a proclamation establishing the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument in Arizona. The new monument protects nearly one million acres of public lands surrounding Grand Canyon National Park.

Chris Kuzdas, Senior Water Program Manager with Environmental Defense Fund, issued the following statement about the importance of the new monument:

“EDF is thrilled to see President Biden designate the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument. The new monument will protect nearly a million acres of public lands from new mining, permanently stopping any new uranium mines from operating in the region.

We extend a warm congratulations to the Grand Canyon Tribal Coalition, and we acknowledge the tribal leaders and others who have fought for decades to protect their homelands, the Grand Canyon landscape, and its waters. 

Communities in the Grand Canyon region and the millions who visit each year are completely dependent on groundwater for drinking water supplies. The monument permanently removes the threat of new uranium mines undermining regional water security, helping safeguard a global treasure, local livelihoods, and the many deep spiritual and cultural connections to this irreplaceable landscape and its waters for generations to come.

The act of designating this monument represents an important leap forward on the long arc of environmental justice in the region. The work to ensure water security for all in the Southwest will continue, and today, our future in this region looks even brighter.” 

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