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  • 1440 Daily Digest

New National Monument

President Joe Biden, during a visit to Arizona yesterday, designated nearly a million acres of land just outside of Grand Canyon National Park as a national monument. The Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni, or the Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument, is the fifth such designation during Biden's presidency.

The designation is meant to protect land considered sacred to Native American tribes in the area, including from all new uranium mining for energy use. Native tribes and environmental groups have said such mining activities would damage the Colorado River and nearby tribal sites. Uranium mining has already been restricted in the area since a moratorium went into effect in 2012; however, the restriction is set to expire in 2032. See an overview of how uranium is mined here.

Nearly 3,000 mining leases from 2012 will still be allowed to continue. Roughly 1.3% of known uranium sources in the US are located within the area near the Grand Canyon. About 5% of the country's total uranium sources are domestic, while the rest are imported (see data).

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