Sinema Introduces Bill Protecting the Grand Canyon, Strengthening Arizona’s Economy

Dec 19, 2019

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema introduced the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act to strengthen the state’s economy by protecting the Grand Canyon and Arizona’s outdoor heritage.
“Arizona’s economy depends on protecting the Grand Canyon and ensuring it remains a safe and stunning part of our outdoor heritage for generations to come,” said Sinema.
“Thirty years ago, when we first began fighting against the disastrous effects of uranium mining in our homelands, we were alone in this fight,” said Muriel Uqualla, Havasupai Tribal Chairwoman. “Sen. Sinema’s announcement earlier today sends a strong message that it is important to protect the Grand Canyon.  Not only for the Havasupai people, but for all people, for generations to come.”
“There is no reality in which it is worthwhile to endanger the Grand Canyon, the lives and cultures of Indigenous communities, and millions of people and the economies that support them,” said Amber Reimondo, energy program director for the Grand Canyon Trust. “For those reasons, the Grand Canyon region is, and forever will be, too precious to mine and today we are grateful to Senator Sinema for her leadership in advancing a permanent mining ban around the Grand Canyon.” 
“The Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act is an exciting step to permanently protect the lands and water that are so valuable and precious to Flagstaff and northern Arizona,” said Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans. “Grand Canyon National Park is the lifeblood of our community and economy and protecting it now and for future generations is of paramount interest. We are grateful for the work of Senator Sinema to protect this area and also to Congressmen Grijalva and O’Halleran.”

Sinema’s Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act prohibits new uranium mining around Grand Canyon National Park, protecting Arizona’s water supply, outdoor recreation and tourism industries, and tribal communities. Currently, the Grand Canyon welcomes over 6 million visitors a year, contributes $1.2 billion to local economies, and supports over 12,500 jobs in the region.
Sinema worked with the Havasupai Tribe, Grand Canyon Trust, and local stakeholders to develop the Grand Canyon Centennial Protection Act. Congressman Raul Grijalva introduced similar legislation in the U.S. House earlier this year.