Finally, some good news coming out of Washington, D.C. According to the Associated Press, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will be finalizing a 20-year ban on uranium mining today on over 1 million acres of public land near the Grand Canyon. Granted, there are already thousands of mining claims in place around the area, which won’t be affected by this new ruling, but it’s nice to hear about some good news, especially surrounding the amazing Grand Canyon.
Environmental groups call the ban a long-awaited but decisive victory, noting that the Colorado River, which runs through the Grand Canyon, is the source of drinking water for 26 million Americans. “Despite significant pressure from the mining industry, the president and Secretary Salazar did not back down,” said Jane Danowitz, U.S. public lands director for the Pew Environment Group.
The Grand Canyon has been in the news lately, mainly because of a controversial connection between the National Park Service and Coca-Cola. The NPS initially canceled a plan to ban bottled water in the park due to pressure from Coke, but reversed course once they heard an uproar from the general public. It’s looking to be a very good year for the health of our National Parks.