Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, today announced his intention to hold a hearing on the environmental future of the Grand Canyon. The hearing will take place Thursday, April 8, at 10:00 a.m MST at the Shrine of the Ages near Grand Canyon National Park headquarters.
The hearing will focus on several issues, including:
•The potential water quality impact of a proposed nearby uranium mine
•The effects of Glen Canyon Dam on resource management and environmental mitigation efforts
•The Colorado River Management Plan
•The link between environmental quality and visitor experience
Witnesses will include federal officials, tribal representatives, outside scientists and civilian park visitors.
“The Grand Canyon is one of the most spectacular places on Earth, and it deserves very special consideration from policymakers,” Grijalva said. “We need to know how well existing rules are working, and we need to be aware of the potential impacts of relaxing them. This hearing is a chance to learn from a wide range of interested stakeholders, and I think it’s a timely opportunity for Congress to recommit itself to protecting the national parks.”
Grijalva has already introduced H.R. 644, the Grand Canyon Watersheds Protection Act, to formally withdraw more than 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon from consideration for mining claims.
“The environmental impact of uranium mining on the Grand Canyon will be severe and irreversible,” Grijalva said. He called on Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to make permanent an existing moratorium on mining activity near the Grand Canyon.
The hearing will be held jointly with the Subcommittee on Water and Power chaired by Rep. Grace Napolitano. Both subcommittees are part of the House Natural Resources Committee.