Yesterday, the Obama administration enacted a 20-year ban on new uranium mining claims in northern Arizona. Opposition groups claim that it will cost jobs, but according to this article in The Guardian, the measure does not affect some 3,000 existing mining claims around the canyon.
In the final years of the George Bush presidency, when uranium prices were rising worldwide, mining companies filed thousands of new claims in northern Arizona, on lands near the Grand Canyon. Sadly, one creek in the park is known to be contaminated by uranium, and the government’s environmental impact review found high levels of arsenic from old uranium operations.
But of course, like anything in the realm of politics, the ban is undoubtedly dubious. If you want more information, head on over to Adventure Journal and read a great article by Michael Frank on the issue. And for further insight, read the speech that Teddy Roosevelt made at the Grand Canyon on May 6th, 1903.