Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Make the Grand Canyon Watershed a national monument to protect it from mining and logging.
The areas just beyond the Grand Canyon park boundaries are under attack from mining and deforestation despite the fact that it’s federally protected as a National Park. These environmental issues threaten the entire Grand Canyon ecosystem. A habitat for endangered species and majestic old growth ponderosa pine forests, the Grand Canyon watershed deserves the federal protections that a national monument designation would provide.
The area is a critical habitat for the California condor and Mexican spotted owl, both of which are endangered, and it serves as a crucial migration route for mule deer and pronghorn. Uranium mining near the Grand Canyon puts this ecosystem at risk by potentially exposing animals, air, water and land to contaminants.
The watershed is also a sacred space for multiple Southwestern Indigenous peoples, including the Paiute, Hopi, Zuni, and Navajo. The cultural and historical impacts of continued mining and other disturbances in the area are potentially devastating. More than 3,000 archaeological sites related to Indigenous history have been identified in the area, and remain federally unprotected and vulnerable to destruction.
That a place of such major ecological and cultural importance remains unprotected and subject to impacts from mining, pollution, and deforestation is a travesty. Federal protections are necessary to ensure that these lands are conserved for future generations. Call upon the federal government to protect the Grand Canyon watershed as a national monument, effectively extending the protections afforded to the Grand Canyon to the areas immediately surrounding it.
Dear President Obama,
The Grand Canyon watershed is an area of extreme ecological, cultural, and historical importance, containing old-growth ponderosa pine forests, endangered wildlife habitats, and sacred Indigenous sites. An important cultural site for multiple tribal peoples, the watershed also contains 3,000 archaeological sites of great historic importance. This land currently lacks federal protection and remains vulnerable to the detrimental effects of pollution and deforestation.
Though the Grand Canyon itself is protected as a national park, the areas just beyond its borders are under continued attack from old-growth logging and uranium mining. Contaminants, pollution, and physical disturbances from these and other practices are threatening the wildlife, forests and waters of this land. We, the undersigned, ask that you name the entire Grand Canyon watershed a national monument, and extend federal protection to this ecological and cultural treasure.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: John Fowler