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New Study Says Proposed Monument Lands Bring $50 Million Annually to Local Economy

Dean Anderson/Arizona Highways

A new study shows the land proposed for a national monument outside Grand Canyon National Park currently brings more than $50 million in revenue to northern Arizona. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Analysts found almost 340,000 people a year visit the nearly 2-million acres on both the North and South rims. The study conducted by BBC Research and Consulting shows tourism and outdoor recreation already represent a bulk the area’s economic value in terms of food, lodging and gasoline sales, among other things. The firm also found livestock grazing and forest products add at least another $7.5 million of annual revenue to northern Arizona’s economy.

The proposal would designate 1.7 million acres mostly on the Kaibab Plateau for the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument. Supporters say the area is threatened by uranium mining, old-growth logging and overgrazing and have called on President Obama and Congress to establish the monument.

Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar, who opposes the project, introduced a bill that would limit the president’s ability to declare national monuments, citing negative economic impacts on local communities.

The study didn’t forecast future economic impacts to the area should the monument be created.

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