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Kirkpatrick Signs on as Cosponsor of Grand Canyon National Monument Bill


Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick has signed on as a cosponsor of a bill creating the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument. It would conserve 1.7 million acres of federal land surrounding the national park. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Kirkpatrick says a monument designation would protect the canyon from environmental threats like uranium mining and old-growth logging. It would also preserve Native American sacred sites. Tribal leaders and conservationists are applauding her co-sponsorship.

The bill was introduced to the House last year by Democratic Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva. Supporters hope it’ll provide a template for President Obama to declare a Grand Canyon monument under the Antiquities Act. However, acknowledge Congress is unlikely to pass it.

Kirkpatrick’s opponent in the race for U.S. Senate, Republican John McCain, has repeatedly expressed his opposition the monument. He says it would disrupt land management and add a harmful layer of federal regulation.

A recent pollshowed more than 80 percent of Americans nationwide support the Grand Canyon National Monument proposal. 

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom as executive producer in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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