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Trump Administration Considers Rolling Back Grand Canyon Uranium Mining Ban

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The Trump administration is considering lifting a ban on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the 20-year moratorium prevents new claims on more than a million acres.

President Trump in March ordered federal agencies to propose ways to increase domestic energy production on public lands, and review all existing regulations.

A report was released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the U.S. Forest Service. It makes more than a dozen such recommendations including rolling back the uranium ban to increase exploration and mining. The summary, however, lists several potential costs involved to reverse the order.  

Former U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued the ban in 2012 to protect the Grand Canyon’s environment and watershed as well as tribal lands and resources.

Environmental groups like the Grand Canyon Trust and the Center for Biological Diversity condemned the agency’s report.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered 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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