A recent poll showed a majority of Arizonans support the possible designation of a national monument outside Grand Canyon National Park. But a group of current and former state wildlife officials have voiced their opposition to the idea. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.
Fifteen current and former members of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission recently sent a letter to President Obama. They urged him not to use his executive authority to create the 1.7-million-acre national monument on the North and South rims of the Grand Canyon. The commissioners say such a designation would impose unnecessary regulation, compromise wildlife management, and negatively affect outdoor recreation.
Conservation groups, regional tribes and some members of Congress, however, have backed a potential Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument. They say it would protect the canyon’s watershed by placing a ban on area uranium mining, and preserve old-growth forest on the Kaibab Plateau.
Colorado College’s annual Conservation in the West Poll showed nearly three-quarters of Arizonans supported a national monument near the Grand Canyon. It also showed almost 85 percent of the state’s residents felt the Colorado River was at risk.