This is what happens when 'the People' stand up for our environment AND say something to the President...
At an early afternoon event, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a 20-year ban on new mining claims on public land surrounding the Grand Canyon. On two previous occasions the secretary had imposed temporary bans on new mining claims. On Monday, he said that while uranium remains an important part of a comprehensive energy strategy, the Grand Canyon is a national treasure that must be protected.
The Grand Canyon attracts more than 4 million visitors a year and generates an estimated $3.5 billion in economic activity, Salazar said. Millions of Americans living in cities such as Phoenix and Los Angeles rely on the Colorado River for clean drinking water.
"A withdrawal is the right approach for this priceless American landscape," Salazar said in a speech at the National Geographic Museum. "People from all over the country and around the world come to visit the Grand Canyon. Numerous American Indian tribes regard this magnificent icon as a sacred place, and millions of people in the Colorado River Basin depend on the river for drinking water (and) irrigation."
As Interior secretary, he has been "entrusted to care for and protect our precious environmental and cultural resources," he said, adding that he has chosen "a responsible path that makes sense for this and future generations."