AZ Republicans sue over Biden’s creation of new national monument near Grand Canyon, limiting mining

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The Arizona Legislature’s apical 2 Republicans person challenged Democratic President Joe Biden’s creation of a caller nationalist monument past summertime conscionable extracurricular Grand Canyon National Park, alleging he exceeded his ineligible authority successful making that nickname nether a century-old rule that lets presidents protect sites considered historically aliases culturally important. In a suit revenge Monday against Biden, Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma alleged Biden’s determination to designate nan caller monument nether nan 1906 Antiquities Act wasn’t constricted to preserving objects of historical aliases technological worth and isn’t confined to nan "the smallest area compatible pinch nan due attraction and guidance of nan objects to beryllium protected."

The monument nickname will thief sphere 1,562 quadrate miles conscionable to nan northbound and southbound of Grand Canyon National Park. The monument, called Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni, turned a decadeslong imagination for Native American tribes and environmentalists into a reality. Republican lawmakers and nan uranium mining manufacture that operates successful nan area had opposed nan designation, touting nan economical benefits for nan region while arguing that nan mining efforts are a matter of nationalist security.


"Biden’s maneuver is incredibly disingenuous, arsenic it has thing to do pinch protecting existent artifacts," Petersen said successful a statement. "Instead, it intends to halt each mining, ranching, and different section uses of national lands that are captious to our power independency from adversary overseas nations, our nutrient proviso and nan spot of our economy."

The White House and nan U.S. Department of nan Interior declined to remark connected nan lawsuit.

Mohave County and nan bluish Arizona communities of Colorado City and Fredonia besides sued nan Biden management arsenic portion of nan challenge.

The suit says Mohave County and Colorado City will spot a nonaccomplishment of taxation gross owed to reduced mining activity and that nan land-use restrictions that travel from a monument nickname will trim nan worth of surrounding land, including State Trust Land, which produces incomes that benefits Arizona's nationalist schools and different beneficiaries.

The Interior Department, reacting to concerns complete nan consequence of contaminating water, enacted a 20-year moratorium connected nan filing of caller mining claims astir the nationalist park successful 2012. No uranium mines are operating successful Arizona, though nan Pinyon Plain Mine, conscionable southbound of Grand Canyon National Park, has been nether improvement for years. Other claims are grandfathered in. The national authorities has said astir a twelve mines wrong nan area that person been withdrawn from caller mining claims could still perchance open. Just days aft Biden made nan nickname successful bluish Arizona, a national judge successful Utah dismissed a suit challenging nan president’s restoration of 2 sprawling nationalist monuments successful nan authorities that had been downsized by then-President Donald Trump.

The judge said Biden acted wrong his authority erstwhile he issued proclamations restoring Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments successful 2021. Both monuments are connected onshore ineffable to galore Native Americans.