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VICTORY! Supreme Court: Grand Canyon Uranium-Mining Ban Stands

Grand Canyon Trust
North Rim. Photo by Blake McCord

Dear James,

Ready for some good news? The Grand Canyon uranium ban stands!

After a protracted legal battle to defend the temporary ban on new uranium claims around the Grand Canyon from attacks by the mining industry, the highest court in the land has finally put the matter to rest. On Monday, the Supreme Court denied an industry challenge to a lower court’s decision upholding the ban. This puts an end to the legal battle to reopen about 1 million acres of public land around the Grand Canyon to new uranium mining. We’re deeply grateful for the government’s savvy and forceful efforts to defeat the mining industry’s lawsuit, from the trial court to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The culmination of years of hard work, this victory is shared — with the Havasupai Tribe who make their home at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, with hunting and angling groups, local governments, allies in Congress, and other partners. And we wouldn’t be here without the hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens like you who have raised their voices to protect the Grand Canyon. Thank you.

While this decision is a very big step in the right direction, our work isn’t over yet. The current administration could still decide to lift the ban. It has listed uranium as a “critical mineral” and the Department of Commerce is in the midst of developing a strategy to streamline access to critical mineral deposits, including uranium. The Department of Commerce is also investigating, at the request of two uranium companies, whether to recommend uranium import quotas. Both of these things have significant potential to add political pressure to lift the ban.

Who owns uranium claims around the Grand Canyon? There are more than 800 active mining claims around the Grand Canyon.

The mining industry promises to continue to advocate against the ban and some politicians openly call for the ban to be rescinded.

A U.S. Forest Service recommendation to review and revise the ban is still floating in the ether.

In a meeting last month, Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt told the Grand Canyon Trust that the agency currently has “no reason” to reconsider the ban. We’re very happy to hear this, of course, but we remain alert to the ever-shifting circumstances that could move this administration to give in to political pressure and open the door to attempts to weaken or lift the ban.

Thank you for your support over the last months and years, and for sticking with us for the long haul, working together to Keep the Canyon Grand.

Sincerely,

Amber Reimondo
Energy Program Director

P.S. While this is a critical win, we’re celebrating with vigilance. Pressure from the mining industry continues. Now is the time to double down on protections for the Grand Canyon. Donate to the Trust today.

Photo courtesy of Blake McCord.

Grand Canyon Trust
2601 N. Fort Valley Rd

Flagstaff, AZ, 86001
Phone: (928) 774-7488
grandcanyontrust.org

@GrandCanynTrust @GrandCanyonNPS @NatlParkService #PaddlesportsLaw #GCRG #GrandCanyonRiverGuides #WhitewaterPark #WhitewaterLaw #RecLaw #RecreationLaw #OutdoorLaw #OutdoorRecreationLaw #OutdoorIndustry #ORLawTextbook

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Celebrate National Public Lands Day with Free Admission and Special Events at National Parks

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National Park Service

U.S. Department of the Interior

Celebrate National Public Lands Day with Free Admission and Special Events at National Parks

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On September 22, join in the nation’s biggest celebration of the great outdoors on National Public Lands Day! All national parks will have free admission and many will host volunteer service projects open to all.

“Every year, Americans come together on National Public Lands Day to demonstrate their love of national parks,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “Activities hosted by parks across the nation will promote environmental stewardship and encourage the use of public lands for education, recreation, and good health.”

Marking its 25th anniversary this year, National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day environmental volunteer effort. More than 200,000 people are expected to participate in volunteer service events designed to improve the health of public lands and encourage shared stewardship.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan K. Zinke will celebrate the day by working alongside groups of military veterans and youth to paint several historic structures at Grand Canyon National Park. The volunteer project to restore the cabins is an example of the $11.6 billion in deferred maintenance needs in the National Park System. Secretary Zinke will also meet with national park partners and congressional representatives to discuss legislative efforts to address the maintenance backlog.

Grand Canyon is just one of 100 national parks and 2,600 federal public land sites hosting National Public Lands Day events. In other national parks, volunteers will rehabilitate campgrounds, improve trails, restore native habitats, repair bluebird boxes, clean beaches, and refurbish historic buildings, among other projects. Check NPS.gov for more information and a list of sites.

Volunteer efforts on days such as National Public Lands Day demonstrate the willingness of people to give back to the land for the benefit of parks. Volunteers assisting on work projects on National Public Lands Day will receive a voucher that can be redeemed for free entrance to any national park on a date of their choosing.

National Public Land Day celebrations also include recreational and educational activities, such as hikes, bike rides, paddle trips, bird watching excursions, and water quality testing. To encourage everyone to join the fun, it is an entrance fee-free day for national parks and most other federal public lands and state parks.

The National Environmental Education Foundation coordinates National Public Lands Day in partnership with seven federal agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional, and local governments. The federal partners are the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.

All National Public Lands Day events are free, and open to people of all ages and abilities. To learn more, register an event, or find an event near you, visit NEEFusa.org/NPLD. Follow National Public Lands Day on Twitter and Facebook for updates and share your own activities that day with #NPLD.

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A Call for Presentation Proposals for the 2019 Grand Canyon History

A Call for Presentation Proposals for the 2019 Grand Canyon History Symposium

A Celebration of 100 Years of Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon Historical Society is pleased to announce the 5th Grand Canyon History Symposium, to be held February 20-24, 2019 at Grand Canyon’s South Rim. We encourage everyone who has done research on, or been a part of, Grand Canyon regional history to consider presenting. Proposals must be received by Friday, May 4, 2018.

Background

Since January 2002, there have been four history symposia, bringing together historians, witnesses to history, park employees, and others with a passion for Grand Canyon history. The presentations from each symposium were assembled into a collection of essays. It is the Grand Canyon Historical Society’s intent to publish the proceedings from this symposium as well.

Grand Canyon National Park Focus

The 2019 Symposium Selection Committee will be reviewing presentation proposals with preference in selection given to those that tie into Grand Canyon National Park’s 100 years of history. Presentations concerning the history of the greater Grand Canyon and its adjacent areas within the Colorado Plateau will also be considered. Dates of the 2019 History Symposium presentations will be Thursday Feb. 21st, Friday Feb. 22nd and Saturday Feb 23rd.

Since the 2016 Symposium had a limited number of presenters, many who submitted were not selected. Candidates who were not chosen are encouraged to re-submit their proposals for the 2019 Symposium. Those who have presented or submitted proposals for the previous four Symposia are also encouraged to submit a new proposal.

Submitting a Proposal

To be considered, please submit the following information by Friday, May 4, 2018:

__ Name __ Mailing address __ Phone number(s) __ Email address

__ Presentation title with a 150-300 word abstract or summary of your presentation

__ 75 word bio

__ Audio-visual requirements

__ Acknowledgment that, if selected, you agree to submit your complete PowerPoint presentation, not to exceed 20 minutes, and up to 3,000 word presentation in essay form by Friday, January 11, 2019

Send to:

symposium@grandcanyonhistory.org (preferred)

or Grand Canyon Historical Society, PO Box 1667, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Notification of Proposals Selected

All individuals who submitted a proposal will be notified, regardless of selection, via email by Friday, May 25, 2018

Complete details and updates on the Symposium are available at http://www.GrandCanyonHistory.org.

Questions may be directed to:

Richard Quartaroli, Presenters Chair, at symposium@grandcanyonhistory.org or

Dave Mortenson, President, Grand Canyon Historical Society, at president@grandcanyonhistory.org.


Survey of Small Businesses Along Continental Divide Trail Finds that Trail Users are an Economic Boon to Communities

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One-of-a-Kind Survey of Small Businesses Along Continental Divide Trail Finds that Trail Users are an Economic Boon to Communities

Continental Divide Trail Coalition surveys small businesses in four states—including Colorado—and 16 rural communities to assess trail’s economic impact. Business owners say trail users play an important role in their economic well-being

A one-of-a-kind survey of small business owners in 16 communities near the Continental Divide Trail throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho and Wyoming shows the trail, the public lands it travels through and the hikers that use it are a vital and growing part of the economic activity in those towns.

The survey of 71 small business owners, conducted by the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC)—a nonprofit organization committed to constructing, promoting, and protecting the trail—during the fall of 2017, shows that small business owners see a strong correlation between the success and promotion of the trail and their bottom lines. The survey—the first of its kind to poll small business owners in small, often remote communities along the trail that runs from Canada to Mexico—unequivocally shows that business owners feel the trail puts their communities on the map as an outdoor recreation hub and draws trail users who spend money at restaurants, hotels, gear shops, grocery stores and other places of business in their communities:

  • 77 percent of small business owners who responded to the survey say trail users spend money at their business and have had a positive impact on their business
  • 88 percent say that trail users spend money in their community and have a positive impact on business in general

“The Continental Divide Trail and the hikers that use it are vital to my business. We are able to get through the winter because of the massive number of hikers coming through in the summer,” said Melanie Garr, the owner of Simple Lodge & Hostel in Salida, Colo., one of the communities surveyed. “Considering the positive impact the trail and the people who use it have on my business and our community, it is alarming to see the president roll back protections for public lands in the West. This is our livelihood and decisions like that threaten it.”

Business owners also report economic benefits since their towns gained the Continental Divide Trail Community designation from the CDTC. The designation recognizes communities that have committed to promoting and protecting the trail and providing an inviting environment for trail hikers:

  • 67 percent report seeing an increase in trail users coming through their communities
  • 42 percent report seeing an increase in traffic from trail users in their businesses
  • 39 percent report an overall increase in business in their community
  • 61 percent see an increase in awareness of their community as an outdoor recreation hub

“Small businesses keep local communities and economies thriving by providing jobs, financial stability and valuable services, and their collective activity boosts our national economy. The decision to reduce protections for the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments sent shockwaves through communities that rely on public lands for their economic wellbeing,” said Teresa Martinez, executive director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. “Small business owners in these towns are consistent in their belief that the Continental Divide Trail stimulates the economies of their communities. Our leaders must pursue policies that help these small businesses maintain and grow a healthy bottom line by preserving and enhancing the trail and the public lands it traverses.”

The survey provides a first-hand account of what economic reports on recreation have found—such as the 2017 Outdoor Industry Association report that shows the recreation economy drives $887 billion in consumer spending every year and supports 7.6 million jobs. As the popularity of the trail increases, Martinez expects the economic impact to grow.

“We have documented an exponential increase in the number of long-distance hikers attempting to hike from one end of the trail to the other over the past four years,” Martinez said. “In the first year, we documented 50 thru-hikers. In 2017, there were more than 300. We expect the numbers to keep growing and the positive economic impact on communities to grow with them.”

Seeing the positive economic impact the trail has on their businesses, it is not surprising that the survey also reveals that small business owners in trail communities believe protecting their region’s natural assets will enhance local economies.

A vast 88 percent of small business owners say that protecting, promoting and enhancing the Continental Divide Trail is important to the well-being of businesses, jobs and their community’s economy. An overwhelming 95 percent say that protecting, promoting and enhancing public lands in general is important to the well-being of businesses, jobs, and their community’s economy.

The entrepreneurs owned a variety of businesses: 36 percent own a hotel or motel; 28 percent own a restaurant, bar or similar business; 22 percent own an outdoor clothing or gear store; 6 percent own an outdoor guide service; 4 percent own a grocery or convenience store; and 4 percent own an RV park or campground.

The vast majority of respondents are small businesses with 98 percent reporting 50 or fewer employees during the peak season. Indeed, 71 percent have 10 or fewer employees.

Click here to ready the survey report.

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Information on National Park Entrance Fees increase to $70 Comment period closes November 23, 2018

$70 to visit Grand Canyon?  There is a 30 days comment period underway right now where the public (and that means you) can weigh in on a significant entrance fee proposal that would affect a number of national parks including Grand Canyon. See this link for details and to access the website for submitting comments. https://www.nps.gov/…/1…/10-24-2017-fee-changes-proposal.htm

Will lower income and under-served populations be priced out? Shouldn’t national parks be affordable and accessible to everyone?  But how do we pay for the massive maintenance backlog that exists in our national parks?  Our parks belong to ALL Americans, not just those who visit them, and our administration should be boosting park budgets, not cutting them. Congress should also support the bipartisan legislation introduced specifically to address the NPS maintenance backlog — the National Parks Legacy Act (HR 2584 and SB 751) which is currently pending.

Also, please read these related blogs from our good friends at the National Parks Conservation Association:

https://www.npca.org/articles/1669-administration-proposes-massive-park-fee-increase

https://www.npca.org/articles/1508-sens-warner-portman-introduce-bipartisan-legislation-to-address-national

“We should not increase fees to such a degree as to make these places — protected for all Americans to experience — unaffordable for some families to visit,” NPCA president and CEO Theresa Pierno said in a statement. “The solution to our parks’ repair needs cannot and should not be largely shouldered by its visitors.”

 


If you have had Toliosis in the Grand Canyon, take this Survey

The Coconino County Public Services Health District is working to identify how tolio is and has been affecting river runners. A survey for do-it-yourself river runners has been set up to get your feedback on this condition that can impact river runners feet and hands.

Please click on the link below and fill out the survey if you have ever had the skin affliction commonly being referred to as tolio. The purpose of this survey is to get some baseline information about how tolio has recently been affecting people.

Here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DIY-tolio

For additional information, contact

Matthew Maurer, MPH, REHS
Epidemiologist
Coconino County Public Health Services District
2625 N. King Street, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Phone: 928-679-7332


Free Days for US National Parks for 2017: Get out and Get There!

 

 

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

National Park Service News Release

Release Date: November 14, 2017
Contact: Kathy Kupper,
kathy_kupper@nps.gov, 202-208-6843

National Park Service Announces Fee Free Days for 2017 

Ten More Great Reasons to Visit a National Park

WASHINGTON – Combine great scenery and history with great savings and visit a national park for free on one of 10 fee free days in 2017.

The ten entrance fee-free days for 2017 will be:

  • January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 20: Presidents Day
  • April 15-16 & April 22-23: National Park Week Weekends
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 30: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11-12: Veterans Day Weekend

“National parks are known for their priceless beauty,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “They are a bargain anytime but on these ten days in 2017, they really will be priceless. We want everyone to visit their national parks and the fee free days provide extra incentive to experience these amazing places.”

During the fee free days, all National Park Service sites will waive their entrance fees for all visitors. Usually, 124 of the 413 national parks charge entrance fees that range from $3 to $30. The other 289 sites do not have entrance fees. The entrance fee waiver for the fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for things such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.

To continue the national park adventure beyond these fee free days, the annual $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks,. There are also free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current military members, fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.

The National Park System includes more than 84 million acres and is comprised of 413 sites including national parks, national historical parks, national monuments, national recreation areas, national battlefields, and national seashores. There is at least one national park in every state.

Last year, 307 million people visited a national park. They spent $16.9 billion which supported 295,000 jobs and had a $32 billion impact on the U.S. economy.

In addition to national parks, the National Park Service works with tribes, local governments, and partners across the country to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Programs such as the National Register of Historic Places, National Heritage Areas, National Wild and Scenic Rivers, and the Rivers, Trails, Conservation Assistance Program revitalize communities, celebrate local heritage, and provide places for people to get outside, be active, and have fun.

www.nps.gov