Environmental groups and some elected officials are urging President Obama to create the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument. A new survey shows statewide support for the proposal that would set aside nearly 2 million acres outside Grand Canyon National Park. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.
The survey was conducted in January among more than 700 Arizonans who’ll likely vote in November’s presidential election. It asked their level of support for the possible monument designation.
The poll, commissioned by the Grand Canyon Trust, shows 80 percent of the respondents either strongly support or somewhat support it. About 14 percent oppose the monument. It’s the second recent survey to show a majority of Arizonans favor the proposal.
Supporters say the designation would protect animal habitat and old-growth forest, as well as the Grand Canyon’s watershed from uranium mining.
Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva sponsored a bill in the U.S. House to create the national monument.
“The people of Arizona and the voters of Arizona in general, they see the Grand Canyon not only as a crown jewel of our parks system, but a touchstone and symbol of the state of Arizona.”
The Arizona Game and Fish Department and some state officials and members of Congress, however, oppose the plan. They say a national monument would complicate wildlife management and have a negative impact on hunting and recreation.
President Obama hasn’t indicated whether he’ll use his executive power to designate the monument.