President Joe Biden showcased his commitment by designating vast portions of sacred land surrounding the Grand Canyon as protected areas. Against the backdrop of the iconic natural wonder, Biden embarked on a three-day tour of the American Southwest, taking steps to differentiate his stance from the Republican right.
With Native Americans adorned in traditional attire at his side, President Biden enthusiastically signed the declaration establishing the country’s newest national monument. Shielded from the sun by his cap and sunglasses, Biden emphasized that safeguarding these lands isn’t just beneficial for Arizona and the environment, but it also holds economic value and contributes to the nation’s spirit.
“The newly designated national monument, known as “Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon,” is a tribute to its unique biodiversity and historical importance, revered by local Native American tribes for generations. For decades, these groups have been advocating for restrictions on mining activities in the region’s awe-inspiring river valley”.
“This protected territory spans nearly one million acres, comprising three distinct areas surrounding the Grand Canyon, a geological marvel formed over millennia by the Colorado River. President Biden’s declaration will effectively prohibit new uranium mining projects within the site while upholding existing mining rights”.
“Environmental organization the Sierra Club hailed the decision as a monumental step forward, ensuring the preservation of traditional practices and securing the lands for future generations. As part of his visit to the Grand Canyon, Biden expressed his appreciation for the iconic landscape and its status as a “national treasure.”
“Against the backdrop of an ongoing heat wave and drought crisis in southwestern states, Biden’s visit to the region is a strategic move to distinguish himself from Republican opposition. He criticized those who seek to erase historical records and undermine his legislative achievements, such as the Inflation Reduction Act aimed at boosting green investment”.
“Reflecting on his climate agenda, President Biden underscored his commitment to reducing CO2 emissions by 2030, despite experts’ concerns about the feasibility of the timeline. The visit also marks the anniversary of a comprehensive climate package, reflecting Biden’s dedication to addressing climate change as a pressing global concern”.
“The president’s tour will continue with stops in New Mexico and Utah, where he plans to highlight economic initiatives and programs supporting military veterans. Biden’s actions are poised to leave a lasting impact on the nation’s environmental policies and efforts to combat climate change”.