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For Immediate Release, Thursday September 30, 2016
Contact: Kelly Burke, kelly@wildlandsnetwork.org 928-606-7870
Susan Holmes susan@wildlandsnetwork.org 202-329-1553

Greater Grand Canyon Heritage Monument Endorsement Boosts Chances for Habitat Connectivity with Yellowstone
Rep. Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) joins effort for new designation

Flagstaff, AZ—A coalition of organizations backing the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument proposal applauded Representative Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) today for re-affirming her support of the national monument by joining 43 of her House colleagues in co-sponsoring the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument Act, introduced in Congress by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.).

“We are excited to have Rep. Kirkpatrick on board with our efforts to secure the Greater Grand Canyon region, not just for its significance to tribal nations and our economy, but as a vital link in a wildlife corridor connecting the Yellowstone ecoregion to the Grand Canyon,” said Greg Costello, Executive Director for coalition member, Wildlands Network. “

The Act outlines a national monument proposal developed in coordination with Arizona tribal nations and communities that would provide for permanent protection of 1.7 million acres of public lands around Grand Canyon, currently threatened by uranium mining and old-growth logging.

Rep. Kirkpatrick was among the first to call on President Obama to protect the greater Grand Canyon as a national monument, pointing out its importance as a driver for Arizona’s recreational and tourism industries. A recent study estimates the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument would have a positive annual economic impact of at least 51 million dollars and create secure employment for over 500 people in the Northern Arizona region, protecting local economies from boom and bust cycles.

Popular support for protecting Grand Canyon remains high, with recent national polling finding that 82 percent of Americans support the national monument proposal, confirming the results of earlier in-state polling which found support among 73 percent of Arizona voters and a notable 87 percent of voters of color. Leaders from across the country, including those of Latino, Native American and business communities, have stepped forward to support the proposal, calling on President Obama to designate the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument before leaving office if Congress fails to take up Rep. Grijalva’s legislation.

The Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument proposal is the culmination of more than a decade of efforts by local Arizona communities to protect the culture and environment of the greater Grand Canyon region. Support for the proposal comes from local tribal nations and communities, local elected officials, and a broad range of recreation, business and conservation interests across the state and nation. A list of supporters can be found here.

The mission of Wildlands Network is to reconnect, restore, and rewild North America so that the diversity of life can thrive. We envision a world where nature is unbroken, and where humans co-exist in harmony with the land and its wild inhabitants.

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