President Biden is set to use a Tuesday visit to Arizona to formally announce a national monument designation for the greater Grand Canyon.
The national monument designation will preserve more than 1,500 square miles just outside Grand Canyon National Park. The move to do so has long been requested by Native American tribes and environmentalists.
A national monument is intended to preserve at least one nationally significant resource. It is usually smaller than a national park and lacks its diversity of attractions.
The Grand Canyon site marks the fifth national monument designation since Biden took office. Tribes in Arizona had been pressing the President to use his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create the new national monument, called Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni. “Baaj Nwaavjo” means “where tribes roam,” for the Havasupai people, while “I’tah Kukveni” translates to “our footprints,” for the Hopi.
While the Tribes and environmentalists have, for decades, pressed to safeguard the area, the mining industry, backed by conservative lawmakers, have been looking to mine the area in what they say is a matter of national security.
Biden arrived Monday at Grand Canyon National Airport. His trip to Arizona is part of a three-state tour of the southwest this week, including visits to New Mexico and Utah, to tout his Administration’s efforts to combat climate change.