ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Senate president planning to sue over Biden’s Grand Canyon monument

Sep 12, 2023, 4:25 AM | Updated: 2:09 pm

President Joe Biden announced the creation of the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footpr...

President Joe Biden announced the creation of the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument during a trip to Arizona on Aug. 8, 2023. Arizona Senate President is planning a lawsuit over the declaration. (U.S. Department of the Interior Photo)

(U.S. Department of the Interior Photo)

PHOENIX – The Republican president of the Arizona Senate is preparing to sue the Biden administration over the recently created Grand Canyon-area national monument.

Sen. Warren Petersen announced Monday he has directed attorneys to identify citizens, industries and local governments impacted by the monument’s designation last month as part of fact-finding phase. He aims to file a lawsuit by the end of the year or in early 2024.

“Using the guise of creating a ‘Grand Canyon’ national monument in a remote area that is not even connected to the Grand Canyon is completely disingenuous,” Petersen said in a press release.

“This move has nothing to do with protecting the Grand Canyon. It has everything to do with fulfilling his tyrannic desires to block responsible mining and agriculture production in an effort cater to the extremists who elected him into office. I look forward to fighting on behalf of Arizona in court.”

What is the new Grand Canyon national monument?

President Joe Biden announced the creation of the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument during a trip to Arizona on Aug. 8. “Baaj Nwaavjo” means “where tribes roam,” for the Havasupai people, while “I’tah Kukveni” translates to “our footprints,” for the Hopi tribe.

Tribes in Arizona had been pushing the president to use his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create the monument.

The declaration protects around 1 million acres from uranium mining.

The land north and south of Grand Canyon National Park encompasses canyons, plateaus and tributaries that feed a range of plants and wildlife, including bison, elk, desert bighorn sheep and rare species of cactus. It is Biden’s fifth monument designation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona Senate president planning to sue over Biden’s Grand Canyon monument