Our Most Imperiled Park
The Grand Canyon faces threats from every side.
The Issue: Uranium Mining
Canadian firm Energy Fuels plans to resume operations—and with it the threat of contamination—at Canyon Mine, just nine miles from the South Rim. Activists worry that it and three other former mines could leak toxic waste into the watershed. In 2012, interior secretary Ken Salazar put a 20-year ban on uranium mining in the area, but companies with existing rights are exempt. The Grand Canyon Trust is suing the Forest Service to prevent the Canyon Mine from reopening.
The Issue: Tramway
The proposed 1.4-mile Grand Canyon Escalade, a luxury gondola, would carry thousands of people each day from the North Rim to the pristine confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers—a sacred site to natives. The Navajo Nation Council is divided on the proposal but is expected to decide this spring.
The Issue: Mega-Resort
Stilo Development Group in Scottsdale, Arizona, is attempting to build more than 2,100 homes, hotels, restaurants, and retailers in Tusayan (current population: 600), near the South Rim. Though the city council already approved the project, the Forest Service rejected a proposal to improve roads in the area. Developers are expected to revise their project plans and resubmit them.