Arizona GOP Is Suing Biden Admin for New National Monument Near the Grand Canyon

(NationalUSNews.com) — On Monday, February 12, Arizona Republicans filed a suit against President Joe Biden over the creation of a new national monument that would preserve 1,562 square miles just to the north and south of Grand Canyon National Park. The monument, which will be called Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni, would prevent a lot of new economic activity in the area, such as uranium mining, which has been thwarted in that area since the early 2000s. All of the land in question is already federal property.

The suit is headed up by Republican Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma and is based on their claim that the creation of the monument exceeds the limitations of the 1906 federal Antiquities Act which the Biden administration invoked in their creation of the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni. The act allows for the creation of national monuments in order to protect significant natural, cultural, or scientific features, but stipulates that the monuments need to be confined to the smallest area that is compatible with the proper care and management of those objects that are to be protected.

In a public statement, Petersen called the creation of the monument “incredibly disingenuous” and claimed that it has nothing to do with protecting artifacts. He says that the real purpose of creating Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni is to move forward with the agenda of halting all mining, ranching, and other economic uses of the federal land, which he asserts are crucial to the strength of the American economy as well as energy independence and a strong national food supply. The lawsuit also alleges a steep drop in tax revenue for Arizona due to the project.

The creation of the monument is extremely popular with Native American tribes, however, many of whom regard the lands around the Grand Canyon as sacred. Democrat Representative Raúl Grijalva of Tucson, who is among many Democratic supporters of the monument, believes that the lawsuit will not be successful due to the wide approval of the project in Arizona. He says he sees the Republican’s suit as more of a campaign gimmick than an actual attempt to get the monument’s designation reversed.

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