(August 8, 2023) – Today, President Biden protected nearly 1 million acres of federal public lands in Arizona by designating The Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument. The Grand Canyon is an iconic landscape and outdoor recreation destination. In 2021, 4.5 million visitors from around the world visited Grand Canyon National Park, participating in outdoor recreation activities and supporting businesses in nearby communities. Twelve tribes and several local grassroots conservation groups have been advocating for the designation of this monument to protect their sacred homelands from future harmful development.
“This designation represents decades of advocacy efforts led by the Grand Canyon Tribal Coalition to protect the Grand Canyon region for future generations. Permanently protecting about 1 million acres of public lands will honor the original stewards of the land, conserve a critical area for water resources, and continue to support a landscape that is a key driver of the region’s thriving outdoor economy. On behalf of The Conservation Alliance and its coalition of 270 businesses, we thank President Joe Biden, Representative Raúl Grijalva, and Senator Krysten Sinema for their efforts to protect public lands. We look forward to continuing to work alongside partners on the ground and the Biden Administration to designate more monuments nationwide,” said Shoren Brown, Vice President of Public Affairs of The Conservation Alliance.
Permanent public land protection such as National Monument designation directly benefits our economy, sustaining and creating jobs, and generating revenue. Outdoor recreation accounted for 1.8 percent of the U.S. GDP in 2021, accounting for $689B in gross output and supporting 4.3M jobs. In Arizona, the outdoor recreation economy created $5 billion in wages and salaries and supported 100,000 jobs in 2021.
“REI Co-op celebrates the tireless advocacy of the Grand Canyon Tribal Coalition and others who have worked to protect their ancestral homelands for the benefit of all and applauds the Biden Administration’s actions to protect this culturally significant recreation destination. The Grand Canyon is beloved by our 23-million-member community for hiking, camping, kayaking, and exploring through so many other recreation opportunities. This new designation ensures that its unique cultural connections, precious habitats and water resources are available for future generations,” said Ben Steele, Executive Vice President & Chief Customer Officer, REI Co-op.
“This designation marks a positive stride towards recognizing the importance of tending to our public lands and the well-being of the Native communities intertwined with them. We extend our wholehearted congratulations to the Tribes and their advocates for their dedicated efforts in pursuit of these goals. This collective endeavor ensures that the invaluable landscape remains a legacy for the forthcoming generations. Let us now channel our energies into collaborative stewardship, which is essential for effectively overseeing our public lands, ultimately benefiting everyone involved. Thank you, President Joe Biden, Secretaries Haaland and Vilsack, Representative Grijalva, Senators Sinema and Kelly, and Representatives Gallego and Stanton for their leadership and actions. Thanks as well to our local leaders and community supporters,” said Danny Giovale, owner/founder of Kahtoola.
“The Grand Canyon is an iconic landscape that is beloved by the outdoor recreation community for its exquisite outdoor experiences, and unquestionably deserves protection. The outdoor recreation community celebrates and stands behind the work of Tribes in protecting this special place, and we applaud President Biden for taking action to protect the wider Grand Canyon region through the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument today,” said Adam Cramer, CEO of Outdoor Alliance.
This new National Monument designation comes just two weeks after The Conservation Alliance and dozens of partners and companies launched Mobilizing for Monuments, a coalition of businesses calling on the Biden Administration to permanently protect millions of acres of public lands by establishing new National Monuments across the United States. The Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument is one of four monuments currently supported by this campaign. The other three include the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Expansion, the Dolores River Canyon Country National Monument, and the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion.
Since 2010, The Conservation Alliance and its member companies have contributed over $330,000 to The Grand Canyon Trust to protect the Colorado Plateau. Fifty TCA member companies have signed petitions and letters of support for the monument.