Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to announce Monday a 20-year ban on new mineral exploration and mining in nearly 1 million acres in northern Arizona [outlined in red in figure to right. Credit, BLM] in order to prevent development of one of the richest uranium districts in the country, over concerns of potential impacts on Grand Canyon.
[update: the New York Times included a brief quote from me in their Jan. 7 article]
A news release issued this afternoon said "On Monday, Jan. 9, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will host the premiere of a new short film produced by the National Park Service for viewing by visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park. As part of this event, Secretary Salazar will make an announcement regarding conservation of the Grand Canyon."
The decision comes as no surprise as the Secretary publicly announced his intentions as soon as the draft EIS was issued.
Expect the next steps to be efforts by anti-mining groups to prevent exploration on existing claims.