Open pit mining in Grand Staircase-Escalante?
Help stop open-pit mining in what was — until recently — Utah’s gorgeous Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
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Grand Staircase-Escalante at Risk
Last year, President Trump slashed the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in half. The legal boundaries of the monument may have shrunk, but the entire area remains home to breathtaking landscapes and endangered wildlife.
The difference is: now mining companies can stake claims to develop this precious land. Canadian mining firm Glacier Lake Resources plans to begin a copper mining project in the former Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument this summer.1
Copper is mined in massive open pits, which would forever scar Grand Staircase-Escalante’s amazing landscape. Copper mining leads to pollution that damages rivers and streams and impacts sensitive wildlife.2
Bald eagles and endangered California condors soar over the spires of Grand Staircase-Escalante. The Southwestern willow flycatcher, another of Grand Staircase’s endangered birds, is particularly vulnerable to disruption of the streamside habitat where it makes its nests. Copper extraction could destroy the habitat that these animals depend on to survive.3,4
Mining also poses a threat to priceless fossil deposits. Paleontologists have discovered fossils from 37 previously unknown species in the Grand Staircase-Escalante area. Mining has no place on land that is so rich in nature and natural history — land that by all rights should still enjoy legal protection.5
Mining companies’ short-sighted search for profit could permanently change this incredible place unless we take action now.
How You Can Help
Public lands belong to all of us. Erasing Grand Staircase’s protections opened the door to destructive mining and drilling — and starting now, mining companies are stepping through that door.
The Grand Staircase-Escalante area’s beauty and its wilderness are treasures that have been enjoyed by generations of Americans. This irreplaceable landscape is worth so much more than the minerals that could be torn from its mountainsides.
Sign the Petition
2. “TENORM: Copper Mining and Production Wastes,” United States Environmental Protection Agency, April 12th, 2018.
3. Sonya Daw, “Southwestern Willow Flycatcher,” National Park Service, 2013.
4. F. Clair Jensen, Harry Barber and Steve Hedges, “Field Checklist Of The Birds Of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument,” Bureau of Land Management.
5. David Polly, “Grand Staircase, Home to Countless Dinosaur Fossils, Could Be Destroyed by Mining,” Live Science, November 30th, 2017.