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Ahead of his meeting with Putin, President Trump tells CBS News the European Union a foe. Also on the Monday rundown: calls in Congress to investigate women miscarrying in ICE custody: concerns over a pre-existing conditions lawsuit; and Native Americans find ways to shift negative stereotypes.

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Greater Grand Canyon Watershed Named "Too Wild to Drill"

The Greater Grand Canyon Watershed is vital to the Colorado River, which is the lifeline for millions in cities across the Southwest. (Jessica Pope)
The Greater Grand Canyon Watershed is vital to the Colorado River, which is the lifeline for millions in cities across the Southwest. (Jessica Pope)
September 20, 2017

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Greater Grand Canyon Watershed is simply Too Wild to Drill, according to the 2017 report of the same name, just released by The Wilderness Society.

Researchers named the area surrounding the national park as one of 15 landscapes across the country of particular concern.

Advocates have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get the federal government to declare a national monument in the area.

Flagstaff City Council member Celia Barotz says many advocates are afraid President Donald Trump will lift the moratorium on new uranium mining claims on 1 million acres of public land that was put in place five years ago under President Barack Obama.

"This threat that is looming is capturing people's attention now,” she states. “And many are obviously quite concerned if the Trump administration decides to go after yet another protection that is in place for good reason."

The Greater Grand Canyon Watershed area is sacred to multiple Native American tribes and contains more than 3,000 archeological sites. It also drains into the Colorado River, which provides drinking water for 30 million people across the southwest.

Kevin Dahl, Arizona senior program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association, says the risk to the water supply outweighs the benefits of commercial mining.

"The threat of radioactive releases that would result from these uranium mines is of great concern,” he stresses. “This aquifer also provides all of the drinking water for the Havasupai Indians."

A 2017 Hart Research Poll showed that 90 percent of voters think protecting public lands and national parks is important and 66 percent think protection of important natural places should be prioritized over oil and gas development.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - AZ