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Federal Appeals Court Upholds Mining Ban Near Grand Canyon

A federal appeals court has kept an Obama-era ban on new mining claims near the Grand Canyon. This comes more than month after the Trump administration recommended lifting the ban.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments that it was illegal for former Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar to withdraw 1 million uranium-rich acres near the park to new mining claims for 20 years.

This upholds a lower-court ruling.

The National Mining Association had argued the ban was irresponsible public policy and violated federal laws. A spokesman for the group says it’s disappointed with the ruling and is reviewing its options.

Conservationists and some tribal leaders are against renewed mining, saying the ban protects water resources and the health of people in the region.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Stina Sieg was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2013 to 2018.