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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.

When senior field correspondent Stina Sieg was 22, she moved to the desert. She hasn’t been the same since. At the time, the Northern California native had just graduated from college and was hankering for wide-open spaces. So she took a leap and wrote to nearly every newspaper in New Mexico until one offered her a job. That’s how she became the photographer for a daily paper in the small town of Silver City. And that’s when she realized how much she loved storytelling. In the years since, the beauty of having people open up and share their stories — and trust her to tell them — has never gotten old to Sieg. Before coming to KJZZ, Sieg was also a writer and photographer at newspapers in Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Moab, Utah; and the Smoky Mountains town of Waynesville, North Carolina. She always had her hand in public radio, too, including hosting Morning Edition on a fill-in basis at WNCW in North Carolina. It’s still the best music station she’s found. When she’s not reporting, chances are Sieg is running, baking, knitting or driving to some far-flung town deep in the desert — just to see what it looks like.