Public meetings are being held this week on proposals to address mining around the Grand Canyon.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar temporarily blocked new mining claims on 1 million acres of land in 2009 while his department studied whether to set aside the acreage for a longer period.
The Interior Department is asking the public to weigh in on four proposals — take no action, set aside the 1 million acres for 20 years or partially withdraw either 300,000 or 650,000 acres from any new claims.
The meetings are scheduled Tuesday in Flagstaff, Wednesday in Fredonia and Thursday in Salt Lake City.
As many as 10,000 mining claims exist on federal land near the Grand Canyon for all types of hard-rock exploration. Some 1,100 uranium mining claims are staked near the park’s boundaries.