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Interior secretary Ken Salazar visits Grand Canyon

California Gov. Jerry Brown, left, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, right, as Solar Trust of America Chairman and CEO Uwe T. Schmidt looks on Friday, June 17, 2011, during a groundbreaking event near Blythe, Calif., for the Blythe Solar Power Project. The project is being built eight miles west of Blythe by Solar Trust of America. (AP Photo/The Desert Sun, Crystal Chatham)

California Gov. Jerry Brown, left, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, right, as Solar Trust of America Chairman and CEO Uwe T. Schmidt looks on Friday, June 17, 2011, during a groundbreaking event near Blythe, Calif., for the Blythe Solar Power Project. The project is being built eight miles west of Blythe by Solar Trust of America. (AP Photo/The Desert Sun, Crystal Chatham)

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is scheduled to visit the Grand Canyon on Monday and could announce changes for mining claims near the park.

Salazar temporarily blocked new mining claims on 1 million acres of land around the Grand Canyon in 2009 while his department studied whether to set aside the acreage for a longer period.

The department released four proposals in February and asked the public to weigh in — 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.

Environmentalists, American Indian tribes and others say a ban would protect the environment and groundwater.

The mining industry says prohibiting new claims in the area with high-grade uranium ore would cost jobs and harm the economy.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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