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6 groups want change in Grand Canyon monument proposal

The Colorado River winds through the Grand Canyon. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Colorado River winds through the Grand Canyon. (Wikimedia Commons)

Six hunting and fishing groups are pushing for a compromise in the event the Obama administration designates a national monument around Grand Canyon National Park, a heated issue in the Southwest.

They want a stretch of Forest Service land north of the Grand Canyon removed from a potential monument designation, allowing them to continue to hunt and fish on the land, reported the Arizona Daily Sun (//bit.ly/2gatklt).

Their proposal drew mixed reactions from monument supporters and opponents.

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, introduced the monument legislation in October 2015.

The designation would ban new uranium mines in the area, allow current grazing and protect old growth trees, wildlife corridors and sacred tribal sites.

Arizona Wildlife Federation president Brad Powell said there could be movement on the legislation before Inauguration Day.

“We think that if this proceeds there has to be an alternative that makes a little more sense at least from a wildlife and a sportsmen’s perspective,” Powell said.

The federation, Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited and the Arizona Antelope Association are among the groups that proposed the compromise.

“We believe to some degree it’s threading the needle,” Powell said. “It continues to meet the objectives of mineral withdrawal and takes the most controversial areas out (of the monument proposal).”

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission opposes any new monument designations in Arizona, while a member of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter said the compromise takes the heart out of the monument proposal.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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