The Obama administration is set to give protection to one of the world's natural wonders, by banning uranium mining on 1m square acres of land around the Grand Canyon.
The interior secretary, Ken Salazar, is due to make a formal announcement on Monday of the 20-year ban on new mining claims, at a film screening at the National Geographic Society in Washington.
The move, praised by conservation groups, is sure to bring the wrath of the mining industry as well as some Republicans, who argue the ban will cost jobs. The measure does not affect some 3,000 existing mining claims around the canyon, however.
Conservation groups said Barack Obama had shown political courage in going ahead with the ban in the face of that opposition. "Despite significant pressure, the president did not settle for a halfway measure," said Jane Danowitz of the Pew Environment Group.
Read the full article, Obama Holds Strong to Protect Grand Canyon from Uranium Mining, on the Guardian website.