Interior Secretary Orders Utah Rivers Protected from New Mining Claims
MOAB, Utah Interior Secretary Gail Norton approved an order recently that prohibits mining companies from making claims on nearly 200 miles of scenic rivers in southeastern Utah.
The order will provide 20 years of protection for 111,895 acres of public lands along the Green, Colorado, and Dolores rivers. The order also helps protect at last 161 prehistoric sites, habitat for six threatened and endangered species, and 32 recreation facilities along the Colorado River.
"This order is an additional layer of protection for some of the most prized recreational riverways in the West," Norton said during a ceremony at the Big Bend Campground on the Colorado River east of Moab. "This will ensure that the scenic and natural character of these special places is sustained for years to come."
Each year, more than 120,000 boaters explore the three rivers. Thousands of others visit the area's state and federal parks and trails.
Source: Associated Press