Conservation
Plumes of smoke and steam rise from the Cholla Power Plant on the Arizona-New Mexico border. Coal from the Colorado Plateau powered the build-up of the American West from Phoenix to Los Angeles. Today, a new generation is calling for a transition to renewable resources that capitalizes on the Southwest's ample wind and solar.

Plumes of smoke and steam rise from the Cholla Power Plant on the Arizona-New Mexico border. Coal from the Colorado Plateau powered the build-up of the American West from Phoenix to Los Angeles. Today, a new generation is calling for a transition to renewable resources that capitalizes on the Southwest's ample wind and solar.

Stakeholders examine mapping data as part of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, a forest collaboration focused on the world’s largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest, which stretches along northern Arizona’s Mogollon Rim between the Grand Canyon and New Mexico. 4FRI aims to protect the forests from the threat of severe wildfires - a threat only growing in magnitude with climate change.

Stakeholders examine mapping data as part of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, a forest collaboration focused on the world’s largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest, which stretches along northern Arizona’s Mogollon Rim between the Grand Canyon and New Mexico. 4FRI aims to protect the forests from the threat of severe wildfires - a threat only growing in magnitude with climate change.

Tribal leaders gather in a teepee underneath the Bears Ears as part of the ongoing effort to secure National Monument protection for over a million acres of culturally significant public land in the heart of Southeastern Utah.

Tribal leaders gather in a teepee underneath the Bears Ears as part of the ongoing effort to secure National Monument protection for over a million acres of culturally significant public land in the heart of Southeastern Utah.

A river rafter walks out of an exploratory drilling tunnel in the Marble Canyon section of Grand Canyon National Park. The tunnel was drilled in the 1950s to asses the integrity of the rock for the proposed Marble Canyon Dam. The dam was canceled after strong opposition by both the public and environmental organizations.

A river rafter walks out of an exploratory drilling tunnel in the Marble Canyon section of Grand Canyon National Park. The tunnel was drilled in the 1950s to asses the integrity of the rock for the proposed Marble Canyon Dam. The dam was canceled after strong opposition by both the public and environmental organizations.

A sign warns hikers of radiation deep in the Grand Canyon's depths. From 1890-1916, miners removed rich deposits of copper from the Grand Canyon Copper Mine, hauling the ore on mules three miles to the Grand Canyon's south rim. The copper deposits are co-located with uranium, also common in Grand Canyon, and the waste piles from the Grand Canyon Copper Mine are still radioactive. Today, mining is not allowed in Grand Canyon National Park, and a 2012 decision put 1 million acres of land surrounding Grand Canyon off-limits to new uranium mining until 2032.

A sign warns hikers of radiation deep in the Grand Canyon's depths. From 1890-1916, miners removed rich deposits of copper from the Grand Canyon Copper Mine, hauling the ore on mules three miles to the Grand Canyon's south rim. The copper deposits are co-located with uranium, also common in Grand Canyon, and the waste piles from the Grand Canyon Copper Mine are still radioactive. Today, mining is not allowed in Grand Canyon National Park, and a 2012 decision put 1 million acres of land surrounding Grand Canyon off-limits to new uranium mining until 2032.

The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe's air quality monitoring station, located within the small community of White Mesa, sits only a few miles from the White Mesa Uranium Mill. The monitoring station is designed to measure for a number of hazardous air pollutants, including plutonium, radon, and uranium.

The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe's air quality monitoring station, located within the small community of White Mesa, sits only a few miles from the White Mesa Uranium Mill. The monitoring station is designed to measure for a number of hazardous air pollutants, including plutonium, radon, and uranium.

A uranium haul truck crests a hill coming into Fredonia. Covered with a canvas tarp, the uranium-ore laden trucks criss-cross the Colorado Plateau's highways and pass through numerous towns on their way to the White Mesa Uranium Mill.

A uranium haul truck crests a hill coming into Fredonia. Covered with a canvas tarp, the uranium-ore laden trucks criss-cross the Colorado Plateau's highways and pass through numerous towns on their way to the White Mesa Uranium Mill."

 A newly built dory floats through Marble Canyon in the upper reaches of Grand Canyon National Park on its maiden voyage. The dory, the Marble Canyon, was built to honor the legacy of conservationist Martin Litton, who pioneered their use on the Colorado River in the 1960's. The stretch of river pictured in this image would have been submerged by the proposed Marble Canyon Dam - a project that Litton played a key role in defeating.

A newly built dory floats through Marble Canyon in the upper reaches of Grand Canyon National Park on its maiden voyage. The dory, the Marble Canyon, was built to honor the legacy of conservationist Martin Litton, who pioneered their use on the Colorado River in the 1960's. The stretch of river pictured in this image would have been submerged by the proposed Marble Canyon Dam - a project that Litton played a key role in defeating.

A supporter of the Bears Ears National Monument fills in a comment card to Secretary Jewell at a public meeting in Bluff, Utah during the summer of 2016.

A supporter of the Bears Ears National Monument fills in a comment card to Secretary Jewell at a public meeting in Bluff, Utah during the summer of 2016.

The confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers, a sacred site to tribes across the Colorado Plateau. A Phoenix developer is proposing to buid a gondola tramway that would bring thousands of tourists below the rim daily to the Confluence, promising jobs and economic returns to the Navajo Nation. But many local residents and regional tribes oppose the development due to the sacredness of the site. Opponents also question the project's true economic benefit to the Navajo Nation.

The confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers, a sacred site to tribes across the Colorado Plateau. A Phoenix developer is proposing to buid a gondola tramway that would bring thousands of tourists below the rim daily to the Confluence, promising jobs and economic returns to the Navajo Nation. But many local residents and regional tribes oppose the development due to the sacredness of the site. Opponents also question the project's true economic benefit to the Navajo Nation.

Less than five miles separates the White Mesa Uranium Mill, with its white buildings visible in the background, from the community of White Mesa’s water supply towers. Activists and concerned citizens contend that the waste ponds on the Mill site are leaking, contaminating groundwater that will eventually flow toward the tribal community.

Less than five miles separates the White Mesa Uranium Mill, with its white buildings visible in the background, from the community of White Mesa’s water supply towers. Activists and concerned citizens contend that the waste ponds on the Mill site are leaking, contaminating groundwater that will eventually flow toward the tribal community.

A hiker explores one of Grand Canyon's many slot-canyons

A hiker explores one of Grand Canyon's many slot-canyons

Dancers celebrate at the Bears Ears Summer Gathering. In an unprecedented collaboration five tribes are leading the effort establish the Bears Ears National Monument and protect culturally significant landscapes across south east Utah

Dancers celebrate at the Bears Ears Summer Gathering. In an unprecedented collaboration five tribes are leading the effort establish the Bears Ears National Monument and protect culturally significant landscapes across south east Utah

Kaibab Pauite tribal member Roland Moladano looks out over the Kanab North Uranium Mine and the Kanab Creek drainage. Uranium hauled from the mines on the Grand Canyon's North Rim passes near the Kaibab Paiute reservation on the way to the White Mesa Mill near Blanding, Utah.

Kaibab Pauite tribal member Roland Moladano looks out over the Kanab North Uranium Mine and the Kanab Creek drainage. Uranium hauled from the mines on the Grand Canyon's North Rim passes near the Kaibab Paiute reservation on the way to the White Mesa Mill near Blanding, Utah.

A hiker finds water in the potholes of Grand Canyon.

A hiker finds water in the potholes of Grand Canyon.

Children ride bikes through the White Mesa tribal community.  The White Mesa Mill, America’s last remaining uranium mill,, is located a few miles north of the community. Tribal members and local activists have expressed concerns about airborne contaminants from the mill.

Children ride bikes through the White Mesa tribal community. The White Mesa Mill, America’s last remaining uranium mill,, is located a few miles north of the community. Tribal members and local activists have expressed concerns about airborne contaminants from the mill.

Lake Mead’s now iconic “bathtub ring”' marks where reservoir levels once sat. After years of drought in the southwest and an increasing demand for water, the reservoir level hit a record low in July 2016. Experts expect the reservoir levels will only continue to fall.

Lake Mead’s now iconic “bathtub ring”' marks where reservoir levels once sat. After years of drought in the southwest and an increasing demand for water, the reservoir level hit a record low in July 2016. Experts expect the reservoir levels will only continue to fall.

Rafts, dories, and river runners gather at a sandy camp in the western reaches of Grand Canyon National Park

Rafts, dories, and river runners gather at a sandy camp in the western reaches of Grand Canyon National Park