A new 20-year moratorium on mining near the Grand Canyon is getting high praise from sportsmen-based conservation groups.

From this press release from the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership:

Sportsmen throughout the nation are applauding a 20-year moratorium on new mining claims on 1 million-plus acres of public lands fish and wildlife habitat surrounding the Grand Canyon, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership announced today.

The federal decision withdraws public lands north and south of the Grand Canyon from filings of new mining claims and additional in-situ production of uranium. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the moratorium, which follows a temporary ban, this afternoon in Washington, D.C. The withdrawal does not affect mining claims with valid existing rights.

Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands encompassed in the claims moratorium include large expanses of the Arizona Strip, Kaibab Plateau and North Rim, all of which contain some of the most productive habitat in the nation for trophy elk and mule deer. “Sportsmen from all over the country vie for the permits issued by the Arizona Game and Fish Department to hunt elk and mule deer each year,” said Dr. Bennett Brown, a TRCP field representative and avid big-game hunter. “These hunters spend millions of dollars annually pursuing their quarry in one of the most spectacular landscapes remaining in North America. We thank the Department of the Interior for this foresighted decision, which is good news for America’s economy, as well as our outdoor recreational opportunities.”

Reaction? Sounds like a big win for hunters and anglers.