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The confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers in the Grand Canyon has spiritual significance to many local tribes. Cultural heritage is just one of the reasons cited for a plan to add 1.7 million acres of protected land around the canyon.

Tribal leaders joined Rep. Raul Grijalva on Tuesday urging President Barack Obama to designate 1.7 million acres around the Grand Canyon as a national monument, bypassing Congress in the process. Read more»

A federal appeals court panel said Branden Pete, who was a teen when he received the mandatory sentence of life without parole in a 2002 murder, should get a new sentencing hearing.

A federal appeals court ordered a resentencing Monday for a Navajo man who was sentenced to life without parole for murder and conspiracy to murder in 2002, when he was just 16 years old. Read more»

Tourists pose for a selfie in Grand Canyon National Park, which set an attendance record last year with more than 5.5 million visitors. Officials think the park will break that record this year.

Grand Canyon National Park officials say the park should break last year’s record of 5.5 million visitors this year, but advocates are worried the park may not be able to handle such large crowds — the park has $371.6 million in deferred maintenance projects. Read more»

On Oct. 1, 2014, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton announced an agreement for Phoenix to store some of its Central Arizona Project allotment in aquifers to the south.

Tucson and Phoenix water officials used the of the first-ever White House Water Summit to announced plans Tuesday for a more than five-fold increase in the conservation effort between the two cities. Read more»

The Resolution Copper mine has been in the planning stages for years, and it could be years more before it gets all the approvals it needs, a company spokesman said. Supporters say the mine it could bring thousands of jobs to the Superior area.

The U.S. Forest Service has started its formal review of the environmental impact of the proposed Resolution Copper mine, but opponents charge the outcome of the process is “already pre-ordained.” Read more»

The Department of Veterans Affairs said it was issuing 'notices of proposed removal' to three top officials at the Phoenix VA hospital, two years after problems there were first uncovered. The delay has angered elected officials.

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Tuesday that it has issued “notices of proposed removal” to three top executives at the Phoenix health care system – two years after problems there were first reported. Read more»

Opponents of the proposed Resolution Copper Mine in southeast Arizona, shown here at a Washington protest last summer, say that the mine would destroy Oak Flat, a site they say is sacred to the Apache. The site won a listing on the National Register of Historic Places this month.

Opponents of a proposed copper mine at the Oak Flat campground scored a point when it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places this month – but while they won the battle, they haven’t won the war. Read more»

Saguaro National Park near Tucson is one of the parks that would get funding under President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget, which seeks $900 million to revive the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Both sides agree with the intent of the Land and Water Conservation Fund – to help acquire and improve federal and local park projects – but they disagree on how it should be implemented. Read more»

The sudden death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has sparked a debate on how soon a successor should be named, with the president vowing to nominate a candidate and Senate Republicans saying that decision should be left to the next president.

Washington officials may be arguing over what will follow the sudden weekend death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, but to Phoenix resident David Plummer the answer is obvious – the president should nominate a replacement, and quickly. Read more»

Crews repair a wall in the Grand Canyon National Park in this 2012 file photo. A new National Park Service report says the nation’s parks had $11.9 billion in deferred maintenance last year, including a $371 million backlog at the Grand Canyon.

Arizona parks and monuments had more than $580 million in deferred maintenance at the end of fiscal 2015, part of a national backlog totaling $11.9 billion, according to a National Park Service report. The backlog is up at both the state and national level at a time when parks are seeing increased numbers of visitors. Read more»

Navajo protesters like Klee Benally, above, were joined by members of several other tribes from around the country at the EPA protest.

Residents of Sanders, Ariz. residents know their water contains dangerously high amounts of uranium, but with no other source — they are still using it. Read more»

Health insurance for Hispanic children grew both nationally and in Arizona in recent years, but they continued to lag other groups’ coverage rates. A new report said Arizona had some of the worst rates for coverage for that group among states with large numbers of Hispanic children.

Arizona had the 10th-highest percentage of uninsured Hispanic children in the nation in 2014 – the third-highest among states with the largest numbers of Hispanic children, according to a new report. Read more»