Urgent Action Needed to Protect Grand Canyon!
By: Evan Stafford
Arizona – Right now, legislation to construct a massive, amusement park-style development in the Grand Canyon has been introduced to the Navajo Nation Tribal Council. This bill would provide the tribal authorization and financing for critical infrastructure to the Grand Canyon Escalade Project. This massive development includes a tramway from the Grand Canyon Rim to the confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers, a food pavilion, amphitheater and an elevated walkway at the confluence, and at the rim, hotels, restaurants, and cultural center.
The project would be built entirely on Navajo Tribal land, but would essentially be adjacent to the border of Grand Canyon National Park, and is on land included in the Grand Canyon Enlargement Act of 1975. Under this act it is the duty of the Secretary of the Interior to protect and preserve the Grand Canyon in cooperative management with the managers of surrounding lands.
The scenic, cultural, spiritual, ecological, and recreational values of this site will be severely and permanently impacted by this project. As paddlers who’ve either experienced the Grand Canyon, or dream to one day, we’ve got to voice our opposition to this project NOW. We’ve created a template letter to make it extremely easy for you to send comments to the Navajo Nation Council and to Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, regarding this bill.
Development of the Grand Canyon Escalade Project is inappropriate for this area. A source of water for the project has not been identified and a plan to treat wastewater has not been developed. In fact no Environmental Impact Statement has even been conducted for the project and many questions regarding the environmental and social impacts of the project are yet to be evaluated.