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  1. #1
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    OT: No snow for Snowbowl..

    Flagstaff, AZ – March 12, 2007

    After years of hard work, expense and personal hardship, the employees, skiers and families of the Arizona Snowbowl are clearly devastated by the ruling handed down today by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which in part overturns a previous ruling by an Arizona Federal Judge. The decision which ruled in favor of the (defendant) the U.S. Forest Service on four counts, but overturned the previous ruling on two of the counts. The U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Justice Department will decide whether or not to appeal this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Even more disappointing is the fact that long standing law governing the use of America’s public lands and the intent of the U.S. Congress would no longer apply if this ruling stands. Unfortunately, once again, the NEPA process has been abused and the taxpayers of our country held for ransom by a small group of activists who believe that they personally own our nation’s public lands. If this ruling is allowed to stand, then our national policy and congressionally mandated multiple use doctrine on public lands is dead for all practical purposes. The ramification of this ruling, if left unchallenged, will be devastating to the taxpayer’s access and use of its lands.

    It is beyond comprehension to me that we now live in a nation, where an Indian Tribe (White Mountain Apache) can make snow from virtually untreated sewer water, spray it on a “sacred mountain” and operate without question or environmental review. And the hypocrisy of the Hualapai Tribe building a scenic walkway at the Grand Canyon for tourism and economic development. No non-Indian permittee on public land would even consider such a project. Environmental groups would oppose any new commercial enterprise on the Grand Canyon rim but did not oppose the Hualapai. The political position of several of the Indian Tribes, with less than stellar environmental records, who are involved in this matter is nothing short of hypocritical.

    Yet, when the Arizona Snowbowl follows the entire NEPA process in concert with the U.S. Forest Service and is proposing to use A+ reclaimed water that is currently used across our nation to irrigate parks, golf courses and is currently injected back into our drinking water supply. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has approved this use but a liberal court finds that we should ignore the science and regulations, the environmental history and historic health record and instead reduce opportunities for recreation and access to the public’s land.

    It is my sincere desire that the U.S. Congress take immediate action to make this opinion mute and that the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Forest Service take this matter all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to insure that every American can enjoy our public lands. To do so will insure once and for all that radical groups who hold utter contempt for the public’s rights will no longer be able to abuse the process to achieve their ultimate goal of control of our nation’s resources.

    Snowbowl intends to vigorously pursue further judicial review.

  2. #2
    Bend, OR
    Reputation: Ross W.'s Avatar
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    bummer.

  3. #3
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
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    It was 70 degrees in flag today. With the weather trends, it wouldn't even make sense to put snowmaking on the mountain...it's a lost cause IMO.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  4. #4
    recovering roadie
    Reputation: dobbs's Avatar
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    I'm for the snowmaking, but that expansion they wanted to do onto that south-facing slope was ridiculous. How long would the snow last there on a sunny day? Plus they'd have reroute the sweet Humphreys Summitt trail. No good.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobbs
    I'm for the snowmaking, but that expansion they wanted to do onto that south-facing slope was ridiculous. How long would the snow last there on a sunny day? Plus they'd have reroute the sweet Humphreys Summitt trail. No good.
    No I don't think so. The chair would only go to about 10,000 feet which would still be below the trail. Agrred, because of the southwest exposure this part of the expansion plan didn't make much sense. Other than to spread out the skiers on crowded days. The reroute of chair 3 to midway, however, is sorely needed. Any wind out of the north/northeast above 40 mph pretty much shuts down the Agassiz chair.

    There are a lot of bumming winter recreation enthusiasts and business owners bumming in Flagstaff atm. Tough call either way.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    It was 70 degrees in flag today. With the weather trends, it wouldn't even make sense to put snowmaking on the mountain...it's a lost cause IMO.
    Ditto. ^^^

  7. #7
    I am Bob
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    it is a tough call...
    I dont think it helps that so many people are calling the certain American Indian groups hippocrittical over this. what the White Mountain Apache and the Hualapai are doing with their land shoud not impact the decision. that is their land, it's own nation. you can't generalize across Indian tribes. Americans have been plenty hippocritical in history in dealing with American Indians. I think this is about power, money and bad blood, not necessarily what is best for public land users.
    NO disrespect intended Jrock, just another opinion..

  8. #8
    parenting for gnarness
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    Whatever the motivation (religious\traditionalist vs. economic or vengeful), the Native American view of property rights at the core of the Tribe's argument against Snowbowl is fundamentally incompatible with the view in the Constitution (ie, private ownership). The 2 systems simply can't coexist on the same parcel of land. The Indian view does not have a notion of public land use; there is tribal land and non-tribal land. Not saying its wrong, just that its going to put you at odds with the way the rest of the country does business. That is going to contribute to whatever isolation may already exist from the mainstream economy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chongoman
    it is a tough call...
    I dont think it helps that so many people are calling the certain American Indian groups hippocrittical over this. what the White Mountain Apache and the Hualapai are doing with their land shoud not impact the decision. that is their land, it's own nation. you can't generalize across Indian tribes. Americans have been plenty hippocritical in history in dealing with American Indians. I think this is about power, money and bad blood, not necessarily what is best for public land users.
    NO disrespect intended Jrock, just another opinion..

    No worries Chongoman, I was just passing on what was on the website. I agree with everything you just said. It's a tough call for sure. I don't know enough personally about the situation to comment on either side. I think more effort should be put into the reality of global warming, instead of worrying about snowmaking, and recreation. You can after all hike up the hill.....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball
    Whatever the motivation (religious\traditionalist vs. economic or vengeful), the Native American view of property rights at the core of the Tribe's argument against Snowbowl is fundamentally incompatible with the view in the Constitution (ie, private ownership). The 2 systems simply can't coexist on the same parcel of land. The Indian view does not have a notion of public land use; there is tribal land and non-tribal land. Not saying its wrong, just that its going to put you at odds with the way the rest of the country does business. That is going to contribute to whatever isolation may already exist from the mainstream economy.
    Keep in mind that the San Francisco Peaks are not on private land. And herein lies the rub. With a ruling like this over a public land dispute, what (besides money) is going to stop say the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to claiming that South Mountain is sacred and the hikers and bikers are despoiling their religious practices. Or perhaps, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation taking exception to the towers, golf courses, and trails on the flanks of the McDowells? It doesn't seem to matter what the tribes do on tribal lands. Skywalks, Home Depots, ski resorts, casinos, anything to bring in income. In the Snowbowl case, the religious freedom of the tribes has trumped a private business venture and the USFS. In the future where will the line be drawn? Believe me, it's not just about making snow with reclaimed water.

  11. #11
    parenting for gnarness
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman
    In the Snowbowl case, the religious freedom of the tribes has trumped a private business venture and the USFS. In the future where will the line be drawn? Believe me, it's not just about making snow with reclaimed water.
    good good point. I didn't quite get all that the first time I read Jrock's post. Our courts' typical solution to this is to place a $ value on something based on the perceived cost, but that is not possible when the argument was framed as a zero-sum situation. Now I see where you are going and I agree -- where does a line get drawn? my white-male-capitalistic self no likey.

  12. #12
    Too many Sedonuts...
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman
    With a ruling like this over a public land dispute, what (besides money) is going to stop say the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to claiming that South Mountain is sacred and the hikers and bikers are despoiling their religious practices?
    Me an maa BIG PHAT GUNS is what!

    Seriously, that's a good point. All differences in this issue aside, it's a scary precedent.
    When the world slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry wall.

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