Grand Canyon development project may harm land

Global Vision

Lindsay Wheeler, IV Leader Assistant Photo Editor

A new idea was proposed pertaining to a new development in the Grand Canyon area by Albert A. Hall and Lamar Whitmer, and now they are doing everything in their power to make it happen.
Corporate developers asked the Navajo Nation Council to begin the the “Grand Canyon Escalade” project. It would include a 1.4 tramway that could transport up to 10,000 tourists and visitors a day to the lower ground of the Grand Canyon and would be built where the Colorado and Little Colorado River meet.
This development would also include a Gondola Tram, hotel resorts, restaurants, river walk trails, an airport, retail space and an RV park: in simplest terms, a main tourist attraction.
For years this specific area has been protected and loved as a sacred place and cared for by Zuni, Navajo, Hopi and other natives. If this tramway were to be built, all of the surrounding lands would be destroyed, wilderness disturbed and ruined and the people who live there left to deal with it.
In specific terms, according to the Grand Canyon Trust website, 420 acres would be under the ownership of the corporate developers, which would be “40,000 acres of Navajo lands access roads developer Lamar Whitmer would close to competing businesses.” And on top of that, this project would leave the Navajo Nation with financial responsibility of land care, which is 65 million dollars.
A member of the Save the Confluence and Bodaway/Gap Chapter, Delores Wilson had much to say about the project coming into play.
In a video on the Trust web site, she said “This place has a history to me, my family, and our ancestors. If the tram is here, the resort is here, there is just too much distraction. The company has divided us, and now they are telling us they can save us by bringing in jobs.”
Wilson disagrees greatly with the company, and feels that the tramway won’t bring more people together, but split it apart.
“Number one should be to unite the community, and the way to resolve that, would be to get rid of this project,” said Wilson.
Do you agree that building a tramway and tourist attraction at the foot of the Grand Canyon is a good idea? Or would you disagree?
If you would like to help support against these developers, or contact the Navajo Nation Council with further questions or ideas, you can go to www.grandcanyontrust.org, along with signing a petition to help protest, protect and save the confluence.

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