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Grand Canyon Tramway Legislation Introduced, Comments Needed

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rick Demarest, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. Rick Demarest

    Rick Demarest

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    Grand Canyon Tramway Legislation Introduced, Comments Needed
    An alert from Tom Martin at RRFW Riverwire

    Late in the day on Monday, August 29, 2016, legislation was introduced in the Navajo Nation Tribal Council to build a tramway in the Grand Canyon at the confluence of the Colorado & Little Colorado Rivers. Under Navajo Nation Law, the public the world over now has just five days to comment on this legislation.

    Sponsored by Fort Defiance Councilman Ben Bennett, the legislation gives the green light to a massive development on the rim of the Grand Canyon. The project would include a huge resort, airport, helicopter tours and tramway to the Canyon bottom at the confluence of the Little Colorado and main Colorado Rivers. The project anticipates between 800,000 to over 2,000,000 annual visitors per year at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

    A group of Phoenix developers, known as Confluence Partners LLC, would receive from 92% to 88% of revenues generated. The LLC has no prior company experience in any type of construction.

    The Navajo Nation legislation spells out the duties of the partners, and requires the Navajo Nation to expend at a minimum of $65 million for a 20 mile all-weather road to the development location, as well as provide power, water, and telecommunications. A loan to the Navajo Nation to cover these costs would be repaid out of any royalties received.

    Legislation passed in 1975 by Congress recognized that the entire Grand Canyon has many managers, including the National Park Service, the Navajo Nation and other tribes and agencies. The law requires the Secretary of Interior to work with all the Grand Canyon’s many managers in providing “protection and interpretation of the Grand Canyon in its entirety.” The legislation, known as the Grand Canyon Enlargement Act, required the Secretary of Interior to work with the Navajo Nation to protect the Grand Canyon, designated a World Heritage Site.

    River Runners for Wilderness encourages its members to write to the Navajo Nation and Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell. Tell the Nation and Secretary Jewell:
    - You support a tramway-free Grand Canyon.
    - Ask that Navajo tribal funds be spent on vital needs such as housing, sanitation, telecommunication and water supply projects across the entire Western Navajo lands.
    - Remind the Navajo Nation and Secretary Jewell of her duty to work with the Navajo to protect and preserve the Grand Canyon as the 1975 Grand Canyon Enlargement Act required.

    You can contact the Navajo Nation here: comments@navajo-nsn.gov
    Or in writing, mailed to:
    Executive Director, Office of Legislative Services
    P.O. Box 3390
    Window Rock, AZ 86515
    (928) 871-7590

    Navajo Nation law requires that all comments, either in the form of letters and or e-mails must include your name, position title, address for written comments and a valid e-mail address. Anonymous comments will not be included in the Legislation packet.

    Please cc Secretary Jewell here:

    Secretary of the Interior
    The Honorable Sally Jewell
    Department of the Interior
    1849 C Street, N.W.
    Washington DC 20240

    The nine page short version of the over 200 page bill is available for review here:
    http://www.navajonationcouncil.org/Legislations/2016/AUG/0293-16.pdf

    Additional information is also available here: http://savetheconfluence.com/

    confluence.
    hank moon likes this.
  2. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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  3. townsend

    townsend

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    I thought the indigenous inhabitants of North America had a strong concept of "the sacred", as in there are sacred places that should not be defiled by human use and (even more so) by exploitation.

    Is nothing sacred any more?:speechless::inpain::disagree::hurting:
    Dave Melton and Rapterman like this.
  4. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Yeah, the Dollar
  5. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Ironically, one reason the NPS bans camping from backpackers and boaters anywhere near the confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado River, is because it is sacred to the Navajo. Or at least that's what they used to say. I noticed that the current website took that part out. Maybe it's not sacred anymore?
    Rapterman likes this.
  6. AW~

    AW~

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    What is your problem with Navajos?
  7. Rick Demarest

    Rick Demarest

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    I posted this because I thought it might be of interest to the canyoneering community. A request to not go off topic and comment on what you think is or is not sacred to the Navajo Nation. The Navajo would have to speak to that and it's not really the point from a non-Navajo perspective.

    Go to the "Save the Confluence" link above to get informed and then, if you feel so inclined, follow up with comments to the listed agencies. This is a very short window of time, because Navajo regs are different that the usual 30-90 comment window. There are only 5 days - until Saturday 9/3 @ 5:30 pm. Thanks for your help.
    Rapterman and townsend like this.
  8. Ram

    Ram

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    https://secure.americanrivers.org/page/s/no-escalade

    Wrong Place, Wrong Project
    [​IMG]
    A tram does not belong in the Grand Canyon
    A Navajo Nation Council member has introduced legislation that would begin construction of the amusement-park style gondola in the Grand Canyon. Tell the Navajo Tribal Council to reject the Grand Canyon Escalade Project, and support Navajo President Russell Begaye in his firm defense of the Grand Canyon against this attack from outside developers.

    The Grand Canyon belongs to all of us, for all time, and it is not for sale. Comments close September 2nd, so please take action today.

    Petition text
    I am writing to respectfully voice my strong opposition to the Grand Canyon Escalade project. This development, with a tramway, hotels, bathrooms, snack stand and walkways, will create a permanent scar on this special place. We can’t afford any more noise, trash or pollution in the Grand Canyon. The Escalade development will destroy the very things we all love about the canyon - its scenic beauty, wildness, and grandeur.

    The Navajo Nation has a right to economic development, creating a better future for its citizens. But the Escalade is not the answer. It is unwise to let outside developers profit in the short term by creating harm that will last for generations to come. All who love the Grand Canyon must come together and say “no.” Thousands of people from around the world and in the region have spoken out. The Grand Canyon should be protected for all of us, for all time. Please reject the legislation to authorize the unwise and damaging Grand Canyon Escalade project.


    Add Your Name to the Petition

    Click link







    https://secure.americanrivers.org/page/s/no-escalade
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  9. Ram

    Ram

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    Rapterman likes this.
  10. Ram

    Ram

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    This from Wally Rist....yes that Mr. Risk from the "Emerald Mile"

    From Our friends at Save the Confluence. Please lend your support to them and to Grand Canyon Trust.
    wally rist,President GCPBA

    What are next steps for proposed Escalade bill?
    by STC | Sep 5, 2016 | NewsNow that Navajo Nation Council Delegate Ben Bennett, from Eastern Navajo, has introduced legislation supporting the proposed Grand Canyon Escalade, what is next?Here is what we know:
    - More than 32,000 people worldwide signed petitions online, and sent in official comments to the Navajo Nation during the five-day official comment period ending last Saturday.
    - The next step is the Navajo Nation Law & Order Committee. There is nothing in the Navajo Nation meetings docket for anything scheduled with this committee for the upcoming week. But, you can continue to check this link: http://www.navajonationcouncil.org/meetings.html for new activity. Be advised that items are often scheduled at the last minute, with no notice, and everyone can be caught by surprise. Remain vigilant. Use social media — and text messaging for quicker action — to organize everyone on a moment’s notice to provide in-person public comment and/or demonstrations in Window Rock if public comment is disallowed.
    - After the Law and Order Committee, the next step will be the Resources & Development Committee. Again, follow the meeting notices at the link above.
    - After Resources & Development, will be Budget & Finance, followed by the Naa’bik’i’lyati; Committee.
    - Then the big meeting is the Navajo Nation Council, where a two-thirds majority is required for final passage.
    Even after all that, the Navajo Nation President can veto the legislation.Please also stay in touch with Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye’s office via https://www.facebook.com/Navajo-Nation-OPVP-Russell-Begaye-And-Jonathan-Nez-302132179938953/, as well as http://nnopvp.org/.More updates and information will be provided as it develops.



  11. Ram

    Ram

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    Navajo tribal officials said on Wednesday they counted only one-tenth of the tens of thousands of comments filed online last week opposing the proposed Escalade development.

    Even though more than 83,000 online petition comments went to the tribe’s official e-mail address, only a fraction got counted, according to the officials, who also said they do not know what happened to all the other online submissions.

    The Navajo Nation Council’s Legislative service opened comment about Bill number 0293-16 for a five-day comment period, which started Monday, Aug. 29 and ended Saturday, Sept. 3. The bill asks the Navajo Nation Council to approve a $65 million loan, a 420-acre land withdrawal and a master contract with the nation. The agreement would begin construction of the Escalade resort at Grand Canyon Eastern Rim.

    An online petition that Save the Confluence launched during the comment period collected more than 25,000 verified signatures from around the world last week. Similarly, a group called American Rivers says that it collected 58,000 signatures, for a combined total of 83,000 online comments between the two groups that went to the tribe’s official e-mail for receiving public comment on the proposed development.

    However, tribal officials said they only counted 8,417 people protesting the Escalade development through letters and online comments. The tribe’s legislative officials said that the 8,417 online comments is the most they have ever received on a controversial issue. Officials said that they will re-check and search for the missing comments.

    Only 131 comments support the Escalade. This means that opposition outnumbered support by 800 to 1.

    Here is how numbers broke down:

    * 8,417 individuals submitted their opposition through hand-written petitions, an online petition count, e-mail, letters and prepared statements against the Escalade.
    * 131 turned in paperwork favoring the Escalade that include 123 letters and eight online comments.

    The total will be wrapped into a report for the Navajo council’s Law and Order Committee, which is scheduled to meet 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 12. The committee’s agenda will post Friday, Sept. 9.

    Tribal officials also said the count for the Escalade bill is unfinished. The first five-day comment tests to find how out how the bill is received.

    People are encouraged to write and send comments up to the time the bill is introduced, officials said. You can send comments directly to the Navajo Nation via the information on this page: http://savetheconfluence.com/news/contact-delegates/

    Halne'e posted: "Navajo tribal officials said on Wednesday they counted only one-eighth of the tens of thousands of comments filed online last week opposing the proposed Escalade development. Even though more than 55,000 online petition comments were submitted to the t"
    Deagol likes this.
  12. AW~

    AW~

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    At least this is telling the truth...its a land grab attempt. 800 americans per sovereign telling the 'dummies' what they have to do with 'american' land. The same proponents who froze the land earlier . BTW...we got the same thing going on in Cali....but at least that is American land. Maybe I wont email comments because I trust the Navajos and dont tell another sovereign what they need to be doing. I mean if they dont know by now not to trust the racist white man its going to have consequences...unfortuantely the opposition does not mean they wont come if approved. These same people will come....they are so phony. No need to wait for the proof of comments against the tightrope for american entertainment and many other examples of the REI collective. Note: the Skywalk grabs 370,000 tourists a year. Not as good as the americans....$471 million dollars in 2012 for GCNP. And not a word about that 20 mile like long pipeline development aka Transcanyon Pipeline..... of course....all for some water fountains.

    "{temporary} Water conservation measures include; turning of the water while you shave or brush your teeth, running dishwashers or washing machines with only full loads- in eco mode if available, taking shorter showers, not watering lawns or washing cars, filling the sink with water while washing dishes and reporting drips, leaks or other water loss to appropriate offices."....and the same 'environmentalists' were adamant that the Navajo houses literally turn to dust...while an average tourist on NPS land has it better than the navajos by far. The same navajos who I suppose are forced to take american comments....nothing has changed.
  13. Ted

    Ted

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    "The Navajo Nation’s Law and Order Committee unanimously turned down Grand Canyon Escalade at Monday’s public meeting."
    savetheconfluence.com
  14. Mike Zampino

    Mike Zampino Canyon season never ends.

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    Battle won, but I am sure the war is not over.
  15. Mike Zampino

    Mike Zampino Canyon season never ends.

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  16. robert kyslovsky

    robert kyslovsky

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    I am with you folks, I love the Grandie and The Confluence in particular. I agree its not the right place or the right project. Just like never going out on the Skywalk (I know its a totally different thing) I will never go down to the confluence via the tramway, should it materialize. That said, I am not a fan of the mule's either on the Kaibab. The key thing for me is the Navajo like all other indigenous people have been decimated by white-Euro-culture and they are pushed to the brink. If they feel that land they manage can bring them a quality of life they deserve, how is that any different from the strip malls and parking lots and other drek built up everywhere across America. We want wilderness but we dont really want wilderness. We seem to want McDonalds culture, and Chipoltle culture...we want to drive everywhere and pollute. Pave the earth, dam the rivers, screw mother nature, over allocate the Colorado, make bogus claims like the Orange Orangutan that global warming does not exist nor pose a threat to my children and their kids's kids...so what I am saying here is, are we not being full of shit when we are a nation of polluters kicking over 25 percent of the world's pollution into the environment through we are only 4 percent of the worlds population?

    I think the tram is a huge mistake, but so too is everything I have described above and nobody, absolutely nobody, on this site is talking about that. In the meantime the Navajo are in a serious economic and cultural conundrum...if their traditional ways are going to survive in a culture concocted by the white, Euros they are going to have to have some serious cash...nobody survives in this economy without it.
  17. Ram

    Ram

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    I am shocked, shocked to hear that politics, on both sides, played a part in the latest skirmish in this war....;)



    Committee Tables Tramway Bill at Bodaway Meeting

    A Phoenix based developer's legislation to build a massive tourist development with a tramway to the bottom of the Grand Canyon received another setback January 11, 2017, when the Navajo Nation Resources & Development Committee voted to table the legislation. The vote was three in favor of tabling and two against. This can only be seen as a stinging rebuke to the Committee Vice-Chair Ben Bennett, sponsor of the legislation.

    The tramway legislation is a Phoenix developers scheme to build a luxury tourist resort on Navajo Nation lands at the rim of the Canyon, possibly including many hundreds of helicopter flights to the bottom of the Grand Canyon each day, along with moving up to ten thousand people a day to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back to the rim top via a tramway. The legislation also proposes to take away 420 acres of land without compensation to the traditional Navajo families that have lived in that location for many decades, while circumventing a number of Navajo Nation laws.
    About one hundred attendees packed into the Bodaway-Gap Chapter House for the meeting, located about twenty miles due east of the Confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers. An hour long presentation by the Phoenix, AZ, based developers was given to the committee members. Delegate Bennett sat next to the developers during the presentation, but it was to no avail.

    Included in the developers presentation was mention of a new community for workers at the resort that would be built in the middle of the wind-swept Marble Platform, roughly half way between the rim of the Grand Canyon and Highway 89A. The Legislation makes no mention of this proposed development. Three members of the Committee had hard questions for the developers. The Delegates questioned why the legislation failed to mentioning the fact that there is no impact assessment for the already overtaxed law enforcement services that would be needed at the new community. Also raised was the fact that the legislation ignores any mention of the local landowners and grazing families that will be impacted in the development area, nor has the local community been included in any discussion of what sort of development, if any, they want on their land.

    The Delegates were not the only ones to express concern about the legislation. Incoming Bodaway Gap Chapter President Elect Don Yellowman was invited by the Committee to give a report about his plans for the Chapter. President Elect Yellowman gave a passionate speech at the start of the five hour meeting talking about how his community needs healing after being torn apart by the Phoenix developers legislation, and that the legislation is "top-heavy," coming as it is from Phoenix developers via Window Rock, the Navajo Nation seat of power. Yellowman wants to see any development being a grass roots move toward sustainable development starting at the Chapter level.
    As per Navajo Nation law, the legislation must be reviewed by four Navajo Nation committees before going to the entire Tribal Council for a vote. The Law and Order Committee was the first committee to review the legislation and unanimously voted the legislation down. The next committee to review the legislation is the Budget and Finance Committee. No date or location has yet been set for that meeting.

    River Runners for Wilderness still encourages its members to write to the Navajo Nation and the Secretary of the Department of Interior. Tell the Nation and the Interior Secretary, with all due respect:

    -You are opposed to Navajo Nation Legislation 0293-16
    - You support a tramway-free Grand Canyon.
    - Ask that Navajo tribal funds be spent on vital needs such as housing, sanitation, telecommunication and water supply projects across the entire Western Navajo lands.
    - Remind the Navajo Nation and the Secretary of Interior that the Department of Interior has been charged to work with the Navajo to protect and preserve the Grand Canyon as the 1975 Grand Canyon Enlargement Act required.

    You can send your comments to the Navajo Nation here:
    comments@navajo-nsn.gov
    Or in writing, mailed to:
    Tom Platero
    Executive Director
    Office of Legislative Services
    P.O. Box 3390
    Window Rock, AZ 86515

    Navajo Nation law requires that all comments, either in the form of letters and or e-mails must include your name, position title, address for written comments and a valid e-mail address. Anonymous comments will not be included in the Legislation packet.
    Please cc
    Secretary of the Interior
    Department of the Interior
    1849 C Street, N.W.
    Washington DC 20240
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    RIVERWIRE is a free service to the community of river lovers from River Runners for Wilderness. To join, send an e-mail address to riverwire@rrfw.org and we'll add it to the RRFW RIVERWIRE e-mail alerts list.
    :twothumbs::twothumbs::twothumbs::twothumbs::twothumbs::twothumbs::twothumbs::twothumbs::twothumbs::twothumbs::twothumbs:
    Bootboy likes this.
  18. Mike Zampino

    Mike Zampino Canyon season never ends.

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    If you wrote to Sally Jewell, don't forget to write again to Ryan Zinke or whoever gets confirmed to replace her.
    Ram likes this.
  19. clangingsymbol

    clangingsymbol

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