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Save the Confluence- Opposition Continues for the Grand Canyon Escalade

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by RAM, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. RAM

    RAM Guest

    the folks at Save The Confluence have put together a short film on why the Confluence should not be a location for a tramway. You can see thefilm on the home-page here:

    http://savetheconfluence.com/
  2. RAM

    RAM Guest

    This from Mike in California. Interesting

    RAM: hope you're well. The Grand Canyon Escalade stuff you just posted is fascinating. Have you read the "other side of the story"? See below:

    http://grandcanyonescalade.com/more-on-sacred-sites-at-the-confluence/#.UKjJuIfaJ8G

    More on Sacred Sites – Where do 24,567 Rafters Go to Party?

    Posted by KAL on Oct 9, 2012 in Blogs, Featured, News Articles, Press Room | 0 comments

    We have been researching Sacred Sites because there has been so much talk about them by the opponents of the Escalade project. Because the proposed Escalade project is NEAR the Confluence and a prayer/offering site (not on them mind you, just near them) and within a few miles by air from the Salt Trail and the Hopi Sipapu we are told that the Escalade would be a desecration of Sacred Sites. So we decided to find out what is happening today on these same Sacred Sites.

    We already posted that the Sierra Club is guiding hikes down the Salt Trail to the Hopi Sipapu and the Confluence for only $995 a person (click here for link). Now we find out that the National Park Service issues permits for 24,657 river runners, 16 commercial raft companies, and over 13,000 hiking permits each year. And 2006 Park Service regulations in effect today allow for motorized rafts, generators and helicopter insertion and extraction at two locations downstream of the Confluence. So where do 24,657 people go to party? Why the Confluence of course! It turns out that this is a primary stopping point, and they don't stop nearby, they stop right on the Confluence, a Sacred Site. And what do they do when they stop? Why, they hike to the Sipapu and use the Salt Trail and Swim in the Little Colorado River. We keep asking ourselves why there is no outcry by the Save the Confluencee folks. Why isn't it OK for the Navajo to charge $40 to ride a gondola to a secure site close to the Confluence but its ok to charge $2850 per rafter so they can tie up right on the Sacred Site and party? I guess that's why Grand Canyon River Guides oppose the Escalde and has joined with Save The Confluence. Can't have the Navajo making any money while they are raking it in.

    Let's Get That Party Started!! And we are led to believe that this is not a desecration of a Sacred Site as long as you're willing to drop a cool $2,850 to a commercial raft concession. But don't even think about $40 to ride a gondola.



    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "RAM" <adkramoo@...> wrote:
    > the folks at Save The Confluence have put together a short film on > why the Confluence should not be a location for a tramway. You can see thefilm on the home-page here:
    > http://savetheconfluence.com/
  3. rickinlo

    rickinlo Guest

    I think there is an obvious distinction between permitted and commercial hiking and rafting trips and building a permanent man made structure all the way down off the rim and at the confluence.

    Another one of the arguments is that Grand Canyon Village is worse. Grand Canyon Village is on the rim. There's a difference.

    > This from Mike in California. Interesting
    RAM: hope you're well. The Grand Canyon Escalade stuff you just posted is fascinating. Have you read the "other side of the story"? See below:

    > http://grandcanyonescalade.com/more-on-sacred-sites-at-the-confluence/#.UKjJuIfaJ8G
  4. rging@q.com

    rging@q.com Guest

    "Obviously" not to everyone.

    ----- Original Message ----- From: rickinlo rickinlo@yahoo.com> To: Yahoo Canyons Group Sent: Sun, 18 Nov 2012 13:15:09 -0500 (EST) Subject: [from Canyons Group] Re: Save the Confluence- Opposition Continues for the Grand Canyon Escalade

    I think there is an obvious distinction between permitted and commercial hiking and rafting trips and building a permanent man made structure all the way down off the rim and at the confluence.
  5. RAM

    RAM Guest

    http://cronkitenewsonline.com/2012/11/tension-in-navajo-nation-over-proposed-grand-canyon-tourist-attraction/

    Tension in Navajo Nation over proposed Grand Canyon tourist attraction

    Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 By MARYANN BATLLE Cronkite News

    WASHINGTON - Ty Tsosie was taught by his Navajo elders that when he needed spiritual reflection, he could go to the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers, a sacred place to the tribe.

    "If you feel good about something, if you feel down about something, you go out there and pray," Tsosie said.

    But he fears that in the not-too-distant future he could be sharing that sacred place on the eastern rim of the Grand Canyon with camera-toting tourists.

    A tribal chapter last month gave preliminary approval to a proposed 420-acre development at the confluence that calls for a hotel, RV park, motels, fast-food restaurants and a Navajo "cultural center." A "gondola tramway" would take visitors to the floor of the Grand Canyon, where an elevated walkway near the river would lead tourists to a restaurant.

    "You'll have pavement. You'll have people coming around," Tsosie said. "Who's going to be praying in front of a tourist site?"

    But supporters of the Grand Canyon Escalade <http://grandcanyonescalade.com/> project argue that there is already considerable tourism at the site, from hikers, rafters and others who may not revere the site as much as the Navajo do. They say the project would give the tribe better management of the site while providing a much-needed boon to a struggling Navajo economy, which is particularly depressed on the western edge of the reservation where the confluence is located.

    Far from harming the tribe, the Grand Canyon Escalade project will help preserve Navajo culture by creating jobs that would keep more people on the reservation, said state Rep. Albert Hale, D-Window Rock, the general counsel for the developers.

    "We're pushing our children away from our culture, away from our language away from our ceremonies. I don't want this. I want our children to be here," Hale said.

    The project is being developed by Confluence Partners LLC, a group of three enrolled Navajo tribe members and five non-Navajo men. Their plan calls for the Navajo Nation to spend about $60 million for infrastructure, such as roads and power lines, while private investors would pay for the first phase of development, expected to cost about $125 million, said Michele Crank, a spokeswoman for the developers.

    The Bodaway/Gap Chapter <http://bodaway.navajochapters.org/> of the tribe voted - barely - in October to give the project the green light, after twice passing resolutions earlier in the year in opposition to the development. The chapter would cede the land for the project.

    The 59-52 vote in support came after a heated meeting that had to be shut down by police, in what has become an increasingly contentious debate for tribal members. The subject is dividing friends and family on and off the reservation and Crank, a Navajo herself, said she and others in the development group have received threats.

    "In all honesty, in all of the meetings I have been in, I have never seen such disrespect as I have seen coming from the opponents," Crank said.

    Navajo Nation <http://www.navajo-nsn.gov/> police abruptly ended a Sept. 26 chapter meeting after attendees began to argue with each other.

    "Nobody was hurt and nobody was arrested or anything like that. It was just out of precaution," said Erny Zah, a spokesman for the president and vice president of the Navajo Nation.

    A few days later, Bodaway-Gap members returned and voted to support the project, at a meeting that was watched by tribal and state police with an ambulance parked nearby, according to the Navajo Times and Don Yellowman, a voting member of the chapter.

    Yellowman, president of the grassroots Navajo organization Forgotten People <http://www.forgottennavajopeople.com/> , said the chapter officials and the tribal government were trying to send a message with the police presencethat "no matter what, even if a riot broke out, this vote will be carried out."

    He said there are still many unanswered questions about the development. "Because of that, it's causing division and animosity in the community," Yellowman said.

    Chapter officials did not reply to repeated phone calls or emails seeking comment.

    But Hale, a former president of the Navajo Nation, said developers have shared the facts with the public.

    "People have been very emotional and aggressive with their statements, but I just tell them what I see," Hale said.

    Confluence Partners estimates the project would produce about 2,000 permanent jobs after complete build-out, an enticing number on a reservationthat has an estimated unemployment rate between 40 and 50 percent.

    And Bodaway-Gap is believed to be even worse off.

    The area fell under a 1966 federal policy known as the Bennett Freeze that halted all development on about 1.5 million acres of land while a border dispute between the Hopi and Navajo was settled. That stalled any prospect of progress on the Bennett Freeze lands: People there went without basic infrastructure, such as electricity and running water, for about 40 years.

    Many residents of the affected communities left the area before the Hopi and Navajo settled their issues in 2006. President Barack Obama in 2009 ended the federal development ban there, but the stunted communities are still trying to find ways to overcome the freeze's legacy.

    While Hale maintains that the Grand Canyon Escalade project would be an important step toward economic recovery, Tsosie and other opponents see it as a step in the wrong direction.

    Tsosie, who is one of many who had to leave the area in search of opportunity, believes tribal leaders can come up with other ways to boostthe economy.

    "We feel betrayed that our own tribe, our own people are agreeing with thisproject," he said.

    Tsosie - who like Yellowman is a member of Save the Confluence <http://savetheconfluence.com/> movement determined to stop the Grand Canyon Escalade - thinks developers are purposely "side-stepping the people."

    "It seems like they're just trying to jam this down our throat," he said.

    For the moment, the project is stalled, waiting for action from the Navajo Nation.

    Navajo President Ben Shelly, an original backer of the project, had given developers until the end of the year to muster tribal support for GrandCanyon Escalade.

    While developers are hopeful, pointing to the approval by the Bodaway/Gap chapter and to a petition supporting the project that Crank said collected 2,700 signatures, they have also pushed back their projected opening date from 2015 to 2016.
  6. marlowequart

    marlowequart Guest

    I heard national geographic did a program on the proposed confluence stuff, anyone else see that/know if its on youtube??
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