Hopi Council Again Rejects Snowmaking 

by CYNDY COLE, Sun Staff Reporter
Arizona Daily Sun
10 July 2010

The Hopi Tribe's legislative body voted unanimously Thursday to use any remaining legal avenues to stop snowmaking at Arizona Snowbowl, the tribe's leader said Friday.

"Ultimately and straightforwardly, we're just opposed to any snowmaking at all," said Chairman LeRoy Shingoitewa.

"The Hopi people's lives are based on our values and what we've been told to protect in our lives," he said. "And as Hopis, we just cannot go against the teachings we've been taught to guarantee the survival of our Hopi people."

What legal options now remain is the question.

A second lawsuit against snowmaking filed by the Save the Peaks Coalition and regional residents heads to court for oral arguments in Phoenix on July 20. It asserts reclaimed wastewater might make unhealthy snow for skiers and snowboarders.

As of midday Friday, U.S. District Court for Arizona Judge Mary Murguia had not ruled on a request for a temporary restraining order regarding construction. But she had approved an agreement between Snowbowl and the plaintiffs that construction would not begin until at least July 21.

This lawsuit comes after a first that asserted snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks would violate some tribal members' religious freedoms. The courts rejected that claim.

If cleared through the latest court round, construction to install snowmaking equipment and new trails at Snowbowl would likely not begin until August at the earliest. Staff at the Coconino National Forest say they need time to receive and review specific construction plans and consult with tribes.

Posted in Local on Saturday, July 10, 2010 5:00 am Updated: 10:53 pm.



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