RRFW Riverwire – Grand Canyon Tramway Legislation Introduced, Comments Needed
August 29, 2016
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. 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:
Or in writing, mailed to:
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 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:
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