RRFW Riverwire - Tramway Committee Meeting Rescheduled
September 28, 2016
Legislation to build a destructive tramway in the western Grand Canyon continues to proceed through the Navajo Nation Tribal government.
The bill was introduced into the Navajo Nation legislative calendar on August 29, which started an open public comment period. The comment period is still open. Navajo Nation officials noted that in the first five days after being placed on the calendar, the legislation received over 52,000 comments, the most ever received for any tribal legislation.
According to Mary Nez with the Office of Legislative Services, of the comments received only 131 comments were for the development. Comments are still coming into her office, and are being formatted for attachment to the legislation.
Likened to a Payday Loan scam, the bill now moves to review by four Navajo Nation Tribal Committees, one at a time. The Law and Order committee will review the legislation first.
Originally scheduled for a September 26 meeting in Monument Valley, Utah, the committee rescheduled the legislation for review to October 10, 2016, at the Twin Arrows Casino near Flagstaff, Arizona. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am and end at 3:00 pm. The meeting is open to the interested public and all are encouraged to attend.
The Chair of the committee, Edmund Yazzie, is aware of the need for allowing the interested public to speak on this issue and will be allowing time to accommodate the public traveling to this meeting to speak.
In a recent opinion piece, the tramway developers, based out of Phoenix, Arizona, are on record saying river runners want the area protected “as their private water park” and “don’t want the Navajos allowed to develop their own part of the canyon.”
According to Tom Martin of the non-profit River Runners for Wilderness, “the developers refuse to recognize the sacredness of where the tram is proposed to be built, at the Confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers. River runners approach this area as a sacred place, worthy of the utmost protection.”
Navajo, Zuni and Hopi tribal members have recognized the sacredness of the Grand Canyon, especially the Confluence for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Martin notes “while river runners have certainly not been around as long as our First Nation brothers and sisters, we too recognize that this area is worthy of protection.”
Martin points out that people the world over want economic development in Western Navajo, as well as protection of the sacred landscape of the Grand Canyon. “The way to do this is with funding for two Tribal Parks through a mechanism already set up but never acted upon. Legislation passed in 1975 instructs the Department of Interior to assist the Navajo Nation in developing the Marble and Little Colorado Tribal Parks, with real Navajo Nation jobs through development that protects and preserves Grand Canyon.”
River Runners for Wilderness encourages its members and anyone the world over who cares about the Grand Canyon to write to the Navajo Nation and Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell.
With all due respect, please tell the Navajo 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.
Please include in your comments that you are commenting on legislation bill number 0293-16 introduced by Delegate Ben Bennett and that you would like your comments added to the legislative record for this bill.
You can send your comments to the Navajo Nation by e-mail at this address:
Or in writing, mailed to:
Mr. Tom Platero
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 if applicable, return address for written comments and a valid e-mail address. Anonymous comments will not be included in the Legislation packet. If you submit comments by e-mail, you will receive an e-mail back from the Navajo Nation asking to validate your e-mail. Please follow the directions in that e-mail.
Please cc Secretary Jewell here:
By e-mail: Secretary_jewell@ios.doi.gov
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 bill is available for review here:
The entire legislative packet of 258 pages is here:
River Runners For Wilderness comments are here:
with supplemental comments here:
For further information, please contact Tom Martin at River Runners For Wilderness, firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional information is also available here:
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