Go Back   Mountain Buzz > Whitewater Boating > Whitewater Rafting

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-18-2014   #1
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 817
RRFW Riverwire – Tramway Free Grand Canyon Comments Needed

RRFW Riverwire – Tramway Free Grand Canyon Comments Needed

December 18, 2014

The proposed development of a huge resort and tramway at the confluence of the Little Colorado and main Colorado Rivers in Grand Canyon, first proposed in February of 2012, has taken an ominous new turn.

You may recall that a group of Phoenix developers, known as Confluence Partners LLC, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with some representatives of the Navajo Nation to move the project forward. The LLC has no prior company experience in any type of construction.

Named the Grand Canyon Escalade, the tramway and resort has generated a groundswell of opposition from members of the Navajo Nation, neighboring tribes and citizens from around the world.

Despite this, draft legislation prepared for the Navajo Nation Tribal Council’s vote has been released, outlining development of a destination resort on the rim of the Grand Canyon. The legislation calls for between 800,000 to over 2,000,000 annual visitors per year at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

The Escalade would be built on Navajo Nation land perched above the main Colorado River, with a long, fully visible tramway down to the river’s edge and would include 4,000 square feet of restroom facilities at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

The development would also include an RV park, airport, restaurant, five star hotels, a boutique and a Discovery Center on the rim, 4,000 feet above the confluence, along with boat and helicopter tours.

The Navajo Nation draft legislation spells out the duties of the partners, and requires the Navajo Nation to expend a minimum of $65 million for a 20 mile all-weather road to the development location, as well as power, water, and telecommunications. The Navajo Nation would also be required to construct a wastewater treatment facility able to accommodate over 2 million visitors annually.

A glaring omission from the draft legislation and tribal consideration is that legislation passed in 1975 by the United States Congress recognized that the entire Grand Canyon has many managers, including the National Park Service, the Navajo 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 all the managers of Grand Canyon, including the Navajo Nation, to protect the resource.

The draft legislation also makes no mention of two existing Tribal Parks, the Navajo Nation Marble Canyon and Little Colorado River Tribal parks. These parks were created by tribal agreement in the 1960’s and 1970’s to preserve this area of Grand Canyon.

With $65 million in Navajo funds to be spent in supporting this Phoenix developers’ scheme, grassroots Navajo groups are working on a list of needs that are more relevant, more helpful, and not destructive of Navajo values and the Grand Canyon.

River Runners for Wilderness encourages its members to write Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell. Tell Secretary Jewell:

- You support a tramway-free Grand Canyon.

- Tell Secretary Jewell that the two Navajo Tribal Parks, Marble Canyon and Little Colorado, in the eastern Grand Canyon, would be excellent areas for Interior to work with the Navajo Nation as the 1975 Act encourages her to do, with federal funds, to make these Parks, under Navajo Nation direction, known and available to the public in an appropriate way that does not desecrate the area;

- Tell Secretary Jewell that the Department of Interior should be supportive of Navajo residents in the Grand Canyon area of Western Navajo by working with the Navajo Nation on a Navajo-generated list of regional needs such as housing, sanitation, telecommunication and water supply projects.

- Remind the Secretary 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 Secretary here:

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

Or send an e-mail to Secretary Jewell at feedback@ios.doi.gov

You can see the draft Navajo Nation legislation (16 Mb) at the following links:


Additional information is also available here:
Save the Confluence - Preserving the East Rim of the Grand Canyon

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~
RIVERWIRE is a free service to the community of river lovers from River Runners for Wilderness. To sign-up for future Riverwires, send an e-mail address to riverwire@rrfw.org and we'll add it to the RRFW Riverwire e-mail alerts list.

Join RRFW's Facebook discussion group to stay abreast of and participate in the latest river issues. It's as easy as visiting https://www.facebook.com/groups/raftgc/

Join RRFW's Yahoogroup discussion group to stay abreast of and participate in the latest river issues. It's as easy as sending a blank e-mail to Rafting_Grand_Canyon-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Check out RRFW's Rafting Grand Canyon Wiki for free information on Do-It-Yourself Grand Canyon rafting info http://www.rrfw.org/RaftingGrandCanyon/Main_Page

Check out new items and donate at the RRFW Store! RRFW is a non-profit project of Living Rivers. https://www.rrfw.org/store ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~

Tom Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2014   #2
dryfly's Avatar
U not daho, Idaho
Paddling Since: noon
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Just say no...
Thanks for the work you do Tom.

dryfly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014   #3
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 817
You are most welcome. Hope the river community voices their concern about this! Yours, tom
Tom Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014   #4
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 817
Let's see if this photo works...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	TramLocationAtLCR.jpg
Views:	200
Size:	229.2 KB
ID:	9195  
Tom Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014   #5
., Arizona
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 83
Sure would make the take out for running the Little Colorado much easier!
Mr French is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014   #6
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 817
Yes, but you won't be able to get a permit as all the day trippers on both the Little Colorado and coming downriver from Lee's Ferry, paying $500 for the package deal, will leave no room for you to ride the tram. Sorry about that...
Tom Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014   #7
FlyingDutchman's Avatar
Westfield, Massachusetts
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 178
While I am opposed to the tram idea. A nice flush toilet and bathing/shaving I n the bathroom sink on say day 5 of a winter trip would be pretty nice....just kidding.

The confluence is such a critical habitat, and wonderful place of natural beauty. I would hate to seen it ruined with a ski lift and dozens of people walking around taking photos. The tram builders would have to build little walkways, fences or roped off areas. If the plan gets approved, I am definitely doing another canyon run before construction starts.
FlyingDutchman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2014   #8
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 817
Hey Dutch, yes, that hot water off the camp stove in the morning to wash my face when there is frost on the boats is a magical thing...Dozens of People? How do these numbers strike you:

A Double Decker gondola, holds 60 folks, and goes at 18 miles an hour. The cost of $400 PER PERSON to ride this to the bottom of the Grand Canyon will be a "deal" to the Vegas tourists... 60 people every 10 minutes (you only get to spend ten minutes at the bottom), 600 people an hour, 6,000 people in a ten hour day, operating 365 days a year, for 2,190,000 people a year... Remember, the design calls for 4,000 square feet at the bottom for restrooms alone...

One person e-mailed me the following: "Is $65+++ million the best use of Navajo funds? $65 mil for a top-down whitefolk project? If this scam succeeds, it will be the biggest hit on the Navajo since the Long Walk to Fort Sumner in New Mexico. Asking the Secretary of Interior to work with the NN to exercise due diligence so the scammers' wouldn't be able to get any traction for their flim-flam is the least we can do. This thing aches to be exposed to public view headlined HERE IS THE KIND OF FRAUD THAT WHITEFOLK CON ARTISTS STILL THINK THEY CAN PUT OVER ON THE NAVAJO PEOPLE."
Tom Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2014   #9
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 123
I would have concerns about waste treatment for 4000 SF of restrooms in an ecologically sensitive area. I am an Architect and recently got a load of shit, no pun intended, over 6 composting holes on NF land at a ski resort. How is this to be dealt with? Even these composting toilets having leaching requirements for liquid waste and I don't believe pits are allowed anymore.
leo_amore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2014   #10
Tom Martin's Avatar
Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 817
No Sh!t (Pun intended) And what about the upstream winds in that area? There will be a number of engineering issues that will need careful consideration to move that amount of people into and out of that area every day, every year... yours, tom

Tom Martin is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
RRFW Riverwire – 1975 Act May Stop Tramway Tom Martin Whitewater Rafting 0 07-17-2014 07:00 PM
Tramway-Free Grand Canyon needs 11 more signatures Tom Martin Whitewater Kayaking 7 12-25-2012 02:55 PM
RRFW Riverwire - Tramway Proposed for LCR Confluence Tom Martin Whitewater Kayaking 0 12-11-2012 09:44 PM
RRFW Riverwire – Your Comments Needed on Deer Creek Narrows Closure Tom Martin Whitewater Kayaking 0 08-17-2012 05:13 PM
RRFW Riverwire - Desolation Canyon Threatened By Huge Gas Field, Comments Needed! Tom Martin Whitewater Kayaking 3 04-23-2008 03:38 PM

» Classified Ads
14ft Rocky Mountain raft

posted by lawy

14 ft Rocky Mountain raft nrs frame 3 11ft Carlisle oars....

vintage Avon foot pump

posted by Johnny

Vintage Avon foot pump from back in the '80s when I had a...

9'6" Polecats For...

posted by Colgador con Rojo

2 - 9'6" rope wrapped and counter balanced Sawyer Polecats...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:23 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.