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Discussion Starter #1
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
A little after 5:00 PM this afternoon, Legislation was posted on the Navajo Nation website for the Grand Canyon tramway.

The website page is here:
Legislation

The PDF of the specific legislation is here:
http://www.navajonationcouncil.org/Legislatio…/…/0293-16.pdf

or

http://tinyurl.com/jufhqvy

This starts a comment period of five days. From the legislation:
Digital comments may be e-mailed to [email protected]
Written comments may be mailed to:

Executive Director
Office of Legislative Services
P.O. Box 3390
Window Rock, AZ 86515
928-871-7590

Comments may be made in the form of chapter resolutions, letters, position papers, etc. Please include your name, position title, address for written comments; a valid e-mail address is required. Anonymous comments will not be included in the Legislation packet.

Please send this to all your friends around the world. Now is your time to comment!

Tom Martin
Co-director
River Runners for Wilderness
Arizona Field Office
PO Box 30821
Flagstaff, AZ 86003-0821
928-556-0742 hm
928-856-9065 cell
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Dancing in the street's with your arms upraised? Hey, you get to write a few letters! How COOL is that!!! Everyone likes mail!
 

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Crap. Thanks for alerting us to this shitty news. Considering that there may be thousands of tourists, with a significant number needing to poop down there, and the limitations on a sewage treatment system at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, this is indeed shitty news...

And that's just one of the issues.
 

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Wow...I just read through that and I can't say I support where they are proposing to run the tram to. How I read it was that it was going to be built with the bottom end at the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado and would involve a riverwalk, food shops, and lots of touristy stuff.

I try not to be greedy and I realize that the Indian nations in that area are pretty hard up for jobs and income, but there is something special about the canyon as it stands. I floated down to Pearce Ferry on a trip last week and the difference between the section the Haulapai have turned into Tourist town is pretty stark compared to the rest of the canyon.

I guess all I'm saying is that I hope they keep the impact to river users to a minimum. I'll try and get that sentiment into an email/letter to send as input as well.

I would think that the impact to the LCR with that kind of usage would impact the endangered species that Ranger Peggy spent a lot of time talking about in her orientation talk too.
 

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I try not to be greedy and I realize that the Indian nations in that area are pretty hard up for jobs and income, but there is something special about the canyon as it stands. I floated down to Pearce Ferry on a trip last week and the difference between the section the Haulapai have turned into Tourist town is pretty stark compared to the rest of the canyon.
Maybe the Indians are getting screwed again??

http://www.grandcanyontrust.org/sites/default/files/gc_Confluence_Partners_Escalade.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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:

[email protected]

Or in writing, mailed to:

Executive Director, Office of Legislative Services
P.O. Box 3390
Window Rock, AZ 86515
928 871-7590

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:

http://www.navajonationcouncil.org/Legislatio…/…/0293-16.pdf

For further information, please contact Tom Martin at River Runners For Wilderness, [email protected]

Additional information is also available here:
http://savetheconfluence.com/

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Thanks for posting this, Tom.

Just for clarity, where in the legislation or development agreement is the Navajo Nation obligated to fund $65million? I didn't find it specifically (or overlooked it) in the links provided. Thanks.

Also, does anyone think this angle might constitute "leverage" or "extortion" to gain money or concessions from the Federal Government, or other interests?
 

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Reading that Grand Canyon Trust link is disheartening in regards to special interest and this proposed development.

Does anyone have a reference to the operations of the Navajo tribal government that is not tied to special interest? I lean strongly towards environmentalism but this issue sits at the intersection of so many other historical variables (tribal sovereignty, commercial exploitation inside and outside the tribe, interagency relationships, etc).

As a boatman I recognize how rare and precious the confluence remains to most of us. As an environmentalist I don't see how the project is sustainable or doesn't have a negative impact on the native species we have spent decades recuperating. But I'm not a single issue voter/citizen and I am concerned about yet another outside influence interfering with tribal legislation and programs. I value sovereignty of the regional tribes and I am not sure my selfish preferences trump their agency in this case. The non-tribal commercial interest allegations are key components of that equation.

Anybody have a link to how legislation and policies are developed within the Navajo Nation, specifically how various chapters are organized and interact? I want to read something that isn't lobbying for a particular outcome.
 

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I have submitted my letter.

There has been a lot written about this project for those who are looking for more.

My opinion is that this project would be tragic, so my reading list would reflect this point of view. However, I recently read this about development around Grand Canyon National Park:
Are We Losing the Grand Canyon?

S
 

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I spent many years in NM around different tribes, I even worked for one for a year and I dont have much faith that tribal decisions are made in the best interest of their people or land. I guess Im just jaded, but it seems that Tribes (like corporations) have little motive for anything besides greed, only with tribes there are not federal laws and regulation to keep tabs on things. I know that isn't always the case and maybe its even a small portion of Tribes and Reservations, but I just have seen too many instances where the Native Americans get screwed by outsiders or their own leaders. I think its pretty obvious that the current and historical system that manages Native American tribes and reservations is horribly flawed. The poverty, lack of education and job opportunity, crime and addiction have been a problem for decades. So we end up with desperate indian reservations striking deals with outside interest that end up profiting off of alcohol, gambling, cigarettes, fireworks, over fishing, over use of water, or damaging the environment. Like I said, I may be wrong, but I have very little faith that land cared for by sovereign tribes is nearly as protected as land cared for by the federal government.
This Tramway idea is a disgrace, might as well build a rollercoaster up the face of Half Dome and a waterslide through Old Faithful.
 

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Grand canyon Tramway Legislation Form letter

I always find it easier to craft a letter if I have a form letter to start with. I hope this is helpful to people:

View attachment Grand Canyon Tramway Legislation Objection Form Letter.doc

To: Executive Director, Office of Legislative Services
P.O. Box 3390
Window Rock, AZ 86515
928 871-7590

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

Subject: Navajo Nation Proposed Grand Canyon Tramway Legislation

Cc: The Honorable Michael Bennet, United States Senator Colorado
The Honorable Cory Gardner, United States Senator, Colorado


I am writing to express my strong objections to the Navajo Nation’s proposed Grand Canyon Tramway Legislation. This legislation would have a devastating impact on one of the true gems of our country and the world. By providing a shortcut and allowing between 800,000 to over 2,000,000 annual visitors per year to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, this legislation will destroy everything that makes the Grand Canyon a special place and a special wilderness. The project is economically, environmentally and ethically unsound and I urge you to do all you can reject the passage of this legislation by the Navajo Nation.

Specifically, I would ask that you support a tramway-free Grand Canyon. Furthermore, I would 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 rather than a project that would benefit outside development interests.

To the leaders of the Navajo Nation and you Secretary Jewell, I remind you of your duty to work with the Navajo to protect and preserve the Grand Canyon as the 1975 Grand Canyon Enlargement Act required.

With respect,


________________________________________


















 

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Sheesh.

I just signed the online petition, and emailed in a letter, and will be dropping hard copies in the mail in the morning. looking at the legislation is scary, but the thing that rams home what is going on is the diagram on savetheconfluence

http://savetheconfluence.com/

showing the proposed area to be impacted. The canyon (down to whitemore) is one of the few places left that you can spend some time without being jarred by the rest of humanity. I remember distinctly at the end of my second trip down running into a jeep tour at diamond creek, and it was hard to deal with and talk to folks thinking that they in the 30 minutes that they had been at the river, had similar experiences and understandings. That is the selfish me part that is upset, then in the greater good, the amount of damage that many people going into and out of the canyon will do is unimaginable. When I worked in outdoor retail (eons ago) we ran trips into the woods, but capped them hard at 15 to prevent damage just from footsteps, and here they are thinking thousands a day.

Yikes.
 

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Reading that Grand Canyon Trust link is disheartening in regards to special interest and this proposed development.

Does anyone have a reference to the operations of the Navajo tribal government that is not tied to special interest? I lean strongly towards environmentalism but this issue sits at the intersection of so many other historical variables (tribal sovereignty, commercial exploitation inside and outside the tribe, interagency relationships, etc).

As a boatman I recognize how rare and precious the confluence remains to most of us. As an environmentalist I don't see how the project is sustainable or doesn't have a negative impact on the native species we have spent decades recuperating. But I'm not a single issue voter/citizen and I am concerned about yet another outside influence interfering with tribal legislation and programs. I value sovereignty of the regional tribes and I am not sure my selfish preferences trump their agency in this case. The non-tribal commercial interest allegations are key components of that equation.

Anybody have a link to how legislation and policies are developed within the Navajo Nation, specifically how various chapters are organized and interact? I want to read something that isn't lobbying for a particular outcome.
So with the thoughts you mentioned, I'll ad these for consideration.
The Navajo are not the only tribe that makes a claim to that area, other tribes do as well, the decendents of the people commonly referred to as the Anasazi, consider the Little Colorado sacred to there people, for instance.

Also, to offer a different point of view, building a tram way will alter the Grand canyon significantly, for many generations, for a lot of different people, in a negative way. I suggest that it is not boaters or enviromentaly minded people that are being selfish by trying to stop the project, but Confluence partners Llc that is selfish, in exploiting the Grand Canyon in a damaging way, and most likely the Navajo Nation as well ( $60 million dollars which the N.N. would be required to front, that's there business, but it sure appears they are getting screwed over by confluence partners).
 

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The non-tribal partners and requirements are very concerning to me and I thought the Trust did a good job outlining that element.

I am sincerely conflicted on this issue. To clarify, it is solely my interest I labeled selfish, not others. People have complex experiences and relationships with the canyon that I respect.

I recognize other puebloan tribes have staked claim to regions of the canyon over the years. If I remember correctly William Least Heatmoon discussed, in Blue Highways ,the absurdity of tribes suing each other in US courts over such land rights in a section based in my current town, Cedar City. It's a complex legal and cultural issue.

But that is a hard argument for me to make as someone outside any tribe. I can't use that as a variable as it would seem opportunistic. For now I have to value the Navajo's legally recognized right to make its own decisions. We have stepped on and historically ignored native sovereignty too much in the past for that to be a valid avenue for me. I am further uncomfortable with the cultural protection argument given the rafting and canyoneering communities response to the closure of Deer Creek as a "traditional cultural property".

I have no problem labeling the project ecologically unsustainable. It will forever alter the experience for me and others.

Currently at an impasse myself. Hence my query for information regarding tribal governance. It's a subject I am less familiar with and their are explicit accusation s of impropriety, etc.
 

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Looks Like the Only Risk is to the Navajo People

It's a perfect scheme for the Phoenix company - the Navajo Nation pays $65 million up front to build a road that will not benefit them unless the project proceeds (highly risky proposition), the company which intends to eventually reap 88-92% of the profit puts up zero.

So then we get to the next phase when they want to bring the bulldozers into the canyon itself - there's a good chance the controversy will spiral out of control and the project dies. So sorry Navajo Nation, you just got *****.

It's a losing proposition for everyone except the company and the lawmakers looking for kickbacks (kickback being American slang for campaign contribution).

Disgusting to the core - best option is to stop it before fleecing the Navajo Nation out of $65 million it can't afford.
 
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