Moderator: HAZ - Moderators
This may answer some of those questions..It will be interesting to see how the new NN administration affects this project
“The Grand Canyon is the most protected land in the world,” David Uberuaga, the park superintendent, told The New York Times last fall. “And I still spend most of my time protecting the place. … Everybody wants to make a buck off the canyon.”
Navajo Nation president Ben Shelly is no different. While in office, he’s pushed economic development in the form of the Grand Canyon Escalade, a $1 billion proposal from a private company that would bring hotels, restaurants and shops to an undeveloped part of the rim on Navajo land, 26 miles from the nearest paved road. The piece de resistance would be a gondola that tourists could ride thousands of feet to the bottom of the canyon floor, to a place previously accessible only by launching a major expedition and guiding a rubber raft or wooden dory through 62 miles of roiling whitewater. Once there, tourists could eat at yet another swank restaurant, or enjoy an elevated “river walk” in the place where the muddy Colorado River meets the milky-blue Little Colorado. Some tribal members characterize the project as just another corporate attempt at turning ancestral land into a mini-Vegas, but the way Shelly told it, the Escalade project was practically a done deal.
Then an election worthy of a Hollywood screenplay put a kink in Shelly’s plans. Last year, Shelly came in seventh out of 17 candidates in the presidential primary. The top three contenders were former president Joe Shirley Jr.; Chris Deschene, a popular ex-Marine; and underdog Russell Begaye. The election started off innocuous enough, but then Deschene was disqualified because he purportedly wasn’t fluent in the Navajo language. A legal and cultural battle erupted, and the Navajo Nation Supreme Court removed all nine members of the Board of Election Supervisors and delayed the election by five months.
Finally, on April 21, the tribe held a special election. Begaye defeated Shirley 63 percent to 37 percent. In Bodaway Gap, the district closest to the Escalade site, he beat Shirley by more than 2 to 1. “That’s a big margin, especially when you have an unproven younger candidate against a two-term president,” notes Roger Clark, Grand Canyon program director for the Grand Canyon Trust.
Clark and other members of the nonprofit conservation group have been paying close attention to the election in part because Ben Shelly was never actually able to usher the Escalade project through the Navajo Nation Council, the tribe’s legislative arm. A new president and a new tribal council for Navajo Nation are basically the equivalent of a new Congress for the U.S., and any legislation from the previous session that didn’t become law will have to be reintroduced. The Escalade project will have to start from scratch.
The confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado Rivers, the site of a proposed $1 billion development.
National Park Service
So will Begaye shepherd the controversial project through? It seems unlikely. Renae Yellowhorse, a 54-year-old grandmother and de facto leader of the Save the Confluence group, says that last year, Begaye signed a petition opposing Escalade. The same month, the president-elect responded to a question about the topic in Tuba City, Arizona: “When you talk about Escalade or any projects out there, we need to involve … the voice of the local people, rather than allowing big corporations to make those decisions,” he said. “Yes, we’re trying to create jobs, but we’re doing it in the wrong places and in the wrong way, and (Escalade) is one of those.”
“If the people say no, let it be known,” Begaye added, to uproarious cheers and applause.
The new president won’t have the power to kill the project outright, but Yellowhorse welcomes the political changes. Escalade supporters say that the gondola will allow more people (up to 10,000 a day) to experience the magic of the inner canyon, which today is visited by only a tiny fraction of the 5 million people who flock to the rim. But Yellowhorse doesn’t want hordes descending on sacred ground. “When (my grandchildren) come out here I want them to see it the same way our ancestors viewed it,” she says. “We were told by our elders that you … come here to do your prayers, you come here to feel the ground, to see the rocks, to get your medicine from the plants, to feel the wind. And then you leave it the way you found it.”
Yet Yellowhorse’s place of prayer is also a potential gold mine. She’s hopeful that the new president will work with the Park Service to permanently protect the confluence, and find other ways to bring jobs and infrastructure to one of the most beautiful — and bleak — places on Earth.
Yikes indeed!!!chumley wrote:At his inauguration yesterday, the new president signed a document expressing his support for the escalade project.
See http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2015/05/ ... vereignty/
Then today, he claimed he had not read what he was signing and has always been opposed to the project, and still is.
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation- ... 64789.html
.The canyon provokes two major reactions: the urge to protect it, and the temptation to make a pile of money from it
I am not sure how this is measured, or how true this is, but the below quote from article I found pretty cool..Thanks to a Federal Aviation Administration rule change requested by the Hualapai, the tribe may operate an unrestricted number of helicopter flights. These are filled with sightseers, many from Las Vegas, and fly below the canyon’s rim from sunrise to sunset. The noise they generate is so intense, and so continuous, that the area is locally known as Helicopter Alley
The authors attempted this, but quit after six days ;) But did give it another shot in the cooler months, first attempt was in Sept...Before 2015 more people had stood on the moon (12) than had completed a continuous thru-hike of the Grand Canyon (eight)
A good book you might like is The Man Who Walked Through Time by Colin Fletcher. I picked it up earlier this year, haven't finished it yet, but it's an account of the first continuous hike of the length of the canyon. The article names someone else as the first completer but I think that was by section.friendofThundergod wrote:but the accounts from their thru-hike were great...
DallinW wrote: Kenton Grua, a professional river guide, was the first person to walk the entire length of the Grand Canyon, in 1977. He was inspired by Fletcher's book but set out to "do it right" by walking it from end to end, not just the section inside the park."
The Emerald Mile was written by Kevin Fedarko & covers a lot of Kenton Grua and talks about his thru hike of the Canyon. It's a phenomenal read! Lee I'll lend you my copy this weekendfriendofThundergod wrote:Someone also suggested "the Emerald Mile" written by the same guy who wrote the above Nat Geo Article..
Depending on the day of the week this is my all time favorite book!Tough_Boots wrote:Also read Grand Obsession about Harvey Butchart
OMG Niagara Falls!!! I currently live less than 1.5 hours from there and in the 25 years I have been here I have seen it go from bad to really really bad in terms of development. As soon as the Casino's (Indian Tribe) went it everything quadrupled in size and scope. The Falls - a very majestic sight to behold are now an after thought at best.friendofThundergod wrote:@Kwai Chang
Ya it was a little disheartening, probably a couple decades away from the main areas of the Canyon looking more like Niagara Falls in terms of development..but the accounts from their thru-hike were great...