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Environment
Forest Service rejects tribal appeals on snowmaking


The Southwestern regional office of the U.S. Forest Service upheld a controversial decision to allow the use of reclaimed wastewater in the sacred San Francisco Peaks.

Regional Forester Harv Forsgren said the use of wastewater to make snow will not harm tribal religious beliefs or violate the First Amendment. The decision benefits a private ski area located within the Coconino National Forest [Appeal Documents].

More than 40 tribes filed appeals to the plan. Some are now planning to file lawsuits in federal court to stop what tribal leaders call the desecration of a sacred site.

Get the Story:
Snowmaking approved at Snowbowl (The Arizona Republic 6/10)
Tribe: See you in court (The Native American Times 6/10)
Snowmaking upheld; court fight next (The Arizona Daily Sun 6/10)
Flagstaff ski area gets OK to expand (AP 6/10)
Regional Forester Affirms Snowbowl Ski Area Improvements (US Forest Service 6/9)

Approval Documents:
Final Environmental Impact Statement for Arizona Snowbowl Facilities Improvement | Forest Service Approves Snowmaking at Arizona Snowbowl

Relevant Links:
Coconino National Forest - http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/index.shtml

Related Stories:
Tribes await appeal on snowmaking plan (6/7)
Appeals filed to snowmaking plan in sacred peaks (04/26)
Navajo Nation considers appeal of snowmaking plan (03/15)
Editorial: Sacred peaks don't belong to tribes alone (3/14)
Tribes blast OK of snowmaking plan in sacred peaks (3/9)
Deadline nears on snowmaking in sacred peaks plan (04/09)
Hopi Tribe to protest against snowmaking plan (03/19)
Editorial: Ski area helped by snowmaking plan (02/20)
Navajo Nation not planning boycott for sacred site (2/20)
Coalition protests snowmaking in sacred peaks (2/18)
Tribes to fight snowmaking in sacred Ariz. peaks (02/03)
Forest Service delays report on ski area expansion (12/02)
Hopi Tribe opposing snowmaking in sacred peaks (11/20)
Ski area on sacred mountain expanding (10/15)