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Environment
Tribes press sacred site case before 9th Circuit


The Navajo Nation, the Hopi Tribe and the Hualapai Tribe will go before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today to seek protection of the sacred San Francisco Peaks in Arizona.

The Navajo Nation will share oral argument time with the Hopi and the Hualapai. The tribes say a ski resort's plan to use wastewater to make snow will desecrate the peaks.

The U.S. Forest Service approve the Arizona Snowbowl resort's expansion plan. A federal judge said the decision does not infringe on the tribes' religious rights.

The tribes could take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if the 9th Circuit rules against them.

Get the Story:
Navajo attorney has 8 minutes to argue for peaks protection (The Farmington Daily Times 9/14)

Appeals Court Documents:
Opening Brief [Word DOC] | Reply Brief [Word DOC]

Lower Court Decision:
Navajo Nation v. US Forest Service (January 11, 2006)

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

Relevant Links:
Save the Peaks Coalition - http://www.savethepeaks.org
Coconino National Forest - http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/index.shtml

Related Stories:
9th Circuit to hear sacred site case on Thursday (9/13)
Southwest tribes go to court for sacred site (9/6)
Navajo Nation appeals court ruling on snowmaking (02/28)
Tribal coalition to appeal ruling on sacred peaks (1/13)
Judge allows snowmaking in sacred Arizona peaks (1/12)
Babbitt under fire for role in sacred site case (12/12)
Navajo president testifies in sacred site trial (11/03)
Trial over snowmaking in sacred peaks begins (10/24)
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Judge calls trial on snowmaking in sacred peaks (10/10)
U.S. argues against protecting sacred peaks in Arizona (10/7)
Hopi Chair: Ski area plan will destroy our culture (09/23)
Hopi Tribe joins lawsuit over snowmaking in peaks (07/08)
Bruce Babbitt fighting tribes on sacred site appeal (7/5)
Forest Service rejects tribal appeals on snowmaking (06/10)
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)
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Editorial: Ski area helped by snowmaking plan (02/20)
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