Issue: Students debate Mt. Graham telescope site

Student columnists at the University of Arizona, the lead institution for the Large Binocular Telescope on Mt. Graham, debate the issue in this week's Arizona Daily Wildcat. Every columnist, including the sarcastic one, opposes the site due to objections from tribes in the Southwest and environmental concerns.

Ryan Johnson: "[W]hile it's nice to finally have the telescope, wouldn't it have been nicer to have avoided all the problems? To have it in a place where we wouldn't have to have a separate UAPD division to prevent protests?"

Laura Keslar: "[D]espite the beliefs of the project's supporters, the telescope will not bring more prestige to the university; in fact, because of its less than state-of-the-art set-up as well as bad location, the positive aspects of the LBT might be overwhelmed by the negative effects."

Brett Berry: "Looking at the issue from the Native American tribes' perspective - specifically, from the San Carlos Apache's perspective - the construction of the telescope on the mountain is a direct slight to their heritage, traditions, and religion."

Moe Naqvi: "Yes, the telescope is being built upon the sacred land of Native Americans, and it might as very well be destroying the ecological diversity, but it's OK because Congress said it was OK. Congress doesn't usually mess important decisions up, so the fact that Congress gave UA the thumbs up on this project means everything is peachy-keen."

Lauren Pecklar: "The UA can find another place to pursue their own prestige and fame, because Mount Graham's unique biological diversity surmounts any man-made wonder in the state, lest the entire Southwest region."

Susan Bonicillo: "Because of efforts to complete this project we've set precedents as a university with a rampant disrespect for laws. We're the first university to fight against the rights of Native Americans and to fight against the listing of an endangered species. We're the first to exempt ourselves from environmental protection laws."

Get the Story:
Issue of the Week: Mt. Graham (The Arizona Daily Wildcat 10/20)

Relevant Links:
Mount Graham Coalition -
Mt. Graham International Observatory -

Related Stories:
Telescope site opposed by tribes to be dedicated (10/13)
Fire in Arizona threatens sacred Mount Graham (07/07)
Opinion: Tribe's culture can't be traded for cash (05/07)
Letter: University tried to bribe tribe on sacred site (5/4)
University still wants to fund reservation programs (04/29)
San Carlos Apache Tribe rejects offer on telescope (04/21)