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Navajo president testifies in sacred site trial

Navajo Nation resident Joe Shirley Jr. testified on Wednesday against the expansion of a ski area in the sacred San Francisco Peaks.

Shirley said the use of reclaimed wastewater in the peaks will hurt the Navajo way of life. "The Bible is what makes a Christian; the mountain is what makes a Navajo. The mountain is very much alive. It's our essence, our strength, our home," he said, The Farmington Daily Times reported.

Shirley tried to give information about the importance of the peaks but the defense repeatedly objected, the paper said. The defense said the information was hearsay because Shirley heard it from elders or medicine men.

The Navajo Nation, the Hopi Tribe and other tribes sued the U.S. Forest Service for approving the expansion of the Arizona Snowbowl. The ski area will use reclaimed wastewater to make snow.

Get the Story:
Navajo president testifies in San Francisco Peaks trial (The Farmington Daily Times 11/3)

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

Relevant Links:
Save the Peaks Coalition -
Coconino National Forest -

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Judge calls trial on snowmaking in sacred peaks (10/10)
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Hopi Chair: Ski area plan will destroy our culture (09/23)
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