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Judge allows snowmaking in sacred Arizona peaks

A federal judge in Arizona ruled in favor of a controversial plan to allow snowmaking in the sacred San Francisco Peaks.

U.S. District Judge Paul Rosenblatt said the use of reclaimed water to make snow does not infringe on tribal religious rights. "The decision does not coerce individuals into acting contrary to their religious beliefs nor does it penalize anyone for practicing his or her religion," he wrote in the 62-page opinion [PDF] issued late Wednesday.

Several tribes, including the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe, sued the U.S. Forest Service for allowing the Arizona Snowbowl, a ski resort, to make snow in the peaks. The tribes have indicated they will appeal an adverse ruling.

Get the Story:
Judge: Snowbowl can make snow (The Arizona Republic 1/12)
Judge OKs snowmaking on Peaks (The Arizona Daily Sun 1/12)
SNOW BOWL RULING (The Arizona Daily Sun 1/12)

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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