9th Circuit delays ruling in sacred site case
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to stay its decision affecting the sacred San Francisco Peaks in Arizona.

The Navajo Nation, the Hopi Tribe and other tribes go to the peaks to pray, gather medicine and hold ceremonies. They say the use of reclaimed sewage to make snow for a ski resort will desecrate the area.

By a vote of 8-3, an en banc panel of the court disagreed. The majority said the tribes failed to show how their rights are being violated under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The tribes are appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The 9th Circuit will hold its ruling until the issue is resolved.

The reclaimed sewage will be used by Arizona Snowbowl, a ski resort in the San Francisco Peaks, which are part of the Coconino National Forest.

Get the Story:
Court delays snowmaking on Arizona peak (AP 10/6)

9th Circuit Decision:
Navajo Nation v. US Forest Service (August 8, 2008)

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