The varying opinions on whether snow should be made on the Snowbowl Ski Mountain in Flagstaff, Arizona have grown to become a statewide debate. Snowbowl is one of the sacred mountains in the San Francisco Peaks that is very meaningful to the Native people. If snow were to be made on the mountain, it would interfere with the beliefs of many people. On the other hand, many Arizona residents rely on the ski area for its incoming business, recreation, and for providing jobs to many people. The dispute on the expansion of the ski area and the making of snow has continued to be discussed for the last fifteen years. The tribes defending their lands are very confident in the decisions the National Forest has been faced with. Should snow be made on Snowbowl Mountain? The answer is fast approaching. The National Forest Department of Coconino is taking the final public response on the proposed action before a decision is made. It is clear, though, that the proposed improvements for Snowbowl bring about many negative factors such as interfering with the Native beliefs, the effects it will have on the economy, and the costliness of the expansion. This almost makes the proposed plan not worth the effort.
First, the Native’s beliefs in this area are very important because the land is so sacred to them. They do not want it to be destroyed. “It’s something so emotional to the Hopi people. The Peaks are part of our everyday lives. It’s not just a significant landscape; it carries the essence of our life as well.” Kuwanwisiwma, chief of the local Hopi tribe, states in an article published in the Arizona Daily Sun (2002). This project is also very unnatural towards the environment. The making of snow is not...
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...f you want to put it into western perspective.” In a letter written by the Forest Supervisor, published by the United States Department of Agriculture (2004), Jim Golden, he insures that a decision will be returned to the public on the proposed action at some point in the next three seasons to come, this was in the season of 2002.
Although the snowfall this year looks promising so far, there is no guarantee that the area will pull through. With the thirteen Native tribes strongly opposing all proposals, the effect it will have on the economy, and the costliness of the entire plan all working against the project proposal, the Snowbowl expansion may be set aside for more time to come. Satisfying the needs of the two opposing sides will be difficult, but the community will come to realize that the economy of Flagstaff and surrounding people will be affected greatly.
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