U.S. District Court Judge Paul Rosenblatt announced last week that the Forest Service meets all procedural requirements for the approval of the Arizona Snowbowl project. His ruling upholds Coconino National Forest Supervisor Nora Rasure's decision to authorize facility upgrades at the Arizona Snowbowl.
"We are pleased with Judge Rosenblatt's ruling," said Rasure. "We have worked very hard on this important project that serves as a valid use of national forest land. The San Francisco Peaks are valuable to many people and certainly to Native American Tribes who consider them sacred. We will continue to work with the tribes to address their concerns and ensure, to the best of our ability, that the Peaks retain as much value to the tribes as possible."
"The viability of the Arizona Snowbowl is reliant on these improvements as is the continued enjoyment of recreationists," she said.
Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council Lawrence T. Morgan issued a statement following the upholding of the decision last week.
"The Navajo Nation Council is very disappointed with the decision that has been handed down by Judge Paul Rosenblatt regarding commercial development on the San Francisco Peaks. With this decision, a mountain sacred not only to the Navajo Nation, but to many other tribes in Arizona as well, will continue to be desecrated. The sanctity of our cultural and spiritual relevance has been violated. The U.S. District Court has now seemingly underscored this without hesitation.
"Although decisions are made by those in authority, those decisions do not supercede the natural laws of what is in existence. As Dine people, it is our sacred role to honor and protect the environment in which we live. The natural law that compels us to protect our sacred mountan-Dook'o'osliid-will continue.
"The Navajo People continue to oppose the desecration of Dook'o'osliid. There are other avenues that may be explored, such as taking this issue to the international arena."