Don’t Eat The Snow: New Developments in the Ongoing Arizona Snowbowl Saga

After losing a U.S Supreme Court battle, the Navajo Nation is offering another rebuttal to the necessity of snowmaking at Arizona’s Snowbowl, as featured in The Ski Journal Issue #2.1.

“This (source of water) is not more culturally sensitive. The Navajo Nation has always taken the position that they oppose the use of any water for snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks,” said an attorney representing the Navajo Nation in regards to the debate over the use of treated water for snowmaking at Arizona Snowbowl. The tribe filed suit when the US Forest Service decided that for the first time in Snowbowl’s 71 year history snowmaking had become a necessity and would use reclaimed wastewater. The tribe argued treated water did not need to be spread on sacred land. The new proposed source of water, a source that supplies Flagstaff area homes, also resonates negatively with the tribes. The chairman of the Hopi tribe just recently said that his tribe opposes any use of water for snowmaking in the San Francisco Peaks. Jumping through all the hoops of a legal debate, the tribes are trying a different approach; arguing that the federal government did not clear the reclaimed water safe to be ingested, in the case of someone eating the snow.

And on it goes…it doesn’t look like this issue will be resolved anytime soon.


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