Grand Canyon Escalade Dealt a Serious Blow

The Escalade tram and massive construction project that were proposed in the Grand Canyon have been dealt a serious blow.

Grand Canyon National Park | Phil Roussin [Flickr]

Let me cut to the chase. The Escalade tram and massive construction project that were proposed in the Grand Canyon have been dealt a serious blow.

Incoming Navajo President Russell Begaye and Navajo Vice President Jonathan Nez have made strong public statements opposing the misguided Escalade project in the heart of the canyon. This is big news. Your voice, along with more than 200,000 others, helped raise awareness about this issue.

And with the support of our partners, we have seriously set back this terrible project. Thank you for helping us raise awareness about the need to protect the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon – America’s Most Endangered River of 2015 – and for making this significant progress possible.

But other development continues to threaten beauty of the Grand Canyon.

Outside the National Park, developers proposed a dramatic expansion of the town of Tusayan on the canyon’s South Rim. This expansion could add thousands of new homes and retail stores. But the question is: how will they secure water to support the expansion?

If the Tusayan developers tap the groundwater that feeds the canyon’s seeps, springs, and waterfalls, it would threaten rare ecological treasures in the heart of the desert. No expansion of the town should be approved without an enforceable, sustainable plan to safeguard the groundwater resources that directly impact the Grand Canyon.

Right now, we are working with the Forest Service to ensure there is a plan to protect the groundwater resources that are directly connected to Grand Canyon National Park. We will continue to keep you updated about threats to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, and ways you can speak up to protect this special place.

But for today, I want to thank you for your ongoing support. This victory couldn’t have happened without people like you.