Navajo Council Opposes the Grand Canyon Tram

On October 10th, the Navajo Nation Law & Order Committee unanimously voiced their opposition to the developing a tram in the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon | Phil Roussin

In August, a member of the Navajo Nation Council submitted legislation that could authorize the construction of the Grand Canyon Escalade. The Escalade is a two million square foot, industrial-scale construction project on the east rim of the canyon that includes a tram to the bottom of the Grand Canyon at the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers. Picture it: noise, trash, pollution, and 10,000 people a day on the tram and walkways. If the Escalade project were to move forward, this national treasure would be forever scarred.

Over 100,000 people have voiced their opposition to this shortsighted proposal, amplifying our message of protecting the Grand Canyon.

South Kaibab Trail | Grand Canyon National Park
The Colorado River from panorama point on the South Kaibab Trail | Grand Canyon National Park

On October 10, the Navajo Nation Law & Order Committee unanimously voiced their opposition to the Escalade proposal. The Navajo Historic Preservation Office also issued a position statement strongly opposing the Escalade development.

This is great news but it is just the beginning.

Here’s what happens next

The legislation will continue to work its way through the Navajo Nation Council, much like a bill might proceed in the United States Congress. The bill will go through discussions in three additional committees over the coming weeks before it is sent to the floor of the Navajo Nation Council for a full vote. Two-thirds majority is needed to override the president of the Navajo Nation, Russell Begaye, who said he would veto this proposal.

While we wait for the legislation to make its way through the Council, there are members of the Navajo Nation, most notably the local Navajo families comprising Save the Confluence, working to ensure the project never sees the light of day. They must hear our voices of support. There’s still time to help.

Here’s what you can do:

Thank you for your help protecting this national treasure.

16 responses to “Navajo Council Opposes the Grand Canyon Tram

  1. Why can’t the US government treat the Native Americans with respect?

    Haven’t we destroyed their country enough?

  2. AlbertHale, is a con artist. He lost his moral authority in trying to push this through as ‘jobs’ will be provided. Hale is a crooked slimy politician, still serving in the AZ state legislature. Stop this corrupt, greedy, and immoral person and this disastrous project.

  3. Sounds like the Escalade Project won’t benefit the Navajo Nation at all. The developers in charge of this project are just looking for the MONEY! They don’t care about the Grand Canyon, the Navajo people, or the American public. All they want is the MONEY! These guys sound like a bunch of stereotypical whiteman thieves who wave money around, but don’t intend to leave any of it behind. They will be going home with ALL the money, and the Navajo Nation will once again get screwed out of any of the proceeds. This is unnacceptable and criminal. The Navajo Nation needs to have a good lawyer on their side, not a lot of greedy developers who will just sell this whole project to the Chinese!

  4. Thrilled to learn it’s been stopped. It shouldn’t BE about money or percentages. Besides, our Indigenous Americans ALWAYS get the shit end of the stick.THIS ID ABOUT PROTECTING OUR PUBLIC LANDS AS THEY ARE! If you want a tram, go to Disney World!

  5. The jobs should be held by the Navajo. They know the land & need the jobs! This is the better idea & makes much more sense! Haven’t we taken enough from them?

  6. Wonderful idea! Please follow up on this. It would be an ideal situation for the Navajo young people, and would add tremendously to the visitors’ enjoyment. The Grand Canyon is too important to take any chances on endangering it.
    I grew up in Arizona and took many trips to the Canyon…in all different times of the year, in all different weather and every trip was so valuable to me and later to my children. They have memories they will cherish all their lives as I do.

  7. OH my god, what a brilliant idea to suggest. What can be a better tour, then by people who understand and truly love the land.

  8. This is a complete and utter tragedy. Who in the world worked up this agreement? It seems as if the bureaucracy and the big companies always come out ahead of the common man. Shame on you, whoever you are!

  9. After being at the Twin Arrows meeting with the committee of delegates on the Escalade project and witnessing the committee turn down the project, brought relief for people against the project. Mr. Hale did the honors of doing a power point of the project and all the supposed conditions of the site of the project. On my way home I thought of the dollars promised to the Navajo Nation and not the Bodaway chapter, the amount was in percent amount determined by the attendance of visitors. The most was set at 12% and the least at !0% with the confluence partners taking the rest of the 80% to 82% of the take in dollars. So if Mr. Hale gets above 10% of the pie , he will be making more or about the same as the Navajo Nation. Also the plan indicates a prevision for NO competition in a radius of 15 miles of the project, so if the Chapter decides to develop a motel close by, the partners will most likely not approve of the competition from the Chapter, the same people the partners are trying to get to approve their plan. According to the plan the partners will not be subject to the tribal tax. It seems to me that when the partners get the 65 million dollars, they will take about 25 million dollars and claim it as already used money on the project, forcing the Navajo Nation to shell out more money. There are previsions made in the plan to protect the partners in case of any problems and who is to say when the project is done the Chinese will own it and not the Navajo Nation. So people read the master plan of the Escalade and decide if this is the best thing for our people and their future.

  10. Why can we not hire Navajo youth as river guides???? Park rangers? Working at GCanyon national park!!!! Concessions????
    Override the buerocracy and get these people local jobs in an area they know and love…….or should know and love better??
    Is this too common sensensical for our government???

    What say you????
    Think about the possibilities!!!!

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