Environment | Law | National

Navajo activist won't give up fight over sewage at sacred site

A Navajo Nation man who's been arrested for protesting the use of reclaimed sewage at the sacred San Francisco Peaks in Arizona plans to continue to fight for the cause.

Klee Benally has stood in front of bulldozers and chained himself to equipment in hopes of stopping the expansion of a ski resort in the peaks. But the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Arizona Snowbowl can use wastewater to make fake snow.

“Our culture can still be reduced to something that is less important than the profit margin on a ski resort,” Benally told The New York Times. “That’s a very, very hard place to be in.”

Julie Pastrick of the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce said the ski resort could pump up to $35 million into the local economy this winter, the first season where the fake snow will be used.

Get the Story:
Resort’s Snow Won’t Be Pure This Year; It’ll Be Sewage (The New York Times 9/27)

9th Circuit Decisions:
Save the Peaks Coalition v. USFS (August 28, 2012)
Save the Peaks Coalition v. USFS (June 21, 2012)
Save The Peaks Coalition v. USFS (February 9, 2012)

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Opinion: Indian activists not welcome by federal appeals court (6/27)
Appeals court sanctions lawyer in San Francisco Peaks litigation (6/21)
9th Circuit rejects bid to protect sacred San Francisco Peaks (02/09)
9th Circuit takes up dispute over sacred San Francisco Peaks (01/10)
9th Circuit debates dispute over sacred San Francisco Peaks (1/9)
Courts consider two lawsuits over snowmaking at sacred site (11/22)
BBC: Hopi Tribe battles reclaimed sewage at sacred peaks (10/20)
Editorial: Hopi Tribe lawsuit over fake snow seems misguided (9/1)
Earth 911: Skiing on reclaimed wastewater -- gross or green? (8/30)
Uprising: Hopi Tribe fights to keep wastewater off sacred site (8/29)
Fast Company: Hopi Tribe fights bid for fake snow at sacred site (8/25)
Hopi Tribe files lawsuit to block use of wastewater at sacred site (8/24)