Environment | Law

9th Circuit takes up dispute over sacred San Francisco Peaks

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in The Save the Peaks Coaltion v. US Forest Service on Monday.

According to news reports, the judges were skeptical of the argument made by the Save the Peaks Coalition. They said it appears the U.S. Forest Service has analyzed the health and environmental impacts of using reclaimed wastewater to make snow in the sacred San Francisco Peaks.

"As a layperson, it looks to me like they really did discuss this. And you just disagree. You will never agree on this," Judge John Noonan told attorney Howard Shanker, who later told the Associated Press he was disappointed with the way the hearing went.

The owners of Arizona Snowbowl, a ski resort, plan to use reclaimed wastewater to make snow. The facility is located within the Coconino National Forest.

The 9th Circuit previously ruled against a coalition of tribes that sued the USFS over the snowmaking plan. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case.

Audio of yesterday's hearing can be found at www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view_subpage.php?pk_id=0000008555

Get the Story:
Appeals court hears case challenging planned use of treated wastewater at Arizona ski resort (AP 1/10)
Court Hears Arguments in Arizona Snowbowl Snowmaking Project Dispute (First Tracks 1/10)
Ski Lodge Will Likely Get to Turn Sewage Into Snow (Courthouse News Service 1/9)

Related Stories:
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)

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