Brown Snow Debate Rages On

A wastewater dispute at the Arizona Snowbowl may lead to the Navajo Nation placing a bid to buy the ski resort.
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A wastewater dispute at the Arizona Snowbowl may lead to the Navajo Nation placing a bid to buy the ski resort.
Arizona Snowbowl

We’ve been following the saga at the Arizona Snowbowl (see our previous article, Brown Snow), where a four-year wastewater controversy is still raging between the tribes of Native Americans and the ski resort, which proposed making snow from treated wastewater.

In 2005, members of the Hopi, Navajo, Havasupai, Hualapai, Yavapai Apache, and White Mountain Apache tribes filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court against the U.S. Forest Service and Snowbowl, arguing that the use of treated wastewater would desecrate the San Francisco Peaks that they hold sacred.

But the litigation continued: The court ruled in favor of the Snowbowl and the Forest Service, and then the tribes appealed the case. Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down the tribes’ appeal and the resort planned to implement the snowmaking this winter.

But in late October, news broke that the Navajo Nation may be trying to buy the Snowbowl, according to the Associated Press. The AP story states that the Arizona Snowbowl Limited Partnership purchased the ski resort in 1992 for $4 million. It says that owner Eric Borowsky says the mountain is not currently for sale, but he is required to submit any valid offers to the limited partners for a vote. No official bid has been stated. We'll keep you posted as things unravel.



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