Grand Canyon Tramway -Escalade Project
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Thread: Grand Canyon Tramway -Escalade Project

  1. #1
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Grand Canyon Tramway -Escalade Project

    With all the forum talk recently about Moab there is maybe a heightened awareness of natural beauty of the Colorado Plateau. Depending on your politics there is a proposed development that may threaten some of this. Called the Escalade, it will be a tramway from rim to confluence of Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers with associated mega commercial development at top and bottom. For us white-eyes it means we can see it from South Rim Grand Canyon National Park. For the indigenous Navajos, Zuni and Hopi it means further desecration of sacred sites. For commercial interests it means a lot of money to be made.
    Any opinions here? I know many like the "Disneyification" of our national heritage. Why not take a tram on their vacations while eating an ice cream cone, buy a souvenir T-Shirt and then move on to Las Vegas? I feel once impacted there is no turning back, it will soon be as tacky as Niagara Falls..
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    Last edited by Fred; 03-17-2015 at 10:53 PM.
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    Senior Member old mad max's Avatar
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    "AGREED" This is the problem --->$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$OMM .

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    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    Well, as I understand it, the development will be completely on the Navajo Reservation. In the last three years they have tried to make it sound like the development will be exclusively by the Navajo Nation Hospitality Enterprises, or in other words, a Navajo development with leasing agreements to non-Navajo concessionaires. However, when you look to the money and brains behind the idea (Confluence Partners, LLC), you could probably fairly come to the conclusion that this is an illusion designed to make the project palatable. The Navajo and Hopi have various agreements in place that secure access to sacred sites, notably the Salt Trail but as I understand it there is fierce opposition by the Hopi...and of course they would not share in the financial rewards, so it's hard to find a reason their position would be otherwise.

    Am I in favor of restricting development on private land because the development could be "viewed" from public land? No. That's an improper taking of private property rights. The government would need to use eminent domain power to achieve that, and that would require compensation. It used to be that eminent domain was greatly restricted, but not any more. In other words, the Supreme Court has now approved of eminent domain taking for the benefit of private/commercial entities. (It's outrageous, but it is also true) That being said, I don't see the Feds stepping in to facilitate this project. So, the real question would be could/should the Feds step in and use eminent domain to stop the project...in other words, take the land with compensation to prevent development? My guess is they probably could, but won't.

    Do I approve of Fatcess? No. (Fatcess: The creating of improved or mechanized access to facilitate the ability of lazy or unfit individuals to visit and view remote, pristine and sacred or culturally significant sites.) But this is merely a personal view, and there are opposing views that I concede make worthy arguments (including the incredibly difficult abortionesque argument concerning disabled and handicapped individuals). I simply believe that society needs places that are difficult to access and that the effort of access improves the experience. (See: The Necessity of Empty Places by Paul Gruchow) I understand that this position precludes certain people that would not be able to access the area due to physical issues not the result of their own poor choices. Everything has a price. Speaking from personal knowledge, tenacious handicapped individuals find a way. But this contemplates, once again, Public Lands. This isn't public land, it's privately held Navajo tribal land. Do I think Confluence Partners LLC are taking advantage of the Navajo...yes I do. But then again, I'm also not in favor of paternalism. There is great division among the Navajo people regarding this project and police have had to be called in during meetings and discussions on more than one occasion. But, it appears that using their in place tribal system the project has been approved. I suspect that at some point the Hopi will file a lawsuit to stop the project, and will probably find plenty of help in that regard from wilderness protection groups.

    That was the long route to saying "I don't like it, no sir, I don't like it at all." (M.A.S.H. "corporal-captain" episode)
    Last edited by Borneo; 03-18-2015 at 05:22 AM.
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    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    Oh, your link doesn't work Fred, so I typed that whole mess above having no idea what you were pointing me to.
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    Senior Member Dryden-Tdub's Avatar
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    Lawyers always seem to have a hard time articulating an informed opinion Not a fan of the tram idea either.




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    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    How many lawyers you hang out with on a regular basis Tom? Just so I can make sure your observation is "informed".
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    Senior Member Dryden-Tdub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    How many lawyers you hang out with on a regular basis Tom? Just so I can make sure your observation is "informed".
    I have seen every episode of law and order!


    Tom
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    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    Oh,well in that case, you are good to go.
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    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    It's an incredibly accurate portrait of the life of a small town lawyer. I gotta tell ya though, that dramatic background music going off every time I walk in a door gets old after a while.
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Dryden-Tdub's Avatar
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    Funny this comes up since I sat on a jury the beginning of last week. In all honesty that experience is what prompted my statement. Some of the wordiest people I have ever been in attendance of!


    Tom
    It won't be greed which destroys America. It will be envy.

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