Natives fighting "yellow snow" say U.S. Forest Service broke environmental rules

Indian Country Today reports that the saga involving the desecration of sites held sacred by some American Indians by expanding a ski resort in Arizona and using recycled sewage water to make snow continues.

A coalition of Indian citizens have filed a last-ditch appeal against the U.S. Forest Service argue that the federal agency failed in its duty to protect the public’s health, and broke the government’s own environmental rules as a result of deciding that a company could develop a ski resort using treated wastewater sprayed on Arizona’s San Francisco Peaks.

The Save the Peaks Coalition says that an environmental impact statement offered by the U.S. Forest Service does not include the federally required “reasonably thorough discussion” of the impacts associated with the use of snow made from reclaimed sewer water.

Some tribal leaders are calling on the Obama administration to take a new look at the situation. Some Indians have also tried to get the non-Indian community to understand by likening that the peaks are churches and holy lands that no one should think of developing for profit.

Several Native protesters visited the site in June and participated in a sit-in that called for an end to Snowbowl once and for all. The six were arrested for trespass and released.

Read more.

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