by | Published on August 31st, 2016

A huge resort, that would stretch from the east rim of the Grand Canyon to the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers below, is up for approval this week. The plan includes hotels (yes, plural), a gondola-style tram, cultural center, sewer treatment plant, and parking lot. It also requires a massive $65-million investment from the Navajo Nation, along with full infrastructure support and a withdrawal from the 420-acre site. Head over to NatGeo for an excellent article on this (and other) threats to the preservation of the Grand Canyon.

What can you do?

For starters, you can sign the petition over on Save The Confluence and voice your opposition during the comment period. Then you can help spread the word by sharing the above videos, the article on NatGeo, and the Save The Confluence social feeds.

What the Escalade Project isn’t telling you:

The Proposed Escalade Project is Dishonest, Unclear, and Full of Flaws:

  • There has been no Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed Escalade Project.
  • Neither the source of water, nor sewage waste disposal has been addressed by the Escalade Developers.
  • The boundary between Grand Canyon National Park and the Navajo Nation has yet to be settled.

The Proposed Escalade Project Entails Expensive Legal Challenges:

  • There will be legal challenges from various entities (traditional land users, grazing permit holders, other Tribal Nations, the National Park Service) if the project is approved by the Navajo Nation.
  • There are already existing Navajo Park rules and regulations against the proposed Escalade Project due to the cultural and ecological values.

The Proposed Escalade Project Implies Economic Debt:

  • The Escalade Partners have requested $65 million from the Navajo Nation for paved roads, wells, power lines, water lines, police, medical, and other infrastructure. Where will the $65 million come from? And will it be requested as a loan or as an investment?
  • In return for their cultural and financial sacrifice, the Navajo Nation will only receive 8% to 18% of the revenues, at best. The other 82% to 92% will leave the reservation to the outside investors.
  • Navajo people will be forbidden to engage in any form of business activity within 15 miles of the project and within 2.5 miles of the access road and entrance to the Project.

The Proposed Escalade Project Involves Cultural Desecration and Disrespect Towards the People:

  • It violates the Diné Fundamental Laws and intrudes upon the sacredness of the Grand Canyon, the Confluence of the Little Colorado River (female) and the Colorado River (male), the living animals, insects, birds, and plants, & the oral traditions, songs, and prayers (Title 1 N.N.C. §205 §5).
  • It violates our human rights as Indigenous Peoples, denying our Free, Prior and Informed Consent and our Freedom of Religion.

For these reasons, and many more, the traditional land users, who have not consented to any land withdrawals and to the overall Project, are prepared to challenge the Proposed Escalade Project in Navajo Courts.

Save The Confluence was created by and published on August 31st, 2016

About the Author

Chazz LayneEditor-at-Large, Creative Adviser

I’m a creative and adventurist based in Prescott, Arizona. Born in Southern California—but raised with the independent spirit of solo travel—I’ve been gifted with an eccentric mix of aesthetics, logic, minimalism, and wanderlust. I live my life with the philosophy of a curator, and subscribe to the mantra “Less, but better.”

Passion for adventure fuels my work as creative director of The Layne Studio, bringing creative vision to clients in the adventure, automotive, and outdoor industries. In addition to my work as a creative gun-for-hire, I’m a regular contributor to several travel and adventure publications.

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