Grand Canyon Tramway Update

RRFW Riverwire – Grand Canyon Tramway Update

February 12, 2016

A proposal to develop a huge luxury resort and tramway at the confluence of the Little Colorado and main Colorado Rivers in the Grand Canyon, first proposed in February of 2012, continues to be championed by Phoenix, AZ, developers. Known as Confluence Partners LLC, the Phoenix group has no prior company experience in any type of construction.

The developers continue to lobby Navajo Nation Tribal Delegates and are seeking to introduce legislation in the April Navajo Nation Tribal Council legislative session.

Earlier legislation drafted by the developers required the Navajo Nation to expend at least $65 million for a 20 mile all-weather road to the development location, as well as supplying power, water, and telecommunications. Sources indicate the new legislation will not require the Navajo Nation to put up the $65 Million, but this money would be paid to the developers from any profits the Navajo Nation would collect.

In January, 2016, Navajo Nation President Russel Begaye again reaffirmed his opposition to the development. Navajo Nation Presidents serve a four year term. Under his direction, the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department is working on a two year endeavor to craft a General Management Plan for Marble Canyon Tribal Park and the adjacent Little Colorado River Tribal Park. This plan would exclude the tramway development.

Legislation passed in 1975 by the United States Congress recognized that the entire Grand Canyon has many managers, including the National Park Service, the Navajo Nation, other tribes and agencies. The law requires the Secretary of Interior to work with all the Grand Canyon’s many managers in providing “protection and interpretation of the Grand Canyon in its entirety.” The legislation, known as the Grand Canyon Enlargement Act, required the Secretary of Interior to work with all the managers of Grand Canyon, including the Navajo Nation, to protect the resource.

River Runners for Wilderness still encourages its members to write Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell. Tell Secretary Jewell:

- You support a tramway-free Grand Canyon.

- Mention to Secretary Jewell there are two Navajo Tribal Parks, Marble Canyon and Little Colorado, in the eastern Grand Canyon. Ask her to help the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department, with designated funds, to make these Parks known and available to the public in an appropriate way that does not desecrate the area with a tramways or luxury resort while at the same time supports the local Navajo residents.

- Remind the Secretary of her duty to work with the Navajo to protect and preserve the Grand Canyon as the 1975 Grand Canyon Enlargement Act required.

You can contact the Secretary here:

Secretary of the Interior

The Honorable Sally Jewell

Department of the Interior

1849 C Street, N.W.

Washington DC 20240

Meanwhile, River Runners for Wilderness has distributed 4,000 No Gondola In The Grand Canyon decals free of charge to river runners across the country. To get yours, please send a stamped self-addressed standard sized envelope to River Runners for Wilderness, PO Box 30821, Flagstaff, AZ, 86003-0821 You can see the decal design on the RRFW home page here:


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