Arizona Snowbowl is attempting to expand its development on the San Francisco Peaks by clearcutting 74 acres of rare alpine habitat, with an estimate of approx. 30,000 trees, that is home to threatened species, making new runs and lifts, more parking lots and building a 14.8 mile buried pipeline to transport up to 180 million gallons (per season) of wastewater to make artificial snow on 205 acres.
Snowbowl would be pumping 1.5 million gallons per day, that’s approximately 300,000 flushes from your toilet, storing and spraying this wastewater on a mountain that is held holy by more than 13 Native American tribes.
The impacts of using this contaminated wastewater on a sacred mountain, completely surrounded by a wilderness area, would be devastating to the health of the people, plants, and animals of Northern Arizona.
FACT: Snowbowl would be the only ski area in the world that would be using 100% wastewater for snowmaking purposes.
FACT: Wastewater snowmaking would be an extreme health & environmental risk.
The Forest Service, ADEQ & City of Flagstaff conducted NO studies on human impacts if anyone were to consume the fake snow.
Wastewater from the Rio De Flag reclamation plant is sourced from a municipality with more than 60,000 residents, hospitals, mortuaries, and industries.
This wastewater has been proven by independent studies to contain harmful contaminants such as pharmaceuticals, hormones and cancer causing agents.
In a study of Flagstaff’s “A+ reclaimed” wastewater known as the “Endocrine Disruptor Screening Project”** completed by both Dr. Propper of NAU and the USGS, aside from bacteria and nitrates that were found. The following were also discovered:
Human and veterinary antibiotics, antihistamines, caffeine, codeine, oral contraceptives and other hormones, steroids, anti-seizure medication, solvents, disinfectants, flame retardants, moth and mosquito repellents, wood preservative, antifreeze and de-icer ingredients, pesticides, and other cancer causing agents such as Atrizine.
This is not a complete list and not the only reason Dr. Propper suggested that she “would be very concerned if anyone were to drink the reclaimed water”.
Snowbowl employees will potentially be placed at greatest risk due to prolonged exposure to contaminants in wastewater snow.
The Flagstaff City Council knows of the public health hazards of contaminants in wastewater yet continues to allow its use on City parks, School fields and the potential use at Arizona Snowbowl and Snowplay area.
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is the only agency in the country to have approved the use of this water for snowmaking, a decision that was done behind closed doors without any public nor scientific discussion or consultation.
FACT: Snowbowl Does Not Drive the Winter Economy of Flagstaff.
Arizona Snowbowl is outside of Flagstaff City limits therefore the private business pays no city taxes.
“It is unrealistic to think that the Snowbowl would be a significant driver of tourism activity or the economy” – Coconino Forest Service Draft Environmental Impact Statement Page 3-121
“In contrast with a number of other ski resorts in the Rocky Mountain region, the Arizona Snowbowl is not a dominant driver of growth and the economy in its host community.” – Coconino Forest Service Draft Environmental Impact Statement Page 3-71
Coconino Forest Service Draft Environmental Impact Statement Page 3-113 “… even a cursory examination of the scope of the ski area operation in comparison with the full scope of the Flagstaff area economy makes it clear that the ski area is of insufficient size to be a dominant driver of trends in tourism or the broader economy.” – Coconino Forest Service Draft Environmental Impact Statement Page 3-113
FACT: Snowbowl Owners Do Not Pay City Taxes & Do Not Live in Flagstaff
Arizona Snowbowl is located 14 miles outside Flagstaff City limits.
Snowbowl owners do not live in Flagstaff:EGB Enterprises Inc.3500 East Lincoln Drive #10Phoenix, AZ 85018Robert O. Meyer330 South StreetMorristown. NJ 07960SNB Ski Limited Partnership3500 East Lincoln Drive #10Phoenix AZ, 85018*Henrik Vanderlip809 United Nations PlazaNew York, NY 10017-3580*Frank RichardsonF.E. Richardson & Co.245 Park Ave. #4100New York, NY 10167-or-*Frank Richardson330 Madison AvenueNew York, NY 10017*Frederic J. Truslow3009 Q St. NWWashington, DC 20007*Kenneth M. Socha2099 Pennsylvania NW Ave Ste. 900Washington, DC 20006*Kurt T Borowsky400 S Orange AveSouth Orange, NJ 07079-2646
FACT: Since time immemorial the San Francisco Peaks, located in Northern Arizona, have been held sacred by more than 13 Indigenous Nations.
Including: Dine’ (Navajo), Hopi, Zuni, Haulapai, Havasupai, Yavapai-Apache, Yavapai-Prescott, Tonto Apache, White Mountain Apache, San Carlos, Apache, San Juan Southern Pauite, Fort Mcdowell Mohave Apache, Acoma and Tohono o’odham.
The sacred mountain has significant spiritual and cultural values; it is the home of deities, the origin of human beings—the place of creation and emergence, a place where special offerings are made, and rare medicinal herbs are gathered.
The Forest Service has documented that this plan would cause “irreversible” and “irretrievable” adverse impacts and “contaminate the spiritual purity of the entire Peaks.” (USFS FEIS)
The ski area plan would “further contaminate the spiritual purity of the entire Peaks beyond the historic and existing levels.”
Final Environmental Impact Statement Vol 1 Page 3-18
“Snowmaking and expansion of facilities, especially the use of reclaimed water, would contaminate the natural resources needed to perform the required ceremonies that have been, and continue to be, the basis for the cultural identity for many of these tribes.” -Final Environmental Impact Statement Vol 1 Page 3-18
According to Daniel Peaches, member of the Dine’ Medicine Man’s Association, “Once the tranquility and serenity of the Mountain is disturbed, the harmony that allows for life to exist is disrupted. The weather will misbehave, the ground will shift and tremble, the land will no longer be hospitable to life. The natural pattern of life will become erratic and the behaviors of animals and people will become unpredictable. Violence will become the norm and agitation will rule so peace and peacefulness will no
longer be possible. The plants will not produce berries and droughts will be so severe as to threaten all existence.” – Arizona Snowbowl Facilities Improvements Final Environmental Impact Statement Volume 1 Chapter 3 – The Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences Page 3-27
“The proposed action would represent the highest degree of potential disproportionate adverse impact to Native American cultures.” – Final Environmental Impact Statement Vol 1 Page 3-370
Joe Shirley, former President of the Navajo Nation, has called this plan a threat of “cultural genocide.”
FACT: Snowbowl Doesn’t Care About Your Health or the Environment.
Snowbowl would be required by law to place signs stating, “DO NOT EAT THE SNOW.”
Yet Snowbowl manager JR Murray has publicly stated, “It’s ok to eat the snow… it’s cleaner than the stuff coming out of the sky.”
The Forest Service and the City of Flagstaff know that there is the potential for humans, plants, and animals to be negatively impacted from contaminants in waste water. However Arizona Snowbowl with the authorization of the Forest Service and support from the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce would rather experiment on the sensitive alpine eco-system.
A previous 9th Circuit Court ruling stated that the Forest Service violated its own laws because it did “not address as an environmental impact the risk to human health from the possible ingestion of artificial snow made from treated sewage effluent.”
FACT: Snowmaking in Arizona is Unsustainable.
Water is scarce in Flagstaff and in the entire area. In 2002 a water conservation ordinance was triggered by severe drought conditions. In 2003 the council passed a ‘Long Term Water Resource Sustainability Strategy for Water Conservation and Water Use Efficiency. City Manager Kevin Burke has stated that “by the year 2020 Flagstaff will be facing water shortage issues”. – Arizona Daily Sun
Global Warming will make skiing in Arizona less viable in the near future.
Ski Areas all over the world have been and will be increasingly impacted by Global Warming. Global temperatures are expected to rise by up to three degrees Celsius in the next 50 years, melting glaciers, raising the snow line up mountains and crippling the ski industry according to a U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) study. (www.unep.org)
FACT: The White Mountain Apaches Do Not Make Snow with Wastewater.
Arizona Snowbowl has misled the public by falsely stating that the Sunrise ski area is on a sacred mountain and makes snow from wastewater.
FACT: Although Arizona Snowbowl asserts that the ski area is “only on one percent” of the mountain, Native Americans hold the whole mountain sacred.
The specific area on which Snowbowl wants to spray its reclaimed wastewater is sacred to 13 of the Tribes in the Southwestern United States. It is also an environmentally important and sensitive area — regardless of what percentage of the total Peaks the area may equal. All of the world’s rainforests take up less than 2 percent of the earth’s surface. In light of the relatively small area occupied by rainforests, if we apply the logic being championed by Snowbowl, total destruction of these areas would be inconsequential. There is simply no support for this position.
Caleb Johnson, former Vice Chairman of the Hopi Tribe stated, “You cannot divide spirituality into little pieces, you have to honor and respect the whole thing.”
Indigenous Peoples have continually stated that they are not opposed to respectful uses of the mountain. Tribes had filed the lawsuit to stop religious freedom violations and basic respect, NOT to impose religious beliefs upon anyone.