Towsley Welding & Construction
1 (800) 552-5177 (office)
(909) 866-0600 (shop)
Fax: (909) 585.7902
June 15, 2012
Scott M. Towsley
40359 Big Bear Blvd.
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Dear Mr. Towsley:
It has come to our attention that your company Towsley Welding & Construction is involved in the destruction and desecration of the Holy San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff, AZ. Your contract to expand Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort contributes to the ongoing genocide of Indigenous People, participates in the ecocide of rare and endangered species in an old growth forest, and threatens the health and safety of diverse communities in Flagstaff, AZ and surrounding areas.
As the owner of this company, we call for the immediate halt of ALL construction and the withdrawal of your contract with Snowbowl.
We have enclosed further information on the appalling consequences of Snowbowl’s expansion. We look forward to your support of Human Rights in Northern Arizona.
———————————— CULTURE IS A HUMAN RIGHT —————————————–
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, Hualapai, 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 extensive spiritual and cultural value; it is the home of deities, the origin of human beings—the place of creation and emergence, where special offerings are
made, and rare medicinal herbs are gathered.
Arizona Snowbowl and the Forest Service have officially acknowledged but continue to ignore how this plan would “contaminate the spiritual purity of the entire Peaks” (USFS
Indigenous peoples have continuously stood against development on the sacred peaks since the 70’s & 80’s when Snowbowl first threatened development. In the last decade the tribes and community members unified to stop Snowbowl in what became one of the first lawsuits that tested the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA). The courts ultimately ruled against the tribes, showing that AIRFA offered no real protection for Native American Religious
This is not just an issue of indigenous rights violations, this is an issue (and example) of the continued systematic destruction of indigenous beliefs and traditions. Joe Shirley, former President of the Navajo Nation, has called this plan a threat of “cultural genocide.” His statement could not be more accurate.
—————————————– THE ENVIRONMENT ————————————————–
The San Francisco Peaks are a unique ecological island with rare alpine habitat that is home to threatened species. If the expansion plan is completed, Snowbowl will be piping 1.5 million-gallons of reclaimed wastewater up the mountain each day- approximately 300,000 flushed from Flagstaff toilets – making them the only ski resort in history to make snow entirely from reclaimed water. Runoff from snow will enter the local ecosystem, and up to half of it will return to the local aquifer ( 50% to 70% of its pure water will evaporate, the pathogens and hazardous chemicals remaining).
———————————— HEALTHY & JUST COMMUNITIES ————————————-
Although reclaimed wastewater (which is not regulated by the EPA) receives an A+ rating from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, their testing criteria are based on standards formulated decades ago and are grossly inadequate. Third party testing has shown that reclaimed water contains harmful contaminants such as pharmaceuticals, hormones, endocrine disruptors and cancer-causing agents.
Given the lack of any solid scientific foundation stating otherwise, Snowbowl’s expansion is ultimately an experiment being conducted on the health and safety of local residents and the local ecosystem. The impacts of using this contaminated wastewater on a sacred mountain, completely surrounded by a wilderness area, will be devastating to all life of Northern Arizona.