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Navajo Chapter Vote May Pave Way For Grand Canyon Tramway

A Navajo Nation Chapter House passed a resolution Wednesday that may pave the way for a resort and tramway along the Little Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Arizona Public Radio's Gillian Ferris Kohl reports.

Members of the Bodaway/Gap Chapter passed the resolution by seven votes. It specifically withdraws up to 420 acres along the cliff of the Grand Canyon for the proposed development, Grand Canyon Escalade. The meeting was, again, contentious. Last week, police had to break up a similar meeting when a shouting match erupted between supporters and opponents of the resort/tramway project. The Navajo Times reports that police removed former Coconino County Supervisor Louise Yellowman from Wednesday's meeting after she approached Chapter officials without permission. The proposal is for a resort and tramway that will take visitors down to the confluence of the Little Colorado and mainstem Colorado Rivers. Supporters say it will mean business and jobs for the Navajo Nation. Opponents say the development encroaches on an area held sacred by some tribes, including the Hopi. They also say Wednesday's meeting violated Title 26 of the Navajo Nation Council's Ethics and Rules Committee which says resolutions must be made available to Chapter members at least 24 hours before a vote.

Gillian Ferris was the News Director and Managing Editor for KNAU.