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Opposition to Grand Canyon Escalade Streams in During Comment Period

Jen Lebron Kuhney/The Republic

Navajo officials say they’re overwhelmed with public opposition to tribal legislation regarding the Grand Canyon Escalade Project. It would pave the way for a gondola to the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Navajo Legislative Services director Tom Platero says the agency has so far counted more than 8,500 comments and signatures collected during the five-day public feedback period. But they’re not finished yet.

Representatives with the groups American Rivers and Save the Confluence, who are against the project, say they alone submitted more than 83,000 comments and signatures online last week.

In addition to a gondola, the Escalade would have restaurants, hotels, and other services. Navajo lawmakers will soon consider the bill that would green light the project.

The tribe’s Legislative Services agency expects the count will continue well into next week. They’ll release additional reports as they progress.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.
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