Monday, June 08, 2015

GREED FILES - Grand Canyon, Economics vs Preservation

COMMENT:  The real issue is not just developer plans, but how intrusive they are.

"Where Grand Canyon rivers converge, economic and preservation needs collide" PBS NewsHour 6/3/2015


SUMMARY:  Millions come to the Grand Canyon every year to marvel at its natural beauty, but in a remote corner of the Navajo Nation, there's a part of the canyon that few tourists see.  A group of developers hopes to change that by building hotels, restaurants, and an aerial tram.  Ryan Hill, a student reporter from Arizona State University, looks at what that could mean for the Navajo community.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Finally tonight, a sacred spot in one of America’s most breathtaking landmarks.  History, environment and economics all collide, as a divided Navajo community grapple with a billion-dollar plan to develop a pristine spot where two rivers meet.

Ryan Hill, a reporter at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, takes an in-depth look at the controversy.

RYAN HILL, Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism:  The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most protected places, for a reason.

WOMAN:  It’s my time with God.  As you’re heading down and the sun is just starting to peak out and the shadows are across these beautiful creations, it is — it’s magnificent.

RYAN HILL:  Millions come every year to marvel at one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World, which remains unchanged since the late 1800s, when it first came under federal protection.

STEVE EMERICK, Hiker:  This is a pristine — still, after all these years, a pristine outdoors, backcountry experience.  National parks really were America’s best idea, and this is a fine example of that.

RYAN HILL:  But deep in a remote corner of the Navajo Nation in Northern Arizona, there is a part of the canyon that few people ever see, the Confluence, where the Colorado and the Little Colorado Rivers meet, a place considered sacred by the Navajos, who have deep ties to the land.

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