Local News

Opposition Grows to Using School Land to Help Controversial Development

July 5, 2014

The Center for Biological Diversity was among the growing chorus of those opposed to using Grand Canyon School District land to pave the way for Stilo to unleash its environmentally damaging development plan on Tusayan and the ecosystem bordering the Grand Canyon National Park. They sent a letter to the Forest Service opposing the land grab which has now been withdrawn by the Grand Canyon School Board.

Stilo attempted to make the Kotzin site accessible by grabbing Grand Canyon School District land along Long Jim Loop Road and that is not sitting well with the Center for Biological Diversity. The land is supposed to be used for educational purposes. There is also the danger of putting a busy street in front of a future school site.

The Center, the Superintendent of the Grand Canyon National Park, the Sierra Club, and countless others have concluded the Stilo development will dry of the seeps and springs that feed the Grand Canyon and the Havasupai Indian Community.

he Center for Biological Diversity says no way and the Center let it be known in this letter to the Forest Service. Here is a portion:

“Review of recent Forest Service documents secured pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act reveal that the Forest Service is working with the developers and with Tusayan officials to facilitate the right of way easement application. No Forest Service document acknowledges the facts that (1) the easement is the lynchpin of the Grand Canyon National and Havasupai Falls-damaging development, and (2) that the development will damage the Park and the Falls.
Current Forest Service efforts are aimed at promoting and facilitating studies pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, starting with a process called “scoping.” However, no scoping is necessary. In fact, no further studies of any kind are necessary.”

While the Tusayan Town Council, with the exception of Bill Fitzgerald, has been happy to accommodate Stilo, the Grand Canyon School Board is not under the thumb of the powerful and wealthy developer.