Local News

Forest Service Road Access Request Draws Record Numbers In Opposition

June 12, 2015

 More than 200,000 notices have been filed with the Forest Service over Italian Developer Stilo’s request to have access to Forest Service Roads enabling an environmentally destructive development bordering the Grand Canyon National Park. The overwhelming majority oppose the idea.

And while Tusayan Mayor Greg Bryan continues to try and dismiss opposition, he cannot ignore the fact that it’s a record response according to the Forest Service. He also cannot ignore the fact that in addition to environmental groups, there is also opposition from the Superintendent of the Grand Canyon National Park, , the Tusayan Sanitary District, the Grand Canyon School District, and tens of thousands of people from all over the country who don’t want to see the Grand Canyon destroyed.

A top Interior Department official is also concerned. Here is a link to his letter.

Even Tusayan’s Vice Mayor opposes the southern Kotzin access route, although he still supports the Stilo project.

The project is also a hazard to the town as well as the environment given the fact that a comprehensive traffic study has never been done. According to documentation filed by Y.S. Mantri and Associates via Red Feather Properties there are no needed details on which to base a decision. Here is a portion of that letter: 

“To sum up the comments, with the lack of engineering detail, the area of proposed impact cannot be identified. The typical roadway section, which is not included in the scoping letter, identifies 80 feet of proposed right-of-way. But, if the elevation difference is steeper and more severe than expected, then the limits of construction will go beyond the 80 foot right-of-way. Therefore, how can environmental evaluation be conducted without knowing proper area of impact?”

And here is a link to the entire letter.

Another document filed via Red Feather notes that the Town Council never formally adopted the Forest Service Route, The Stilo development could make the Tusayan housing crisis much worse because of its size and scope, the Stilo road is a traffic hazard to the community, and a lack of utilities serving the project.

Here is a link to that filing

The Tusayan Land and Cattle Company, which is owned by many of the same principals as Red Feather, has told the Forest Service if Stilo gets this access, then all other land owners should be afforded the same. This is not its preference. In fact the company made the Forest Service a land exchange offer if Stilo does the same. Here is a portion of the letter from red Feather to the Forest Service:

“To affirm our commitment to the environmental integrity of the area we are prepared to offer all of our parcels for a land exchange away from the Grand Canyon or near if only for residential use, if the owners of the Kotzin and Ten-X parcels truly are committed to the Grand Canyon and preventing substantial damage to its ecosystems, they would do the same.”

And here is a link to that letter.