Local News

Forest Service Decision Due At The End Of The Month

July 6, 2015

 The Forest Service is expected to decide at the end of the month what to do about a request for Forest Service road access in order to facilitate Stilo environmentally damaging project in Tusayan.

Forest Service Spokeswoman Deirdre McLaughlin has the daunting task of sorting out the more than 200,000 messages that have been received on the application. The vast majority are against the idea but McLaughlin cautions this is not a vote; the process has to be issue driven.

And just because many of the letters in opposition are form letters doesn’t mean they will be discounted as supporters of the project have been saying. McLaughlin said, “When you have a lot of people with the same issue we know that’s its super important to a lot of people. “ However she adds, “But it’s still one issue.”

Insiders have been saying rejection is a longshot because some sort of analysis has to be done. If that’s the case there are two options, an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement. The latter is far more rigorous and seems far more likely given the level of interest, namely 200,000 messages like this one from an Ohio man who plans to take his family to visit the Grand Canyon.

“Our family could have afforded a trip to Europe, with its hustle-bustle, culture and histories and we considered that option. However, we purposely chose to vacation in Arizona and Utah over an overseas adventure. Frankly, to stand at the North Rim (or visit the south for that matter) and gaze upon a residential development, commercial spaces, and more traffic would have made the trip less attractive for us. The intrinsic beauty of the Canyon is in its austerity, so very different than our Central Ohio (beautiful in its own way too). Please share that we would prefer to see the growth, glitz and glamour remain in Vegas and Reno and to leave the developers in those types of Cities as well.”