Local News

Kotzin Road Access Denied

March 4, 2016

 The US Forest Service has just denied Tusayan's request to expand Long Jim Loop Road. Such an expansion would facilitate Stilo's controversial development project which would add three million square feet of commercial space and thousands of homes to the environmentally fragile area next to the Grand Canyon.

Here is a portion of the statement:

The Kaibab National Forest determined that the Town’s proposal failed to meet specific agency requirements under both initial- and second-level screening criteria. As a result, the Kaibab National Forest returned the application for road and utility easements on National Forest System land to the Town without further evaluation and processing.

Kaibab Forest Supervisor Heather Provencio said ,“Based on information received in the record, I have determined that the Tusayan proposal is deeply controversial, is opposed by local and national communities, would stress local and Park (Grand Canyon National Park) infrastructure, and have untold impacts to the surrounding Tribal and National Park lands.” 

The Sierra Club is welcoming the news. "This is wonderful news for Grand Canyon, our national forests, and the waters and wildlife that would have been harmed had this proposal been allowed to move forward," said Sandy Bahr, chapter director for Sierra Club's Grand Canyon Chapter. "It is great news for everyone who cares about Grand Canyon and for the 200,000 plus people that spoke up against this proposed mega-development. We are so glad the Forest Service recognized the harm this development would cause one of the world's great natural wonders."

Local business leaders also opposed the project including Red Feather Properties Manager Clarinda Vail who said, "We appreciate the Kaibab National Forest Service’s use of its expertise to evaluate the problems with the Town of Tusayan’s application.  We are also thankful to the over 200,000 Americans that voiced their opinions to the forest service.  With special thanks the Grand Canyon National Park Service and the Havasupai Tribe for their tireless involvement.  We hope this will encourage the Tusayan Town Council, Stilo and Elling Halvorson to look at the various alternative solutions for housing, near infrastructure, that exist.  This can be accomplished without, detrimental, massive shopping malls and commercial development by Italian Developers."   

The Town of Tusayan is is disappointed. Town Manager Eric Duthie said, "The Town is surprised at the decision the Forest Service made earlier this morning. We are disappointed the Forest Service did not honor the application process since the application had been submitted nearly a year ago. We are shocked the Forest Service would make a unilateral decision without the opportunity for the Town to address their questions and concerns." Duthie added," We are highly concerned the impact of this decision for the residents of Tusayan still denies them the opportunity to have a home and the Town will take some time to evaluate its next steps."