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New policy giving tribes a say could slow down Arizona ski resort development plans

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Arizona Snowbowl
Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff.

A change in policy by the Biden administration to give tribal voices more of a seat at the table has led to a controversy about proposed changes at Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff. In 2018, the state Supreme Court ruled the resort could use artificial snow made from recycled wastewater. That was despite claims from the Hopi Tribe that doing so would desecrate sacred land on the San Francisco Peaks.

Now, as part of requirements in the Coconino National Forest, Snowbowl is outlining improvements it would like to make. Those include increasing the acreage receiving that man-made snow and making the property more of a year-round destination with attractions like mountain bike trails and a zipline.

Annette McGivney is a writer, based in Cortez, who has written about the controversies surrounding these proposals in the Guardian. KJZZ’s Mark Brodie sat down with McGivney to discuss the situation.