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Hopi Tribe Loses Snowbowl Suit

Hopi Tribe Loses Snowbowl Suit
August 18
11:14 2016

The Hopi Tribe has lost its lawsuit against the City of Flagstaff.

The tribe sued over the city’s agreement to use reclaimed water for a skiing resort on the San Francisco Peaks.

Several tribes – including the Navajo – view the San Francisco Peaks as sacred. In its suit the Hopi Tribe claimed the use of reclaimed water desecrated a sacred site.

But Coconino County Superior Court Judge Mark Moran disagreed. He dismissed the suit, which was originally filed in 2011.

Moran found no evidence that the Hopi’s ceremonies were disrupted. Nor did the judge find any environmental harm from the use of reclaimed water at the Arizona Snowbowl.

The Snowbowl, which is located on federal land in the Coconino National Forest, uses reclaimed water to make fake snow at the resort. The business received approval from the U.S. Forest Service.

The Hopi and Navajo Nation, along with other tribes, originally filed suit in federal court, but we dealt a defeat. Following that the Hopi Tribe decided to pursue litigation in Arizona state court.

The Hopis alleged that the use of reclaimed water by the Snowbowl created a public nuisance and posed harm to people and animals.

The suit was tossed out in 2012 but was appealed and went back to Superior Court for litigation the following year.

Since then the suit has seen numerous delays as the tribe and city tried to reach a settlement.

Earlier this year the Flagstaff City Council abruptly decided to end talks with the tribe. The Hopi Tribe then opted to push the lawsuit forward.

The Snowbowl had asked for an order of dismissal back in February.

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