Supai Village is tucked into Grand Canyon’s western rim and is home to the Havasupai Nation. (Loretta Yerian/WGCN)
SUPAI, Ariz. — The Havasupai Tribe is urging the United States Forest Service to reject a proposal by Stilo Development Group and the Town of Tusayan who want to build a road and other infrastructure through the Kaibab National Forest.
In a statement, the tribe said the road would be the first step toward opening 355 acres for residential construction and building thousands of new hotel rooms, an RV park, a conference center and a resort. The tribe said it is is gravely concerned about the proposed development’s impact on its primary water source and sacred places.
In the proposal, Stilo and the town of Tusayan indicate that the new housing units will be supported by groundwater pumped from the town’s existing wells, which draw from the Redwall-Muav Aquifer (R-Aquifer). This is the same aquifer that supplies the tribe’s sole source of drinking water and its world-renowned blue-green falls. According to the tribe, the town’s groundwater withdrawals already threaten to reduce the flow of Havasu Creek on the Havasupai Reservation; this new housing would further strain this parched resource.
“The Havasupai Tribe cannot allow any new developments that would further endanger our people’s precious water source, the R-Aquifer,” said Muriel Uqualla, Havasupai Tribal Chairwoman. “These waters are essential to our people’s way of life — so essential that we call ourselves Havasuw ‘Baaja, the People of the Blue-Green Waters.”
The tribe asserts the project would also […]