In 2014, the Town of Tusayan applied for an infrastructural easement to extend roads and develop a parcel of U.S. Forest Service (USFC) land situated within close proximity to the Grand Canyon.
Reported by Phoenix New Times, the project proposed the development of hundreds of residential homes, commercial buildings, local attractions, and an entertainment hub centered on Native American themes on rural land.
The request, however, was denied by the U.S. Forest Service in 2016. The organization cited the project as “not being in the public’s main interest”.
Though the environmental impacts were weighed, it was the collective coming together of the community that ultimately influenced the final decision making.
During and after the initial scoping period, the USFS received hundreds of thousands of letters, petitions, and signatures – all in opposition to the project.
Eco-advocates are now celebrating the victory as many argue that such a mega project would have serious negative impacts on water resources, tribal lands, and the local ecosystem. Those in favor of the project stated it would be beneficial for the local economy, as more jobs would open up as a result.