Confluence partner talks faux “spiritual” side to National Geographic?

By Amanda J. Crawford

for National Geographic


At the eastern edge of the Grand Canyon, well beyond the tourists who crowd along the South Rim, sagebrush desert stretches for miles, almost untouched except by wild horses or the livestock of Navajo herdsmen. Below, the turquoise water of the Little Colorado River flows into the larger and darker Colorado, their courses merging within the burnt sienna walls of the canyon.

The confluence is considered sacred to some Native Americans—and awe-inspiring to others fortunate enough to visit the remote spot.

“Every time I go, I think about my place in the universe,” says R. Lamar Whitmer, a Scottsdale, Arizona, developer. “When you look at God or the creator’s handiwork, you can’t help but feel special or that you are part of something.”

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Proposed Tramway into the Grand Canyon upsets people

Here’s The Outrageous Proposal To Build A Tramway To The Bottom Of The Grand Canyon

New York Times: Grand Canyon, a cathedral under siege

“Opposition, which is furious, includes a group of Navajos who accuse the developers of tricking fellow tribesmen into supporting the project with misleading presentations.”

SundayReview | OPINION

A Cathedral Under Siege

Two Development Projects Threaten the Grand Canyon

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — WHEN I worked as a white-water guide at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, I was often struck by how many passengers concluded their odyssey through the most iconic landscape in the United States by invoking the very same epiphany. At the end of each two-week, 277-mile journey down the Colorado River, someone would often come up to me and declare that the canyon was “America’s cathedral — a church without a roof.”

That image never failed to strike me with the indelible force of poetry and truth, because if there is a space of worship in this country that qualifies as both national and natural, surely it is the Grand Canyon.

Unfortunately, this idea of a tabernacle that is marvelously open, but also precariously vulnerable, is also a useful metaphor to capture what is unfolding this summer as the canyon’s custodians confront a challenge that some are calling one of the most serious threats in the 95-year history of Grand Canyon National Park.

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Grand Canyon at risk, say Escalade opponents

“The confluence is part of our daily religious life,” Renae Yellowhorse said. “You go there with your heart and mind in the right place, and you give your offerings to the deities.”
As a member of one of the confluence area families who have actively protested the Escalade since its inception, Yellowhorse has helped pioneer the “Save the Confluence” opposition.
“It has divided our community,” she said. “People don’t shake hands like they used to.”

Critics Say Multi-Million Dollar Development Will Mar Grand Canyon’s Grandeur, Threaten Ecosystem

By Michael Kuhne, Staff Writer
August 10, 2014; 2:10 AM

The Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring, natural wonder that attracts millions of people from across the world each year – but the natural beauty of the rusty, sun-soaked Arizona rock carved away by the river below is at risk, according to opponents of a proposed multi-million dollar development.

The proposed 420-acre Grand Canyon Escalade project, located on the western edge of the Navajo Nation, is to be built near the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers, about 100 miles from Flagstaff, Arizona.

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Preserving the East Rim of the Grand Canyon