The Latest in the Fight to Protect the Grand Canyon
If you thought the Escalade tramway project was dead, it’s not. Or that the massive Tusayan development couldn’t happen, it still can. And if you assumed uranium mining was banned for good in the Grand Canyon…well, sort of. Despite several small victories along the way, commercial development and mining interests still remain a very real threat to the Grand Canyon.
We talked to Roger Clark, Grand Canyon Program Director forGrand Canyon Trust, to find out the latest developments. Here’s what you need to know…
The controversial Escalade Project, which has the potential to deliver up to 10,000 people per day into the heart of the Grand Canyon, is moving forward, according to Clark. The billion-dollar, 420-acre development boasts a 1.4-mile tramway from the Canyon’s southern rim to the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers, as well as an elevated walkway, amphitheater and restaurant.
“Two or three busy days would exceed the entire volume that this area is seeing in [annual] visitation by river rafters,” explained Clark. “The permits for private and commercial boaters are around 24,000 per year.”