Russell Begaye

Russell Begaye

Navajo President Russell Begaye told a Flagstaff newspaper today that he continues to oppose the Grand Canyon Escalade bill.

Begaye wrote a statement to the Arizona Daily Sun, “Regarding the proposed Grand Canyon Escalade Project, I do not support it. I do not support the Escalade in the way it’s being presented. I oppose it.”

The Navajo president reacted to legislation filed Monday with the Navajo Nation Council’s legislative services.

Previously, shortly after he was inaugurated, Begaye said he would veto any bill related to the Escalade.

The Navajo Justice Department has also raised numerous concerns that include the lack of identified funding for public safety services, a challenged boundary with the National Park Service and Master Lease terms that conflict with or violate Navajo Nation law.

The National Park Service also could oppose the tram in court, as it has disputed whether its boundary with the reservation is at the river or at the cliff.

For all of that, the tribe would get only between 8 and 18 percent of revenues based on a complex formula that takes into account visitor attendance.

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