Summer Scholars 2003  

Field Trips:


On Site Wastewater

Oak Creek Canyon

Flagstaff Middle
School Pond

EEOP in the News:

‘To’ bee iina’’ Water is life

Environmental Education for
Tribal Students


Problem Based Learning

Project Wet


Student Problem Log


Field Trip - Arizona Snowbowl on the Sacred San Francisco Peaks

Perched into the northwestern side of the San Francisco Peaks is the Arizona Snowbowl, the only ski resort for hundreds of miles and one of the nation’s oldest ski resorts.

The San Francisco Peaks are considered sacred by thirteen local Native American tribes, some of whom use the mountain for gathering special plants or herbs for ceremonial use. To the Navajo, the mountain is the western peak of the four sacred mountains, marking their traditional territory. Traditional Navajo stories associate the mountain to high spiritual significance and importance. Some people locally, native and non-native, believe that any form of development on the mountain is sacrilegious.
Aging equipment and a competitive ski industry has prompted the Snowbowl resort to push for development of new ski runs, chair lifts, and snowmaking equipment. To make snow, a 14-mile pipeline must be built to transport reclaimed water from the City of Flagstaff’s Rio de Flag wastewater treatment plant. The City of Flagstaff has agreed to sell up to 1.5 million gallons of reclaimed water daily to Snowbowl for snowmaking between the months of November and February.

Summer Scholars at the Arizona Snowbowl

Students went to Snowbowl in order to see what is being proposed for the Snowbowl expansion. Going to the ski resort gave students the opportunity to listen to and question the key players involved in making the decisions concerning expansion of Snowbowl. Snowbowl Manager JR Murray spoke about why he felt the ski operation is important to the people of northern Arizona, mainly addressing the economic and recreational ramifications. After he spoke, a Forest Service representative explained how the Forest Service is required to receive public comment before deciding about development on public land.

The National Environmental Policy Act requires that the resort submit their proposal to the Forest Service for approval before any development can take place. Developers on public lands must first perform an environmental impact statement, considering potential impacts on the area’s ecology. The Forest Service also held public forums in Flagstaff and in the nearby tribal nations to get a better understanding of how the public feels about this development.
After the talks in the lodge with the Snowbowl and Forest Service representatives, students took the Snowbowl Skyride. The Snowbowl Skyride is the summer-time version of the ski lift. Getting off the chair lift, students were near the top of the San Francisco Peaks with a spectacular view of northern Arizona and the forest below.

Snowbowl field trip

NAU || ITEP || EPA || Home

EEOP Staff
Environmental Education Outreach Program (EEOP)
Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP)
PO Box 5768
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5768
Phone: (928) 523-1275
Fax: (928) 523-1280

Last updated: May 27, 2005