"After years of hard work, expense, and personal hardship, the employees, skiers and families of the Arizona Snowbowl are clearly devastated by the ruling handed down today," said Eric Borowsky, General Partner of Arizona Snowbowl. "Even more disappointing is the fact that long standing law governing the use of America's public lands…would no longer apply if this ruling stands. Unfortunately, once again, the NEPA process has been abused, and the taxpayers of our country held for ransom by a small group of activists who believe that they personally own our nation's public lands." The court rejected snowmaking on the grounds that evidence failed to show that Snowbowl would go out of business without snowmaking. The court also clarified what it felt to be the Forest Service's role: It was not required to prevent Snowbowl's financial risk at the expense of the tribes' religious freedom in objecting to treated wastewater used on a sacred mountain, and with recreational opportunities available on the San Francisco Peaks, the Forest Service could meet its multi-use mandate without downhill skiing. The U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Justice Department will decide whether or not to appeal this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Snow Reports