FLAGSTAFF - The future of Arizona Snowbowl
, local skiing and Southwestern tribes' religious rights hangs in the balance in a Prescott courtroom.
If the Forest Service
and Snowbowl win, it'll mean steady skiing, sledding and snowboarding seasons, increased annual revenue for outfitters and the tourism industry and the use of reclaimed wastewater to make snow on the San Francisco Peaks.
Snowbowl would become first ski area in the world to make snow wholly with reclaimed water, general partner Eric Borowsky stated in court documents.
If tribal, environmental and activist groups win, it'll be a major victory for Native American religious freedoms pertaining to sacred sites and for the Navajo Nation in a decadeslong battle.
A victory for the tribes would also likely spell the end of commercial skiing near Flagstaff because Snowbowl has found it tough to make a profit with years of inconsistent snowfall, its business manager, J.R. Murray, has said in the past.
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