Arizona Supreme Court hears Hopi Tribe’s case against snowmaking

Snowmaking at Arizona Snowbowl / Arizona Daily Sun

 

By Scott Buffon | Arizona Daily Sun

Oral arguments in the Hopi Tribe’s lawsuit against Arizona Snowbowl’s snowmaking practices were heard by the Arizona Supreme Court’s panel of seven justices on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

In February, the Arizona Court of Appeals revived the question of whether Snowbowl’s snowmaking with reclaimed wastewater causes “special injury” to Hopi religious and cultural sites. The case was originally filed in the Coconino County Superior Court for the issue rooted on the San Francisco Peaks just outside of Flagstaff’s city limits. This is the third case the Hopi Tribe has brought against the ski resort.

In his opening statement, John Egbert, counsel for Snowbowl, alleged that the appellate court mischaracterized the issue in its ruling and ended up creating a new category for special injury. He said that the appellate court’s ruling allows any interference of a location believed to be of special importance to any person would constitute a special injury.

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