As a town invests in lobbyists, critics fear it could fast-track Grand Canyon development

This August 2012 photo provided by the Arizona Department of Transportation shows Tusayan, which is just outside the entrance to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim entrance. /Photo: Arizona Department of Transportation

By Ian James | Arizona Republic

The town of Tusayan has been lobbying the Trump administration while seeking approval for building roads and running electrical lines across federal land, a proposal that would enable an Italian developer to build hotels and hundreds of homes near the Grand Canyon. 

Government lobbying disclosure reports show the town has paid $470,000 since mid-2017 to the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP for its lobbyists’ work with federal agencies and Congress on “issues related to infrastructure, housing, and utilities.”

According to the documents, a large portion of the lobbying work has involved the Interior Department, the U.S. Forest Service, the Agriculture Department and both houses of Congress.

Conservation groups are voicing concerns that the lobbying efforts could help sway the process as the Forest Service considers a proposal for road and utility easements that would clear the way for developing two properties, which are surrounded by the Kaibab National Forest near the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.


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