A total of 17 people protesting a plan to make artificial snow at Arizona Snowbowl have been arrested over a four-day period.

According to a flier being distributed in the city, "Protect the Peaks" called for a week of action between Aug. 4 and Tuesday at various locations throughout the city.

At an event Friday downtown, one person taking part in protests was arrested for obstructing a public thoroughfare after blocking traffic in the street, according to Flagstaff police reports.

Another protest Sunday began in Wheeler Park, but police told the protesters that the venue had already been reserved by the Arts & Crafts Fair.

The protesters, moving toward the downtown area, were witnessed by officers blocking traffic. After several warnings by police not to block a public thoroughfare, six protesters were arrested -- for obstructing either a public thoroughfare or a government operation.

Two of those arrested during this weekend's protests had also been arrested in June in another attempt to block Snowbowl Road.

Protesters estimated the turnout downtown Sunday at more than 100. Police estimated the crowd at more than 50.

Ten protesters were arrested Monday morning for trespassing and blocking Snowbowl Road. They were bound together with chains and pipes connected to 55-gallon barrels filled with cement, officials with the Coconino County Sheriff's Office said.

"There's a whole lot of first-responders up there that are now unavailable to handle true emergencies because they're committed to cutting these people free," said Commander Rex Gilliland of the sheriff's office.

The 17 people arrested between Friday and Monday ranged in age from 20 to 35, and hail from Flagstaff, the Valley and out of state, according to official reports.

People opposed to snowmaking at Snowbowl gathered again Monday afternoon with signs and a bullhorn outside the Coconino National Forest headquarters to ask the agency to reverse its decision approving snowmaking with reclaimed wastewater.

There have now been a total of 23 arrests since construction of a pipeline began along Snowbowl Road in late May of this year, and some of those arrested have been minors.

(8) comments

Flag

These people need to pay for all the law enforcement activities attributed to their silliness.

MIZZ JB

Although I do not agree with all these protest and the things going on over snowbowl, I do have to say that it is good to see people sticking up for what they believe in! Maybe if all of us could ban together over some serious issue like our government, then things would change. Stand up for what you believe! Never go without a fight!

Greatscott

It is possible to protest without breaking laws. The arrests might be viewed as martyrdom but they are unnecessary and can cause grief later in life.

Ann Marie

Well Rex, At least they did not have to contend with Snowbowl traffic. The Arizona Snowbowl does not even provide an employee shuttle. And how much does it cost your department to contend with that traffic. A main addition that comes with the snowmaking is a snowplay area, that oughta' keep everybody stuck on 180.

Born in Flagstaff

Agree, Ann Marie. I hope there will be a "whole lot of first responders" available when someone in my Cheshire neighborhood needs to get quickly to FMC but can't because of the hours long traffic jams on 180 that occur every winter weekend because of Snow Bowl customers. Expanding Snow Bowl without improving traffic corridors to and from the place is a huge mistake. Watch and see.

JohnCroc

I was once arrested for "Obstructing Government Operations." I was protesting a radar speed trap on Pecos Road in Phx. It is a bogus charge that the police use when they can't find anything else to charge you with. The law states very clearly that the person arrested for this crime must either use or threaten violence as the means for "obstructing". Demand your day in court and file official complaints against the officers!!!

aardvark

Hey hey! Ho ho! You lost your case - it's time to go....

This dispute has been decided. It is time to accept it and work on something else that interests you.

Ovid213

It's not just silliness. Flagstaff's water systems are charged by Snowbowl. The addition of even high grade wastewater will bring contaminants. The problem is that everybody sees this as a "pro- or against Snowbowl's expansion" thing. It's really an "endocrine disrupting compounds in the aquifer" thing.

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