With discussions of the Escalade development in the Grand Canyon in the air, there seems to be an inconsistency in viewpoints. Some folks are vehemently opposed to the Escalade, but support Snowbowl by riding lifts in the winter. But there doesn’t seem to be a relevant difference between the two that would provide a principled justification for supporting one while opposing the other.

Both involve erecting intrusive machines into sites that are both ecologically sensitive and held sacred by many native tribes - the Peaks in the case of Snowbowl and the Confluence with the Escalade.

The main difference seems to be that one (Snowbowl) provides people with a form of recreation from which they derive pleasure, adrenaline, etc., while the other strikes them as not worthy of the grandeur of the Canyon. But is our mountain not also grand? Are the scars of ski runs or the out-of-place metal of the lifts not also an eyesore, just as a gondola into the Grand Canyon would be?

It seems that we're just talking about two different sources of pleasure for different folks. But why is one form of pleasure justified while the other is not? Shouldn't we instead seek to honor both of these sacred sites and ecological communities instead of sacrificing them on the altar of our pleasures?

There's also the difference that one of these is already built while the other is merely a proposal. But frequenting Snowbowl for that reason is like saying, "Well, since dogfighting already exists, I might as well bet on it." Participating in the activity perpetuates its continued existence, and one can contribute to an activity ceasing to exist by not supporting it.

So, it seems to me that if you're opposed to the Escalade, you shouldn't be riding lifts at Snowbowl.

MIKE POPEJOY

Flagstaff

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