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Flagstaff residents are growing increasingly angry and frustrated about a lack of leadership and policy concerning unwelcome, out-of-place growth, traffic congestion and questionable long-term water sustainability. Regional leaders would best serve their community by addressing the most important problem first: the lack of a comprehensive water policy focused on sustainability.

Surface water supplies are low and are going to be less dependable as the southwest warms and dries. The subsurface aquifer level is dropping and no one actually knows how much is down there. A large-scale study to determine that needs to begin immediately.

City and county officials need to call on scientists and experts to formulate an interim policy until such a determination can be made. Money interests including land developers and the Chamber of Commerce need to be banned from the creation of this policy.

Until sustainability can be proven, rezoning requests for large-scale or high-density development should not be considered. Completely ridiculous proposals like snowmaking at Fort Tuthill deserve no further consideration as such careless abuse would set a precedence contrary to current conditions, conservation and forward thinking. Pumping salty water 20-plus miles uphill from The Red Gap Ranch is not a realistic answer and should be tabled as ludicrous.

In dealing with this issue first, the other issues facing our community will not be exasperated at such an alarming rate. Anything other than growth allowed on the basis on sound, scientific evidence is shortsighted and irresponsible.

JIM BARICH

Flagstaff

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