Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yellow snow on the San Francisco Peaks

The Snow Bowl Ski Resort on the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, Arizona didn’t have enough snow a few winters in a row. They decided, and it was approved by the municipal council, to turn the sewage effluent into snow. They sell 1,5 million  gallons of waste water per day. The environmental impact assessment pointed out several problems: scaring of the landscape, noise from the snow making machine, the changes in the soils’ chemistry and thus the destruction of wildlife habitat. The area concerned is one where herbalists, Native American healers from several nations as far away as the Zuni from New Mexico. The area is used for finding medicinal herbs, is part of a pilgrimage and is the home of the Hopi Katsinam. Sacred land should not be soiled, defiled. Declarations by elders and healers in court and massive protest by environmentalist and Sierra Club hasn’t helped. Gathering herbs is sacred,it is also a service to the members of one’s community. Sadly all bad things came to pass and the snow made from the waste water to their 'astonishment' turned yellow. Virginia Tech indicated that the snow from the sewage could be a breading ground for antibiotic-resistant genes. So what ever you do, don’t get into making a snowman or a snow angel in the wider area around the ski resort...

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