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Court of Appeals Rules in Favour of Navajos and Sacred Sites

Update

The Farmington (NM) Daily Times covers the story.

Original Post

The Navajo Nation (Window Rock, Arizona) released a statement (pdf) saying that the US Court of Appeals overturned a recent District Court decision allowing Arizona Snow Bowl ski area to use sewage to make snow on San Francisco Peak. According to the release:

… the appeals court ruled that the U.S. Forest Service violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by permitting the plans, and failed to fully comply with the National Environmental Policy Act in its evaluation of it.

“If Appellants (the tribes) do not have a valid RFRA claim in this case,” wrote Judge William A. Fletcher for the court, “we are unable to see how any Native American plaintiff can ever have a successful RFRA claim based on beliefs and practices tied to land their hold sacred.”

See my earlier post regarding the original lower court decision.

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