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Keep canyon grand

Published June 22, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I have just returned from a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon, where I learned of the proposed 420-acre Escalade Project near the confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado rivers on the east end of the Grand Canyon.

The scope of this project — an "on-the-rim" resort and vendor village with a "gondola tramway" from the rim to an elevated riverwalk and amphitheater on the canyon floor — would create a scar on the Grand Canyon not unlike what a burn leaves on the skin.

Its proponents boast that it would "be visible from six of the seven eastern viewpoints in the national park."

For any rafter who understands that the river experience is one of beauty, not commercial sites, it would spoil the experience of being on the river. When my husband and I rafted, our guides were of top quality and experienced. We left clean campsites. We were respectful of other rafters.

Gondolas and cliff-top resorts will not add one iota of beauty. They will not in any way benefit the natural experience.

Buildings and noise and crowds do not belong at the bottom of the canyon where these two rivers meet. Leave the river to its own song, the chorus of birds, the scamper of lizards and the music of stone and light.

Carolyn Hopper

Bozeman, Mont.