The last two days, I probably went over the top. I attacked the WMA Tribe, the Navajo Tribe’s President, and the Sierra Club with their own words and actions. And I pointed out the hypocrisy of the comparisons they are making to inflame the lingering hatred and racial tension problems we have.
Let me say that if Skiing is anything, it is not a way of committing genocide. Skiing is not blankets with smallpox. Skiing is the sport that I love. Skiing is one of my own spiritual reconnections with nature. Skiing is how I reconnect with my father and my sons. Skiing is how I get out of the cubicle and the big city and the smog and the job and the stress and find my inner peace. I build relationships with friends and family on the slopes. It is a huge part of what defines me.
The folks involved in this lawsuit, despite the lawsuit focusing on snowmaking only, really want to shut down skiing completely in Flag. If you are a skier or boarder, they want to stop your sport for their own agenda. Each has a different agenda, but they are hidden agendas behind the mask of “religious freedom” and “protecting the sacred peaks”.
I have an agenda too. It is to have a consistent snowbase at a resort less than two and a half hours from my home. To have additional lift capacity so that I can enjoy the experience, not the lines. To ensure that 4M people can enjoy this recreational activity.
To equate my agenda to rape, genocide, flushing a Koran, and the variety of other things Joe Shirley and by extension since he is the lawsuit’s primary spokesman, the Sierra Club and WMA Tribe, are saying is wrong. And to make continued hate filled statements about simple businessmen who run and operate the resort, the Forest Service that did the best they could to make a fair decision, and the US Government who ultimately will decide this in the courts is wrong.
I have gotten to interview and correspond with Dave Smith who is Snowbowl’s spokesman to get his comments. He is a good man. The owners are good men. They do not have a hidden genocidal agenda. They do not hate the environment or hate the Navajos. They just have a different perspective.
I want anyone and everyone that reads my site to think about how each side has approached this difficult controversy. One side has approached it with class and dignity. The other has pulled out all the stops and equated their opposition with genocide and rapists. They have smeared. And it is because every time they have gotten to a court of law, they have lost. They know they have a losing cause. But they continue to preach hatred and intolerance and prolong lawsuits using Casino money and money of the donors that send it to the Sierra Club. And they are wasting Snowbowl’s time and money to the tune of several years and over $3M.
I appeal to all of you to call this situation what it is and call the people who are prolonging it for what they are. If you disagree with the Snowbowl decision, fine, but don’t hinge your hopes to stopping it to “genocide” and “rape”. Accept your losses in Federal Court. Accept that we have a system to adjudicate these situations. And realize that other people have a different view and different wants and desires for the Peaks. Sacred or not, they have value to me and the other skiers and people that enjoy them too.