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Arizona tribes oppose plan to dam Colorado River tributary

Posted at 12:10 PM, Nov 25, 2019

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Native American tribes in northern Arizona overwhelmingly oppose proposals to dam the Little Colorado River for hydropower.

The Phoenix-based Pumped Hydro Storage company is seeking preliminary permits from the federal government to study the sites east of Grand Canyon National Park.

Company manager Steve Irwin has touted economic benefits, including paved roads, tourism and jobs.

The Navajo Nation owns the land and the projects won't move forward without the tribe's OK.

The Navajo Nation wrote in comments posted online Monday that the projects could negatively impact the tribe's land, water, wildlife and cultural resources.

The Navajo community closest to the proposed projects already has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to deny the permits.

The Hopi, Hualapai and Havasupai tribes say they're also concerned about the potential impacts.