Top 10 Youth Activism Victories in 2007
Preserving Community Land and Culture
In another major local victory for the environment, Save the Peaks, a coalition formed to protect the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona, won a court order that defended the sacred site. For years, the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort has operated on this traditionally holy ground, and in 2004 the U.S. Forest Service approved the company's plans to expand -- which included cutting down 74 acres of trees and using treated sewage water to make artificial snow. The plans posed a threat to the ecosystem, the health of surrounding communities, and the religious freedom of the 13 Native American Nations that hold the mountains hallowed. The Youth of the Peaks worked together with the coalition, protesting at the foot of the resort to let tourists know the issues surrounding the grounds they're playing on. In March, the 9th Circuit Court ruled that the expansion plans be stopped.
On October 17th, the court granted Arizona Snowbowl and the U.S. Forest Service an appeal, which was heard on December 11th. Far from giving up, tribes and young activists in the coalition attended the case, and are encouraging others to take action as well while the community waits for a decision.