Tribe's canyon Skywalk opens one deep divide
But off the reservation, many people regard the development and especially the Skywalk as tantamount to defacing a national treasure.
"It's the equivalent of an upscale carnival ride," said Robert Arnberger, a former superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park who was born near the canyon's South Rim. "Why would they desecrate this place with this?"
"I've never been able to resolve the apparent conflict between the tribe's oft-stated claim that there is no better caregiver and steward of the Grand Canyon than the tribe, and their approach to the land--which is based on heavy use and economics," he said.
"They say the Grand Canyon is theirs to do with however they please. Under law, it's hard to argue that proposition. But obviously the lure of dollars for the tribal treasury is greater than the obligation to manage the Grand Canyon for its cultural and historic values."