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The Grand Canyon: Threatened By Development?47:23

This article is more than 5 years old.

Uproar over development plans for the Grand Canyon. We go to the Navajo Nation and the Canyon floor to see what’s at stake.

This Monday, Sept. 27, 2010 file photo shows hikers on the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. (AP/Carson Walker)
This Monday, Sept. 27, 2010 file photo shows hikers on the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. (AP/Carson Walker)

One hundred and eleven years ago, Teddy Roosevelt, then President, stood on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon – the marvel that he would make a national monument – and said he had one request:  “Keep this wonder of nature as it is now,” he said. “Leave it as it is.  You cannot improve on it.  The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.”  Now, there is a fight over plans for commercial development right there.  Pro, con, Navajos, Italians.  On the rim and at the bottom of the canyon.  This hour, On Point: the fight over the future of the Grand Canyon.
- Tom Ashbrook


Kevin Fedarko, author and river guide in Grand Canyon National Park. Former senior editor at Outside Magazine. Author of "The Emerald Mile."  (@KevinFedarko)

Renae Yellowhorse, Navajo and member of the group "Save the Confluence."

Deswood Tome, special advisor to the President of the Navajo Nation.

From Tom's Reading List

The New York Times: A Cathedral Under Siege - "Every 15 or 20 years, it seems, the canyon forces us to undergo a kind of national character exam. If we cannot muster the resources and the resolve to preserve this, perhaps our greatest natural treasure, what, if anything, are we willing to protect?"
National Geographic: Grand Canyon on the Precipice - "Tourists who may not otherwise be able to visit the floor of the canyon could ride a gondola to the confluence a mile below. There they would stroll on an elevated walkway and take in the stunning view from stadium-style seating."
Los Angeles Times: National Park Service calls development plans a threat to Grand Canyon - "Park officials say existing development around the park and the scarcity of water have already stressed the park's ability to handle visitors. The new projects would only make matters worse."

Plus: Closing Segment On Derek Jeter's Final Season

Roger Angell, longtime sports writer, senior editor and staff writer at the New Yorker. His piece on Jeter's farewell is "S'long, Jeet."

This program aired on September 15, 2014.

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