To the decision makers in the Navajo Nation Council, I understand you are considering the future of a portion of the Grand Canyon, one that would irrevocably change not only the physical landscape but the spirit of the canyon as well. I know that you will weigh your options, and choose the course that is in your people’s best interests. But I ask that you consider my voice, as well as the voice of many outsiders, who believe that the Escalade Project would be nothing short of a tragedy. Just last week, I was at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Upon my return to the bustling world above the rim, I learned of the news that the Escalade Project has officially been proposed. My name is Eric Hanson. I am a photographer in Flagstaff, Arizona. And the Grand Canyon has played a significant role in shaping who I am. I wrote the following as a response to learning the news about the Escalade Project. A Plea for Wild Places For eight days, life was as beautiful as one could ask for. I fell asleep each night under the stars as the Milky Way passed overhead. Each morning I woke […]
I spent the last eight days hiking and camping in the wilderness of the Utah desert with young men with varied histories. Some struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. Some have suffered terrible abuse at the hands of those who were supposed to be their protectors. And some had made such terrible life choices that they found themselves plucked out of their normal environs and woke up in the middle of nowhere. Each week of work I find myself humbled to be in a position of influence with people who desperately need direction, love, and mentoring. This last week was no different. As a staff team we chose a theme for the week, one that could hopefully offer a helpful metaphor for our lives.