San Francisco Peaks is a volcanic mountain range in Arizona, US . Many Native American tribes have been preserving their cultures in the Peaks . In fact, the place is sacred to the Tribes and has been called Dook'o'oosłííd in Diné; Nuva'tukya'ovi in Hopi, Wik'hanbaja by the Hualapai or Nuvaxatuh by the Southern Paiute Native tribes . Hopi katsinam are holy people that bring rain to the place. These spirits live in the springs and travel to Hopi kivas at the winter solstice and participate there in the Hopi kachina cycle of ceremonial dances until the summer solstice and the start of the monsoon .
However, since 1800 Coconino National Forest U.S. government contols and takes all decisions about this public land [1,4]. In 1979, the Forest Service approved Arizona Snowbowl ski resort expansion even though the tribes highly opposed this plan . Then, in 2009, the Forest Service approved another plan, which allows the use of treated wastewater (obtained by a near city of Flagstaff) for artificial snowmaking when natural snowfall in the Peaks falls short [1,2,3].
Native activists  highly disagreed with the artificial wastewater snow explaining that it will have huge negative consequences for the weather, the water, their system beliefs, religious practices, the land and the life on the land . The activists wrote: " ...the government authorized 1.5 million gallons of recycled sewage water to be placed daily on the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona, despite the fact that 13 different American Indian tribes viewed this as a grave desecration of a site sacred to them for religious ceremonies". In addition, the project would bring presence of chemicals, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the water hold sacred and used for drinking .
In this particular case against the artificial snow on the sacred Peaks, Hopi tribe filed suit in the court . However the claims were dismissed [1,7].
Then in 2020, Snowbowl proposed to expand its facilities one again and authorised a special use permit for a San Francisco-based firm to create a "memorial forest" within the traditional cultural property area but as private land. in that sense, customers could purchase rights to place human cremains at the roots of a tree on the property . However, Native activist do not agree with the memorial-forest private property model, firstly because private lands are not subject to any cultural protection laws; secondly because the proposal would only worsen the access to land and related practices and ceremonies; and thirdly because the Tribes use the forest for healing, not as private property [2,3].
In general, this conflict over land dates back to the late 1800s . For instance, the tribes successful stopped mining activities in 2000 through Traditional Cultural Property under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act . However today, both the Snowball and Memorial Forest Privet Property projects are somehow extensions to the "original" land conflict.