A plan to build near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona has been blocked by the U.S. Forest Service, citing a failure to protect indigenous land.
The plan submitted by the town of Tusayan, a community of about 600 residents on the outskirts of the state's most famous national park, called for shops, restaurants, hotels and more than 2,000 homes on acreage near the South Rim.
But the development was contingent on the Forest Service agreeing to road upgrades and utility installations on national forest land adjoining the park.
In a letter delivered to Tusayan on Friday, Kaibab National Forest Supervisor Heather Provencio said the application for those improvements had failed to meet minimal requirements under the forest's overall mandate to protect the adjacent national park and tribal lands.
It was a surprise decision that was decried by developers but praised by environmental groups.