LAS VEGAS — The bitter feud over flights over the Grand Canyon has flared again with an air tour operator saying environmentalists believe the canyon is their private resort and a backpacker likening the chasm to a cathedral.
The sharp exchange came at the first of four hearings scheduled this week on six alternatives being considered by the National Park Service for controlling flights in and out of the canyon.
That hearing was Monday night in Las Vegas. A similar hearing was held Tuesday in San Francisco, and others are scheduled tonight in Phoenix and Thursday in Flagstaff.
The hearings are the latest in a 2 1/2-year war between environmentalists who want to hike the canyon in quiet and aircraft tour operators who fly hundreds of thousands of visitors in and out of the canyon annually.