Chilly winters and sunny skies make Flagstaff an ideal place for passive solar construction. A house with the right orientation and south-facing windows can collect free energy from the sun—no solar panels required. But one thing stands in the way of Flagstaff becoming a model for passive solar home design: the beauty of a mountain.
When there’s snow in northern Arizona, people from around the region flock to Flagstaff for a winter wonderland in the middle of the desert. But in the desert, that snow is unpredictable. And that’s been an ongoing problem for the local ski resort, the Arizona Snowbowl -- until now.
After years of planning and fighting in the courts, the ski resort is finally laying the pipelines to make snow out of reclaimed waste water. But local Native American tribes still bitterly oppose the project, as they believe the mountains are sacred.