Tag Archives: vacation

Federal Warrants Issued Against Protect The Peaks Activists

11 Dec

Flagstaff, AZ community members “quarantine” Coconino National Forest Service lobby

National Forest Service Announces New Sacred Sites Policy at the Same Time That Flagstaff Peaks Activists Are Targeted with Federal Charges and Arrest Warrants

Peaks Activists Vow to Fight Charges and Plan to Turn themselves Over to U.S. Marshalls

FLAGSTAFF, AZ — On the same day that secretary Tom Vilsack of the US Department of Agriculture issued a final report on Sacred Sites and an inter-agency memorandum to work towards Sacred Sites protection, the Coconino Forest Service filed federal charges against four Sacred Sites advocates who were part of a protest at the Forest Service offices three months earlier.
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Long Walk to Freedom

10 Oct

Day 18 from the East Texas Tar Sands Blockade

I’m laying down in an open field in East Texas, staring upwards and reflecting. Small groups of stars peek out from the increasingly puffy clouds, signaling morning rain. My nostrils fill with slight scents of dandelion, horse mint, pennyroyal and cow shit. The only sound is the wind and an occasional cow. Cars only pass once every fifteen minutes on this narrow two-lane country road. It’s one-thirty in the morning.

My entire body is drenched in sweat, from my hat and camo bandana down my post-apoc-style paint-stained olive drab coveralls and into my jungle boots. I’ve already been hiking thirteen miles this way, with three more to go until I reach the nearest town. Even this is no safe haven since half the cops in five counties now know my face, outfit, and demeanor, but it may provide a pay phone to call my activist family 20 miles away, and/or a 24-hour gas station at which I can hydrate.

I’m kicking myself for deciding to travel light by not carrying water, and chill working spigots are hard to come by since every house on the road seems to have guard dogs of some kind. I’ve been barked at by at least fifty already, but luckily humans are all asleep in this part of the world except a couple of paranoid tweakers in a junkyard who almost spotted me with twitchy high-powered flashlights around mile nine or ten. I’ve found a few spigots and half a bottle of soda by the roadside to keep myself going.

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Arizona Ski-Resort Will Pump Sewage Snow on Sacred Mountain

1 Oct

Klee Benally protesting an expansion by the Arizona Snowbowl.

by LESLIE MACMILLAN / New York Times

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Klee Benally, a member of the Navajo tribe, has gone to the mountains just north of here to pray, and he has gone to get arrested. He has chained himself to excavators; he has faced down bulldozers. For 10 years, the soft-spoken activist has fought a ski resort’s expansion plans in the San Francisco Peaks that include clear-cutting 74 acres of forest and piping treated sewage effluent onto a mountain to make snow.

But he appears to be losing the battle.

In February, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the ski resort’s upgrade plans, ending a legal saga fought by a coalition of environmental groups and 13 American Indian tribes, which consider the mountain sacred and view the wastewater snow as a desecration.

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San Carlos Apache Make Annual Sacred Run Up Mount Graham

28 Sep

by Lee Allen / Indian Country Today

The annual weeklong San Carlos Apache Mount Graham Sacred Run—up from the Arizona desert reservation to the spirit people living on a mountain top more than 100 miles away—has entered its third decade. As he greeted dozens of tired trekkers of all ages at the end of the journey, event sponsor and former tribal chairman Wendsler Nosie Sr., told them: “You are indigenous. This is your home—where you belong—and here in the woods you need to exercise your rights as an Apache. We want this place back.”

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There Are Less Than 100 Members of Each of These Species Left in Existence

18 Sep

by Brian Merchant / MotherloadExtinct-animals_large

When we talk about the sixth great extinction event—the humankind-induced mass die-off that we’re in the early stages of at the moment—we talk about climate change. We talk about vanishing habitats, we talk about biodiversity loss, and we talk about how mankind has managed to kill off the world’s plants and animals with unprecedented efficiency. We talk about how biologists estimate that 200 species go extinct every day, and we talk about how this is just the dawn of the anthropocene.

We talk and we talk…

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Biomass Incinerator Looms on Horizon for Gypsum, Colorado

24 Aug

– by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor

An 11.5 megawatt biomass power incinerator proposal for the 6,400 person central-Colorado town of Gypsum is moving along swiftly, despite concerns of community members and at least one town councilor.

Utah-based Eagle Valley Clean Energy LLC’s facility would burn 70,000 bone-dry tons per year of wood chips from whole trees—living and beetle-killed—tree branches and limbs, and “urban wood waste from a local landfill,” requiring 1,200 acres of forest per year sourced within a fifty to seventy-five mile radius. Gypsum is surrounded by the White River National Forest [pictured below].

The biomass facility is scheduled to go online by the end of 2013 and would sell ten megawatts to Holy Cross Energy, which provides power for the ski resort towns of Vail, Aspen and Glenwood Springs.  

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838,000 Acres Protected for Jaguar Could Mean an End to the Rosemont Mine Proposal in Arizona

21 Aug

by Tony Davis / Arizona Daily Star

The U.S. proposed Friday to designate about 1,309 square miles across Southern Arizona and a sliver of New Mexico as prime habitat that is essential for conservation of the endangered jaguar.

Among those areas is the site of the proposed Rosemont Mine in the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson. That sets up a potential conflict between the big spotted cat’s stomping grounds and a project that would employ 400 people and be the fourth-largest copper mine in the United States.

In its proposal, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that if the critical habitat designation is approved, the agency will need to evaluate the 4,400-acre mine project to determine if it will be likely to destroy or significantly damage the jaguar habitat.

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Outlaw Matriarch of the Fox Mountain Pack Ordered Dead by Feds

9 Aug

by Russ McSpadden

Mexican gray wolf photo by George Andrejko, Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has ordered the killing of an alpha female Mexican gray wolf for crimes against the cattle industry. She is accused of being the ringleader of a six member pack that has killed four cows in southwestern New Mexico over the last several months.

Extirpated from the wild by the 1950s, reintroduced through captive breeding programs in 1998, Mexican gray wolves are far from recovered.  The outlaw matriarch of the Fox Mountain Pack—last seen roaming the mountainous woodlands of the northwest portion of the Gila National Forest—is one of only 58 of her kind left in the U.S. Southwest.  And though Mexican gray wolves are endangered and federally protected she is now on the federal government’s hit list. There’s no telling how long she and her pups can hold out under the cover of pinion and ponderosa pine or the conifers of the colder peaks of the range with a warrant out for her life.

The ranchers who suffered the loss of cattle have already been reimbursed.

In 2007, the Fish and Wildlife service ordered the shooting of an alpha female of the Durango Pack in the Gila, also for cattle depredation. In a tragic twist of timing, then-governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson recalled the state’s order but his message arrived too late. She was killed in June of that year. Her lover and their pups disappeared and have not been spotted since. They are presumed dead.

Will the Fox Mountain Matriarch outwit the cattle lobbyists and government assassins long enough for an injunction?

Mexican gray wolf pup howls for existence.

(505) 248-6920 Fish and Wildlife Services’ Division of Endangered Species and Habitat Conservation in Albuquerque, New Mexico

(505) 842-3292 United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Southwest Region (this is the organization that will probably carry out the order to kill the wolf)

Fracking Boom Looms in California’s Monterey Shale

9 Aug

from CBS 5

AROMAS  – A new gold rush is on in California, but this time it’s liquid gold. Instead of strawberries and artichokes, the Central Coast is getting a growing reputation for being the next motherlode for oil.

That news is causing fears that a controversial extraction method called hydraulic fracturing – or fracking- is coming to town.

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Keystone XL’s Beetlemania

8 Aug

by Sarah Laskow / The American Prospect

The carcass of a passenger pigeon weighed in at exactly the size they preferred. Dead prairie chickens did, too. They aren’t so picky about the carcasses they bury: mammals will do as well as birds, but the bigger the carcass—which allows them to produce and feed more offspring—the better for our friend the American burying beetle.

The males find the carcasses and send out hormonal signals to attract potential mates. Coupled up, the largest beetles tend to win rights to a particular carcass, which they roll up, bury underground, and coat with preservative chemicals. When the couple’s eggs hatch in an underground chamber they’ve dug adjacent to their carcass, the larvae have a sumptuous feast ready for them.

Once, these orange-marked beetles—the largest of the carrion beetles found on this continent—spread up and down America’s east coast and through the Midwest. But now, no one knows quite why there are so few. Humans may be at fault, edging in on habitats and wiping out species like the passenger pigeon, leaving fewer carcasses to be found and more competition among scavengers. Listed as an endangered species since 1989, American burying beetles survive now only in a few states, including Rhode Island, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Nebraska—in the Sandhills, right where TransCanada planned to route the tar-sands-oil–bearing Keystone XL pipeline.

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