By Jonathan Romeo / The Durango Herald

A BP pipeline running along Sauls Creek in Bayfield was discovered ruptured last week, spilling coal-bed methane produced water into the creek and forcing the emergency construction of an earthen dam to prevent contamination downstream.

According to state reports, a 6-inch fiberglass gathering line was found leaking around 7 a.m. Dec. 13, about four miles west of Bayfield on National Forest Service land off County Road 527, also known as Forest Service Road 608.

BP reported the creek was dry on Dec. 13, but the next day a state oil and gas inspector found Sauls Creek “contained runoff from snow melt.” An early estimate shows the produced water traveled 2,300 feet along the channel bottom.

However, BP on Monday could not say how long the spill had been occurring, how much was released and what the contents of the product were.

The cause of the spill, too, remains unknown.

A Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission representative wrote in an emailed response that more information will be included in supplemental reports and through ongoing water sampling.

After discovering the spill, BP crews immediately closed the line, shut down 17 wells and constructed a temporary earthen dam to contain the produced water from spilling further downstream.

A Dec. 15 follow up report indicated hydro-evacuation trucks were removing the standing water in the creek bed, recovering a total of 150 barrels – about 6,300 gallons – of produced water mixed with snowmelt.

The pipeline repair required that County Road 527 be restricted to one lane of traffic for four days last week as BP crews partially excavated the road, according to U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Ann Bond.

Brett Clanton, a BP representative, did not address several of The Durango Herald’s questions about the incident. He wrote the spill was isolated within two hours of discovery, the produced water contained no hydrocarbons and that no residents in the surrounding area were affected.

“With safety as our highest priority, we will continue to coordinate with relevant agencies to complete any further remediation efforts as warranted,” Clanton wrote.

Produced water is a briny fluid captured in the rock of oil reservoirs that is extracted along with oil and gas. It is considered the largest toxic byproduct of extraction operations, and can contain salt, chemicals, residual oil and heavy metals, though the contents vary from well to well.

Although the chemical makeup of the substance released into Sauls Creek is unknown, a preliminary sampling showed the water contained 4,000 milligram per liter of total dissolved solids, compared to background values of less than 300 mg/L.

Total dissolved solids are a measure of all dissolved substances in water, and is generally used to gauge salinity. Salinity, in turn, can be an indicator for concentrations of chloride, sodium, magnesium, bicarbonate and sulfates, among others.

BP operates about 30 gas wells in the Sauls Creek area that produce coal-bed methane gas and produced water that is transmitted by pipeline to a processing facility in Bayfield.

BP likely faces “some kind of enforcement action due to impact on waters of the state,” oil and gas commission spokesman Todd Hartman wrote in an email.

The company must continue further remediation efforts and water sampling. The temporary dam remains in place as these actions continue, Hartman said.

As of Dec. 19, there have been 19 reported spills in La Plata County in 2016 accounting for approximately 350 barrels of spilled substances, mostly produced water.

BP has accounted for 12 of those incidents, spilling about 165 barrels, according to COGCC data.

Two spills (including this recent one) did not have estimates for amounts leaked.

from HaulNo.org

Energy Fuels Inc. is planning to poison the Grand Canyon including the precious Colorado River. Are we going to let our future be poisoned for thousands of generations by this greedy corporation? We say, “Haul no!”

#HaulNo! is an awareness & action tour that is being planned for Spring 2017 throughout Northern Arizona and Southern Utah along the proposed uranium haul route from Energy Fuel’s Canyon Mine to its White Mesa Mill. Volunteers from organizations such as Diné No Nukes, Clean Up The Mines, Grand Canyon Trust, and concerned community members have joined forces to spread awareness and empower action to ensure that the Grand Canyon, sacred sites, precious water, and our communities are safeguarded from the deadly and toxic threat of uranium contamination.

Click here to read more…

 Walee Crittendon stands with her family's livestock after the initial theft by armed rangers. (Photo Credit: Censored News)

Walee Crittendon stands with her family’s livestock after the initial theft by armed rangers. (Photo Credit: Censored News)

Click here for coverage from our friends at Censored News

From Emergency on HPL – BIA war against Navajo Grandmothers:

URGENT-PLEASE HELP-PLEASE SHARE-SIEGE IN BIG MOUNTAIN: When John Benally’s cows were confiscated on April 5, 2016, he filed a case before the Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA) to request a Stay (Moratorium) on all livestock confiscations. While this suit was pending, the Hopi Tribe using BIA money funded by US taxpayers invaded John Benally homesite in Big Mountain on what is known as Hopi Partition Land.

Today, 6/7/2016, Hopi police and Hopi Rangers invaded John’s home. They came in police cars, trucks, panel trucks and trailers. They rounded up John’s cows and horses used 4-tracks to round up his livestock while they placed John Benally, his companion Tracy, his niece and nephew under house arrest to keep them from interfering with the impoundment. They also served John’s companion with a Notice of No Trespassing requesting she vacate Hopi lands immediately in spite of the fact she has lived with John in Big Mountain for the past 25 years.

John is appealing to you to make phone calls to the Secretary of the Interior and the Hopi Tribe to protect his rights to his property. John has a lawsuit pending and is supposed to be protected by the Bureau of Indian Affairs if the Hopi Tribe is violating his rights. The BIA has the power to issue John a grazing permit but has refused to.

The Hopi Tribe must respect the Stay John filed which requires as a matter of law stop all livestock confiscations as automatic. The Hopi Tribe must respect the great efforts John has taken in collaboration with the Navajo Nation – Leonard Chee from the Office of the Navajo Nation President and Vice-President and the Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture. These agencies helped John put ear tags on the cows. A Vet has come on several occasions to John’s to give the cows shots. At their advice, John purchased loading chutes for cows so they could more easily load them up.

The Navajo Nation Department of Justice was supposed to be working with John. They helped bring some of his cows to market last week. They were supposed to help John bring some more cows to market tomorrow. Then on Friday, they were supposed to help John transport most of the cows to a Tribal ranch the Navajo Nation and John were talking with.

Instead of helping John, the Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture and Leonard Chee did not answer their phones and when contacted the Department of Agriculture said they were just following orders and were told not to interfere with the livestock impoundment.

John calls these people economic terrorists and is concerned that the Navajo Nation is working in collusion to help the Hopi Tribe sell cows at public auction and keep 100% of the proceeds because cows with ear tags and shots are worth a lot of money.

The BIA must step in and stop the Hopi Tribe’s abuse against John Benally, rescind the trespassing notice against John’s companion, return his cows and horses, and Stop the Genocide in Big Mountain!
Please call:
• Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior (202) 208-6416
• Priscilla Pavatea, Director, Hopi Tribe Office of Range Management (928) 734-3701
• Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture (928) 871-6605
• Leonard Chee, Office of Navajo President & Vice President (928) 871-6352

——————————————————————————————

TEXT OF Notice given to John Benally’s companion: No Trespassing

Be advised that the Hopi reservation including the Hopi Partition Land (Hopi reservation) is closed pursuant to Hopi Ordinance # 46 and access is restricted to members of the Hopi tribe and those persons authorized by the Hopi Tribe to be on Hopi reservation lands in accordance with Hopi and federal law and regulations. If you are present on Hopi reservation without a valid permit or permission you are hereby advised and ordered to immediately leave the reservation.

Any individual who is not a member of the Hopi Tribe and who is not authorized under provisions of Hopi law to be present within the Hopi reservation is in violation of tribal law and is subject to a civil and criminal penalty.

Any individual who fails to abide by this notice will be subject to arrest and/or a civil fines under tribe’s civil and criminal law

By Herman G. Honanie, Chairman, Hopi tribe
6/3/16

Notice No Trespassing

——————————————————————————————

 

(Don’t miss the coverage of last year’s event from Unicorn Riot!)

“The whole earth is in jail and we’re plotting this incredible jailbreak.”

Online fundraiser live!

We are very happy to announce that, for the 8th year running, the Wild Roots Feral Futures (WRFF) eco-defense, direct action, and rewilding encampment will take place in the forests of Southwest Colorado this coming June 18-26, 2016 (exact location to be announced). WRFF is an informal, completely free and non-commercial, and loosely organized camp-out operating on (less than a) shoe-string budget, formed entirely off of donated, scavenged, or liberated supplies and sustained through 100% volunteer effort. Though we foster a collective communality and pool resources, we also encourage general self-sufficiency, which lightens the burden on communal supplies, and which we find to be the very source and foundation of true mutual sharing and abundance.

We would like to begin by acknowledging that Wild Roots Feral Futures takes place on occupied/stolen indigenous territory, primarily of the Nuutsiu (occasionally spelled Nuciu or Nuchu, aka “Ute”) people, as well as Diné [“Navajo”], Apache, and others. In recognition of this reality and as a first step in confronting it, we seek to establish proactive working relationships with those whose stolen land we gather upon, and open the space we temporarily gather in to the centering and amplification of indigenous voices and struggles. Our understanding is that any community of resistance that doesn’t center the voices of indigenous people and put their leadership in the forefront is a movement that is part of the problem. [Read more here…]

We would like to invite groups and individuals engaged in struggles against the destruction of the Earth (and indeed all interconnected forms of oppression) to join us and share your stories, lessons, skills, and whatever else you may have to offer. In this spirit we would like to reach out to frontline community members, local environmental groups, coalitions, and alliances everywhere, as well as more readily recognizable groups like Earth First!, Rising Tide North America, and others to come collaborate on the future of radical environmentalism and eco-defense in our bio-regions and beyond.

We would also like to reach out to groups like EF!, RTNA, and the Ruckus Society (as well as other groups and individuals) in search of trainers and workshop facilitators who are willing to dedicate themselves to attending Wild Roots Feral Futures and sharing their skills and knowledge (in a setting that lacks the financial infrastructure to compensate them as they may have come to expect from other, more well-funded groups and events). We are specifically seeking direct action, blockade, tri-pod, and tree climbing/sitting trainers (as well as gear/supplies).

Regarding the rewilding and ancestral earth skills component of WRFF, we would like to extend a similar invitation to folks with skills, knowledge, talent, or specialization in these areas to join us in the facilitation of workshops and skill shares such as fire making, shelter building, edible and medicinal plants, stalking awareness, tool & implement making, etc. We are also seeking folks with less “ancestral” outdoor survival skills such as orienteering and navigation, etc.

Daily camp life, along with workshops, skill shares, great food, friends, and music, will also include the volunteer labor necessary to camp maintenance. Please come prepared to pitch in and contribute to the workload, according to your abilities. We encourage folks who would like to plug in further to show up a few days before the official start of the event to begin set-up and stay a few days after the official end to help clean up.

Site scouting will continue until early June, at which point scouts and other organizers will rendezvous, report-back their scouting recon, and come to a consensus regarding a site location. We are also planning on choosing a secondary, back-up site location as a contingency plan for various potential scenarios. Email us for more info on getting involved with scouting and site selection processes.

WRFF is timed to take place before the Earth First! Round River Rendezvous, allowing eco-defenders to travel from one to the other. Thus we encourage the formation of a caravan from WRFF to the EF! RRR (caravans and ride shares can be coordinated through our message board at feralfutures.proboards.com.

We are currently accepting donations in the form of supplies and/or monetary contributions. Please email us for details.

Please forward this call widely, spread the word, and stay tuned for more updates!

For The Wild,

~The Wild Roots Feral Futures organizers’ collective

Email: feralfutures(at)riseup(dot)net

lynx_rendezvousimagesmall squared

For the sake of comprehensiveness, we are including below our original call-out as used in years past, which is a living document, changing and evolving as we ourselves learn and grow:

We are looking for folks of all sorts to join us and help facilitate workshops, talks, discussions, skill shares, direct action and medic trainings, wild food walks, conflict transformation, and much more! We will be focusing on many things, including but by no means limited to anarchist theory and praxis, unpacking privilege, decolonization, rewilding, ancestral skills, indigenous solidarity, direct action, forest defense, earth liberation, animal liberation, security culture, civil disobedience, hand to hand combat, survival skills, evasion tactics, green anarchism, anti-civ, post-civ, star watching and navigation, maps and orienteering, shelter building, permaculture, and whatever YOU care to bring and provide. But we need everyone’s help to make this as safe, positive, and productive a space as it can be. Our own knowledge, skills, and capacities are limited. We need YOUR help!

Read the rest of this entry »

Join us this summer as we take direct action to stop tar sands mining in Utah and work to heal the land.

With seeds, shovels, and hands we will rewild a site that had been condemned to fossil fuel development. Come regrow the mine June 17-19!

We will be physically replanting land on the East Tavaputs Plateau that is part of an ongoing tar sands strip mine. In doing so, we will cultivate resistance, biodiversity, and beauty in a space that has been destroyed by strip mining. The gathering will celebrate life, water, and resistance on the Colorado Plateau through music, storytelling, art, and action. Each day we will share the skills and techniques needed to continue building the world we want to see. The events are being hosted by the Tavaputs Action Council, a regional alliance of grassroots activists.

Join us as we fight for an immediate start to PR Springs mine reclamation, an escalation of mine clean up efforts along the Colorado River watershed, and  a just transition away from fossil fuels.

Lace up your boots, bring your shovels, and let’s get to work this June.

Sign up HERE to help us in this great restoration effort.

From Black Mesa Indigenous Support

Greetings,

We hope that this finds you well and enjoying the winter months. We are writing with updates about Black Mesa, a new group Indigenous Youth for Cultural Survival, and BMIS.

From the Land:

On Monday January 4th Hopi Rangers and BIA Impounded 21 cattle on the so-called “Hopi Partition Land”. The cattle were of Betty, Billy, and Emerson Begay and Trudy Johnson’s herd.

From Trudy Johnson Begay:

“While we (my brother and I) were out looking for our cattle we found them on ‘HPL’ I proceeded to push them back over the fence on foot, to NPL. I had to walk about 200 yards when a Hopi Ranger (BIA) drive up and call me over to his vehicle. When I approached him, he asked ‘what are you doing?’ I answered I’m getting my cattle. He told me to leave the area because they were in the middle of impoundment in the area. He stated, ‘If you don’t leave you could be arrested for interfering with impoundment.’ (All this in a harsh and argumentative tone of voice). He insisted that the animals were trespassing and impounded twenty one of them. We are tired of this kind of harassment on our ancestral homeland.”

Please donate here to a fund dedicated to releasing impounded sheep and cattle from holding.

There is a fierce new Diné youth organizing project that is working on Black Mesa! They are called Indigenous Youth for Cultural Survival (IY4CS)–check out their statements:

Action Statement: Indigenous youth for cultural survival is currently a volunteer based collective led by young Diné and supporters. Our purpose is to empower indigenous youth through education, to reconnect to our traditional ways of life, and inspire action that addresses environmental and human rights issues, indigenous sovereignty, and the protection of sacred sites.

Vision statement: From inspiration within our own communities and resisting families of Black Mesa, we seek to protect Nímá Nahasdzáán (mother earth)  and regain Hózhó (harmony) within ké (kinship) relations.  With each passing generation, our traditional knowledge is being lost due to colonialism,genocide, and desecration of sacred sites. We remain resilient in the teachings passed down from our elders to maintain our cultural survival for the generations to come.

IY4CS is planning a cultural survival gathering this spring on Black Mesa. This will be a time focused on Diné youth connecting with Big Mountain elders and sharing cultural practices. Please help make this gathering happen by donating. You can donate to BMIS and designate IY4CS in the memo.

A word about BMIS. The BMIS collective is shifting roles and is once again focused primarily on running the volunteer sheepherder/human rights observer program.  We also will continue to fundraise for projects and gatherings on Black Mesa/Big Mountain, for IY4CS, and for impoundment funds, among other things.

Tree will continue to live in Virginia and come back and forth to Black Mesa with her family. Berkley will be back and forth between Flagstaff and Tucson as of early 2016. Liza and Derek recently had a baby and have just moved back east to Asbury Park, NJ and aim to be back on Black Mesa annually. Since we are no longer a locally-based collective, we are stepping back from organizing or co-organizing gatherings on the land and instead hope to move resources and help make connections between local organizers.  And we are thrilled to be able to work with and support the work of IY4CS as they are central to the future of this resistance!

A note about getting involved:

There are always requests for sheepherder / human rights observers, so fill out the registration form and get in touch.

Additionally, we are looking for collective members interested in helping with the volunteer sheepherder program, media/ social media updates, and fundraising. We are excited to support folks who want to organize their own small gatherings on Black Mesa by putting you in touch with community members and playing an advisory role with logistics, preparation, and political education. We will continue working to connect the larger network to community members for speaking engagements, attending protests, action camps, gatherings, etc.

Thanks!
The BMIS Collective: Berkley, Liza, Tree, & Derek

Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS) is a currently non-Native all volunteer, grassroots collective committed to working with the resistance communities of Black Mesa/Big Mountain.

Over 100 Disrupt BLM Oil and Gas Lease Sale

Posted: February 19, 2016 by earthfirstdurango in Uncategorized

Canyon Country Rising Tide

Keep It In The Ground protest in Salt Lake City 2/16/16

February 16, 2016
Salt Lake City, UT

As Part of BLM Fossil Fuel Auction Protest, Author Terry Tempest Williams Buys Parcels

Today, over one hundred people erupted into song and disrupted the Utah Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) oil and gas lease sale in Salt Lake City, Utah. The auction was then closed to the public as the entire audience was escorted outside.

Activist and author, Terry Tempest Williams, attended and purchased several parcels totaling 1,751 acres in Grand County, Utah through a company she formed called Tempest Exploration. One was an 800 acre parcel 14 miles from and within view of Arches National Park that was leased for $1.50 / acre / year.

The group of grassroots organizations, representing a broad-reaching alliance of community members, packed and overflowed the auction room. They rallied and marched outside, and then came into the auction, spontaneously singing songs as the parcels were…

View original post 752 more words

Greetings!

The attached PDF file is an Action Camp Feedback Questionnaire for the last three years of action camps resisting tar sands mine development on the Tavaputs Plateau in southeastern Utah, which were organized, in varying capacities, by Peaceful Uprising and Utah Tar Sands Resistance. Autonomously crafted by camp participants to foster the growth of our movements and communities of resistance, this is a lengthy, information-dense survey created with a unique format that includes an Outline, Security Culture, Healing and Emotional Support, About, and Feedback Form. This format may be confusing with a few imperfections, so please ASK questions to minerals [at] riseup [dot] net and seek out another action camp participant to find clarity with.

Please seek out the full version before answering the feedback form. Within the full version please skip around based on your own unique personal needs.

From the many experiences shared we will create a summary presentation of the responses outlining patterns, major and minor accomplishments/areas of improvement, creating transparency of experiences, and help organizers create future focal points for their on-going efforts. The presentation will be open source and available to all interested in an effort to foster wider community growth.

This is an accountability and transparency process giving you the opportunity to express your honest personal experiences. This process seeks diversity of responses. Please include experiences of feeling safety/endangerment, uplift/hinder, compassion/anger, value/disdain, wisdom, and much more. Please understand that prioritized intentional space is needed to read, comprehend, reflect and then reply to the feedback form.

If you are interested in being emotional support FOR individuals engaging in this process and/or helping create a neutral factual examination of participant experiences, email minerals [at] riseup [dot] net

It is vital that you forward this survey on to anyone you know that has participated in a Utah tar sands action camp..

We are all wounded, we are all healing! To Shadow, the neglected or repressed parts of our being, which are both essential, consistent places of struggle, and our magnificent potential. Acknowledging and honoring Shadow as a guide for how to heal, move towards vulnerability, and compassion with insight as our ally. Giving visibility to Shadow we become mirrors for ourselves and for each other, energizing prayers for releasing those patterns and creating new neural pathways of our beings and our togetherness.

I want to Thank EVERYONE who helped and is helping in this process, We are awesome!

This accelerating journey is in need of more helpers!

Reply to minerals [at] riseup [dot] net for EVERYTHING regarding the Action Camp Feedback Questionnaire.

Action Camp Feedback Questionnaire [PDF]

For more information about this year’s action, click here…

Wolf_Creek_Pass_and_Ski_Area

By , San Juan Citizen’s Alliance

By law Environmental Impact Statements are intended to be robust and transparent.  Very little in the nearly 30-year saga of the proposed Village at Wolf Creek Pass has met those expectations. Sadly, 2015 has been no different.  Today the Forest Service amended and finalized it’s Record of Decision granting the Wold Creek Land Exchange.  They did so without independent review and continue to conceal 13,000 pages related to the undue influence and manipulation of the analysis in violation of a Federal Court Order.  The exchange violates the Southern Rockies Lynx Amendment and the Forest Service admits to ‘appreciable’ impacts to Rocky Mountain Elk. This decision was based on a flawed analysis and the public deserves full transparency to understand why this decision was not made in the public interest. See our full joint press release below.

For Immediate Release:

Matt Sandler, Attorney, Rocky Mountain Wild, matt@rockymountainwild.org, 303-579-5162; Christine Canaly, Director SLVEC, slvwater@fairpoint.net, 719-589-1518; Jimbo Buickerood, San Juan Citizens Alliance, jimbo@sanjuancitizens.org, 970-560-1111; Monique DiGiorgio, Executive Director, Chama Peak Land Alliance, chamapeak@gmail.com, 970-335-8174

Forest Service Issues Final Decision Granting Wolf Creek Land Exchange: Agency ignores court orders and continues to illegally conceal 13,000 pages of emails related to undue influence and manipulation of the analysis

GOLDEN, CO — The Forest Service, amending and finalizing its Record of Decision, is paving the way to provide Texas billionaire Red McCombs with public land to develop the private inholding known as the “Village at Wolf Creek.” The Forest Service has largely ignored concerns raised by numerous organizations and individuals that continue to plague this decision. A large part of this controversy centers around how the Forest Service has illegally limited its National Environmental Policy Act decision making process by narrowing the scope of impacts and options it analyzed and disclosed to the public and decision makers.

In order to understand how the Forest Service made this decision, Rocky Mountain Wild (RMW) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on two separate occasions (February and November, 2014), requesting correspondence between the Forest Service, other agencies, the project proponent, and the consultants hired by the developers. The Forest Service has gone to great lengths to conceal the communications that altered the structure and narrowed the scope of the environmental review. The Forest Service is in open violation and defiance of a Federal Court Order requiring weekly releases of these documents during May.

The Record of Decision (ROD) released today, is also wrought with internal conflict since the reviewing officer for the Objections, Maribeth Gustafson, Deputy Regional Forester, was also heavily involved in developing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) content, the draft decision, the objection response, and most likely, the Final Decision itself. The Forest Service has not subjected these decisions to independent review within the agency. Documents obtained in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation confirm that Ms. Gustafson served as reviewing officer of her own decision.

“Without federal judges enforcing our FOIA rights, nobody would know that the Forest Service selected Ms. Gustafson to conduct a superficial review of objections. The obvious conflict of having Deputy Forester Gustafson resolve the objections on a process she oversaw confirms that the Forest Service has not provided an independent review,” states Matt Sandler, Attorney representing Rocky Mountain Wild. “Many of the same problems involving undue influence and bias that resulted in an Injunction last time have still not been addressed. It seems Federal Court is the only place our comments and objections will get a fair and independent review. These documents, and discussions with agency personnel, provide evidence that the developers continue to exert undue influence over this project, particularly through the Forest Service’s Denver office.”

Portions of the National Forest are being provided to a development group led by Red McCombs that plans to construct a city the size of Aspen, housing 6,000-10,000 people, rotating through 1,700 units. This high-altitude location receives an average of 428 inches of snow annually, and is an important wildlife corridor for many species. This development has been at the center of controversy since 1986 when the Forest Service first confirmed that the Village proposal and land trade would not serve the public interest.

This Forest Service Decision gives the Forest Supervisor permission to trade approximately 205 federal acres for 177 acres of private land within the boundaries of the Rio Grande National Forest. As a part of this exchange, the U.S. Government is also paying Texas billionaire Red McCombs $70,000 as a “cash equalization payment.” The land exchange intends to connect the private land to U.S. Highway 160, thus securing the ability for a larger population to access the developer’s private inholding.

Instead of repairing flawed analysis from the draft ROD, Rio Grande Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas uses the Record of Decision to justify why he did not and will not follow existing Lynx protections in deciding to approve the land exchange. Conservation groups identified the lack of lynx protections in their Objection to the Forest Supervisor’s decision to promote and approve the land exchange.

“This land exchange decision violates the Southern Rockies Lynx Amendment and the planned development is in the middle of a lynx corridor that connects habitat critical to lynx survival and recovery,” said Christine Canaly, Executive Director of the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) successfully reintroduced lynx to the Southern Rockies beginning in 1999, selecting the San Juan Mountains core area as the reintroduction site owing to its status as the largest contiguous block of high quality lynx habitat in Colorado. Wolf Creek Pass bisects the San Juan Mountains core area and consequently serves as the principal linkage for lynx moving between the South San Juan Wilderness and the main body of the San Juan Mountains core area. CDOW has documented heavy usage of the Wolf Creek Pass linkage by lynx since reintroduction, and considers it as vital to the recovery of lynx in Colorado.

“It will forever compromise and destroy good lynx habitat and impair the chances for this threatened species to recover to a full, secure population in Colorado. The Forest Service response has already confirmed that the development is not compatible with the lynx,” noted Canaly.

No attempt was made to address concerns of opponents to the land exchange, who continue to point out that the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that provides the basis for the Forest Service decision is inadequate and incomplete. The records obtained through FOIA confirm that undue influence on the analysis was key to allowing the developer’s proposal to remain too vague and conceptual to support a full analysis of the anticipated impacts. Concealment of the real impacts of the project has defined the Forest Service handling of the proposal since 1986.

“How is this decision in the public interest? The Forest Service’s Record of Decision and Objection review refuses to acknowledge their legal standing to curtail this grotesque project and is relying on Mineral County to protect federal lands through zoning,” adds Jimbo Buickerood, Public Land Coordinator for the San Juan Citizens Alliance. “Maintaining the integrity of the National Forest on Wolf Creek Pass is not just important to lynx, it is important to skiers, hunters, fishers, tourists, and residents who enjoy this unique landscape. The Forest Service is committed to accommodating the developer’s demands, even though the Forest Service admits that impact on Rocky Mountain Elk would be ‘appreciable.’”

“Climate change is reducing snow pack in western North American mountains and shifting distribution of forests northward and up mountain slopes.  High elevation linkage zones like Wolf Creek Pass, known for its concentration of snow pack, will become critical areas to maintain and protect water quality and supply for our south western rivers and agricultural lands. We need these intact ecological zones to be able to buffer and adapt to changing conditions in order to maintain our water quality and wildlife habitat that are critical economic drivers to local, rural communities,” said Frank Simms, Chair of the Chama Peak Land Alliance. The Chama Peak Land Alliance are conservation minded private landowners working collaboratively to practice and promote ecologically and economically sound land management in the southern San Juan Mountains of Colorado and northern New Mexico. These landowners responsibly manage and cooperate with partners on 1.4 million acres of land directly south and adjacent to the Wolf Creek Pass Linkage, creating a continuous, intact landscape being managed with conservation in mind.

Other Wolf Creek Posts

Forest Service ignores objections to land exchange at Wolf Creek Pass
Forest Service paves way for pillage at Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek development enters act 5
Wolf Creek village battle rages on

Art by Olyn

Fundraiser live!

“The whole earth is in jail and we’re plotting this incredible jailbreak.”

We are very happy to announce that, for the 7th year running, the Wild Roots Feral Futures (WRFF) eco-defense, direct action, and rewilding encampment will take place in the forests of Southwest Colorado this coming June 20-28, 2015 (exact location to be announced). WRFF is an informal, completely free and non-commercial, and loosely organized camp-out operating on (less than a) shoe-string budget, formed entirely off of donated, scavenged, or liberated supplies and sustained through 100% volunteer effort. Though we foster a collective communality and pool resources, we also encourage general self-sufficiency, which lightens the burden on communal supplies, and which we find to be the very source and foundation of true mutual sharing and abundance.

We would like to invite groups and individuals engaged in struggles against the destruction of the Earth (and indeed all interconnected forms of oppression) to join us and share your stories, lessons, skills, and whatever else you may have to offer. In this spirit we would like to reach out to frontline community members, local environmental groups, coalitions, and alliances everywhere, as well as more readily recognizable groups like Earth First!, Rising Tide North America, and others to come collaborate on the future of radical environmentalism and eco-defense in our bio-regions and beyond.

We would also like to reach out to groups like EF!, RTNA, and the Ruckus Society (as well as other groups and individuals) in search of trainers and workshop facilitators who are willing to dedicate themselves to attending Wild Roots Feral Futures and sharing their skills and knowledge (in a setting that lacks the financial infrastructure to compensate them as they may have come to expect from other, more well-funded groups and events). We are specifically seeking direct action, blockade, tri-pod, and tree climbing/sitting trainers (as well as gear/supplies).

Click here to read more…