Archive for the ‘endangered & threatened species’ Category

(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!

(more…)

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

Wolf Gunned Down in Southern Utah

Posted: December 30, 2014 by earthfirstdurango in endangered & threatened species, hunting, repression
Tags:

An animal seen north of Grand Canyon on Oct 27, 2014.(Photo: Arizona Game and Fish Department)

From the Earth First! Newswire:

It happened again. After thrilling the hearts of everyone in the country by showing up around the Grand Canyon, an endangered gray wolf was shot by a hunter.

In Kentuky, the first gray wolf seen in 150 years was shot dead last August. Last March, a wolf was shot in Missouri. Earlier this year, a farmer shot and killed a wolf in Washington State, and in North Carolina, 10 endangered red wolves have been shot in the last year.

Though the killing in Utah is not unique, what is shocking is the lack of care that the officials at the Arizona Game and Fish Department showed. Going so far as to suggest that the wolf was planted in the state by “radicalized environmental monkey wrenchers,” federal officials saw the wolf as a threat to be put down—as an instrument of wilderness advocates who wanted to protect the area under endangered species habitat, not as a precious animal and important facet to the bioregion.

It is possible that this wolf, a female, is likely the same one shot seen in November after traveling 500 miles from the Northen Rockies. She will be remembered.

Read more…

Long-wandering Endangered Female Wolf Shot in Utah

Location Suggests May Be Same Wolf Spotted on North Rim of Grand Canyon

From the Center for Biological Diversity:

BEAVER, Utah — A federally protected radio-collared female gray wolf, possibly the same wolf photographed this fall on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, was shot and killed Sunday in Utah after reportedly being mistaken for a coyote. The identity of the wolf is likely to be determined in the coming days or weeks.

The Grand Canyon wolf, named “Echo” in a children’s naming contest this month that drew hundreds of contestants from around the globe, was confirmed through genetic analysis to be a female originating from the northern Rocky Mountains, at least 450 miles away.

“It’s heartbreaking that another far-wandering wolf has been cut down with a fatal gunshot,” said Michael Robinson with the Center for Biological Diversity. “This female wolf could have helped wolves naturally recover in remote regions of Utah and neighboring states. Federal authorities need to conduct a full investigation into this latest killing, which is part of a disturbing pattern.”

Dozens of wolves that dispersed far from their home territories seeking mates have been killed in recent years, often by people claiming to have mistaken the animal for a coyote. Coyotes, which are common and aren’t federally protected, are smaller than wolves, and display a more pointed snout and ears, whereas wolves appear bulkier and with markedly longer legs and a bushier tail.

Wolves are an endangered species in Utah, but the Justice Department has systematically failed to enforce the Endangered Species Act in respect to illegal shootings of animals supposedly mistaken for unprotected wildlife species; notwithstanding that a fundamental rule of firearm and hunter safety is never to pull the trigger without being 100 percent sure of the target.

“Wolves in Utah deserve real, on-the-ground protection,” said Robinson. “That means, first, keeping them on the endangered species list; second, spreading the word about their presence as an endangered species; third, prosecuting those who kill them; and finally, developing a science-based recovery plan so that instead of one or two lone and vulnerable wolves, Utah and the West will eventually boast hundreds more wolves to stave off extinction and help keep ecosystems in healthy balance.”

Last month the Center released a first-of-its-kind analysis that identified 359,000 square miles of additional habitat for gray wolves in 19 of the lower 48 states that could significantly boost the nation’s 40-year wolf recovery efforts. The study indicated the gray wolf population could be doubled to around 10,000 by expanding recovery into areas researchers have identified as excellent habitat in the Northeast, West Coast and southern Rocky Mountains, as well as the Grand Canyon, the area where a radio-collared wolf was photographed in October.

The report documented 56 instances over 30 years where wolves have dispersed from existing core recovery areas to states where they have yet to reestablish, including Colorado, Utah, California, New York, Massachusetts and Maine. These events, which frequently ended in the dispersing wolves being shot, highlight the need for continued federal protections and recovery planning to increase the odds for dispersing wolves to survive and recolonize former terrain. The most famous dispersing wolf, OR-7, traveled hundreds of miles from northeast Oregon to California and has started a family along the border of the two states.

 • Draft Record of Decision Village at Wolf Creek Access Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (Forest Service)

The San Juan Citizens Alliance released a statement:

Today’s decision by Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas to approve a land exchange on top of Wolf Creek Pass requested by billionaire Red McCombs is both a disappointing and absurd decision to “green light” a development that would deface the inherent wild beauty of the area and ignore the widespread public opposition to the huge development.

McComb’s snowy dream he envisioned almost 30 years ago, that has morphed to become his hoped-for Village at Wolf Creek, would constitute a city with thousands of residential units, parking for more than 4,000 vehicles, a dozen restaurants, more than 200,000 square feet of commercial space and storage for 25-30 million gallons of water. Oh, just how quaint a village that would be…..

Let’s be straight about the absurdity of Dallas’s Record of Decision (ROD) on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The ROD encapsulates the environmental and social impacts of the mega-development with this statement, “…negative effects appear to be minimal, limited in scope, and can be mitigated.” “(ROD, page 25, #4) And this is a statement meant to justify the “public interest” as reason to approve the land exchange which would facilitate highway access that the development must have to begin construction. One has to wonder how a professional natural resource specialist like Dallas can come to the conclusion that a city built for thousands of residents in critical wildlife habitat above 10,000 feet on the Continental Divide situated many miles from basic services can be described as “minimal” in its effects. We know that the resident Canada lynx are scratching their ears over that piece of logic.

Within the ROD the Forest Service has confirmed “the intent of the Forest Service in creating the private inholding adjacent to the Wolf Creek Ski Area was to create a village.” (ROD, page 11). Which of course leads to the question as to whether the Forest Service really served its role as a neutral decision maker on the relative merits of the land exchange. From our viewpoint, and the many thousands of locals on either side of the Pass that have written comments in opposition to the project, the agency did not prove to be a neutral and well-reasoned decision maker. This leads us to the obvious question, “Are politics and backroom deal-making a part of the decision making?”

It’s a reasonable question to ask given the history that there was collusion between the agency and McComb’s outfit during the last attempt at a viable EIS in the mid-2000’s. At that moment in the timeline of the controversy, the Forest Service displayed a pattern of withholding sensitive information and it was necessary for the conservation forces to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to bring forth details of collusion in the creation of the EIS.

With that as the backdrop, the Alliance and its partners filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in February 2014 requesting that the public record regarding the creation of the EIS, including related communications, be brought forward. The agency provided some of the documents, however, there were redactions (omissions) of significance and later the Forest Service admitted to violating deadlines that necessitated the need for them to explain the withholding of requested documents. The agency then ignored our administrative appeal related to the FOIA, which necessitated our lawsuit of September 9, 2014 to force the agency to be forthcoming to the citizenry with the full story.

The Forest Service could aid the effort towards complete transparency by simply providing all the public records related to the EIS development. Without such transparency, and in light of the absurdity of the decision that the project would have only “minimal” negative effects on the Wolf Creek Pass area, the question hangs like a cornice on the pass, “was there collusion again?”

The Alliance will continue to adamantly oppose McComb’s proposed development, just as we have for more than 15 years. The hundreds of bumper stickers still seen throughout the territory proclaim the true story of McComb’s perverse vision for the forests and meadows on the east side of the Pass – their greed would result in the Pillage at Wolf Creek. If we continue to stand together we will indeed succeed in guaranteeing that there will never be a Pillage on our beloved Wolf Creek Pass landscape. Amen. Alynx.

Rocky Mountain Wild also issued a statement:

For Immediate Release:
November 20, 2014

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

Monte Vista, CO – Today the U. S. Forest Service, in spite of widespread opposition, announced its intention to approve a land exchange that would allow construction of a city of 10,000 people near the top of Wolf Creek Pass in southwestern Colorado.

‘The effects of this approval could be devastating”, stated Christine Canaly, Executive Director of the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council. “An important migration route for the threatened Canada lynx could be destroyed. There would be strong negative impacts to habitat for other wildlife, and to wetlands, scenery, and winter traffic safety as well”.

The proposal would trade approximately 205 federal acres for 177 acres of private land within the boundaries of the Rio Grande National Forest. Part of the federal land exchange proposal would connect the private land to U.S. Highway 160, thus securing more convenient access to the developer’s private inholding.

“With snow covering this area above 10,000 feet for up to eight months of the year, this is certainly not an appropriate locale to build a city of any size”, noted Jimbo Buickerood, Public Land Coordinator for the San Juan Citizens Alliance.  “For this locale near the top of Wolf Creek Pass, the public has expressed a strong interest in allowing the area to remain a refuge to wildlife with some recreational visitation,” Buickerood noted, “rather than a trophy-style development accessed through a major new highway interchange that would be wildly out of character with the surrounding landscape.”

“The City at Wolf Creek is not a good idea.  It’s the wrong kind of use for Wolf Creek Pass which is perched atop the Continental Divide and is surrounded by wilderness, unroaded areas, wetlands, and irreplaceable wildlife habitat.” says Matt Sandler, Attorney with Rocky Mountain Wild.

Forest Service approval of the proposal is especially inappropriate given its history.  The Rio Grande National Forest determined that a land exchange was not in the public interest next to the Wolf Creek Ski Area back in 1986. However, due to political interference, the local Forest Service office was forced to reverse this decision and approve the creation of a private inholding desired by the developer. The same political pressure is now pushing the Forest Service to approve another land exchange, one that would connect the developer’s property created via the earlier exchange with Highway 160.

“The exchange is still not in the public interest.” says Christine Canaly, Director of the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council.  “Political pressure is what made this happen back then, and is what keeps pushing it forward.”

The Forest Service continues to thwart the full disclosure of information concerning the project. The Forest Service has again withheld the public record of interaction between themselves and the project proponents. In response to a lawsuit filed September 9, 2014, the Forest Service has admitted that it violated deadlines that required further explanation of the withholding of documents requested on February 27, 2014 under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA. The Forest Service continues to withhold requested records, which it also did in conjunction with the previous Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), where agency documents revealed political influence, including offers of Washington Redskins’ tickets for EIS preparers.  The Forest Service’s refusal to comply with FOIA in 2014 suggests the pattern of improper dealings between the Forest Service and Texas billionaire Red McCombs’ team may plague the new decision.

This project is a net loss for the people who know and love this region.” says Canaly. “Not only is the proposed ‘Village at Wolf Creek’ not likely to substantially help local businesses, but it also has the potential to be economically harmful to local business by drawing away from existing businesses in South Fork and Pagosa Springs.  It is a political land exchange that further damages the public interests.”

Unfortunately, the Forest Service has so far dismissed many other possible alternatives suggested by local citizens and organizations such as the federal government buying the private land parcel and placing it back into public lands.

“We will continue to challenge the proposed approval of the land exchange”, stated Sandler.

Stay updated with information at:

“Disorderly Conduct” by Sidhe, a message to US Oil Sands and other killers

On Sept. 4th, Utah Tar Sands Resistance interrupted the 2014 Uintah Basin Energy Summit, a yearly conference where tar sands and oil shale speculators are exalted and anyone “not excited” about the destruction of the Book Cliffs is shut out and silenced.

Land defender Sidhe had planned to share her entire poem with the 700 conference goers, but police–already aware of the conference organizers’ insecurities and impatience–would not cede a moment to their dissenters. Sidhe was booked into the Uintah County Jail on suspicion of “disorderly conduct,” an exceedingly fitting charge police could level against the tar sands speculators destroying the planet who were in the room, but alas, the police work for the capitalists, not the people.

“Disorderly Conduct” by Sidhe

A message to all of you short-sighted killers
What kind of world will you leave behind for your children
When you’ve squeezed every last drop of life from the land
With your greed and your murder you’ve wrought with your plans

I’d like to remind you your money means nothing
When the water’s been blackened and the creatures are starving
You toy with a force you do not understand
Your chemicals won’t wash all that blood off your hands

First Nations fight cancer up in Athabasca
Your oil trains are time bombs impending disaster
Your pipelines will leak and your cesspools will sprawl
And your babies are left with the brunt of it all

What of the animals caught in the tar?
What of the forests left clear cut and scarred?
What of those atrocities I didn’t witness?
Like Serafino in Columbia sending assassins
To murder union organizers who stood up and spoke out
In the back of my mind I can still hear them shout
I am made of this land you are made of the same
The planet is dying and you are to blame

Are you proud of yourselves? Look at what you’ve become
Heartless machines, so frigid and numb
So reluctant to think that you may just be wrong
That you hear the dissent and you send in the guns.

Upcoming Events on the Land:

Sept. 12-15: Join Trans & Women Organizers on the Plateau

Sept. 19-21: Fall Campout in the Book Cliffs: A Weekend of Stories & Connecting with the Land

More in recent actions:

Colorado Plateau Resistance shuts down tar sands mine construction

Utah Tar Sands Resistance received information regarding a direct action that took place at the US Oil Sands strip mine construction site. These folks are bad ass!

The group released the following video and below the video, a communique:

The Colorado Plateau and its inhabitants are under invasion on multiple fronts of the energy industry. This tar sands mine is a bloody blip in a bigger scheme threatening this land, including the reopening of uranium mines that have poisoned indigenous communities for generations; the planned construction of a nuclear generator in Green River, Utah; violent and vast scraping of the land and squandering of sacred water in pursuit of lowest-grade fuel sources like tar sands and oil shale; a new “oil” refinery in Green River perhaps to centralize production and distribution of those super-toxic tar sands and oil shale fuels; and all of this paid for and made possible by the dangerous fracking boom, which is poisoning our air and water and killing the most vulnerable members of our communities, our babies and old people. This second Big Buildup of the Colorado Plateau is similar to the first Big Buildup of the 20th Century, which fostered disastrous projects like the Glen Canyon Dam, the Navajo Generating station, and the Peabody coal mine at Black Mesa; this second Big Buildup of the Colorado plateau also resembles the initial conquering and genocide of this land by the American government and white settlers. In those prior historical times and today, masters of industry and thus colonialism must control the land and subjugate its people in order to consolidate the wealth of the land in the hands of very few white elites. Their most powerful weapons are and always have been racism and patriarchy and their value system is heartless capitalism. We are forever in contempt of their scheme. This energy industry is a murderous syndicate whose business plans for the future entail the destruction of life on the planet via climate-change catastrophes and crises. Now is the time for all who have something to contribute to give all that you can to the final shut-down of projects like the US Oil Sands tar sands mine and all the many tentacles sucking the life of the Colorado Plateau and Grand Mother Earth herself.

The Vigil Continues! The plateau needs us, and we will do our best to fulfill the commitment we have made to this land, which has already given us so much.

Video: Work stopped ALL WEEK at tar sands strip mine!

National Environmental Groups Stand With Utah Land Defenders

PRESS RELEASE: Opponents to enforce shutdown of tar sands mine today (July 21st)

UPDATE: ALL 21 LAND DEFENDERS HAVE BEEN RELEASED.

Utah Tar Sands

After a massive direct action protest today at the site of U.S. Oil Sands’ tar sands strip-mining site, a total of 21 were arrested and are currently awaiting charges at Uintah County Jail in Vernal, Utah. In addition to protestors, those acting as legal observers, independent media, and jail support were arrested, as well as several indigenous and trans individuals whose safety we are deeply concerned about.

Early this morning land defenders locked themselves to equipment being used to clear-cut and grade an area designated for the tar sands’ companies processing plant, as well as a fenced “cage” used to store the equipment. Others formed a physical blockade with their bodies to keep work from happening, and to protect those locked-down to the equipment. Banners were also hung off the cage that read: “You are trespassing on Ute land” and “Respect Existence or Expect Resistance.”

13 people were arrested for locking to equipment. An additional six people were arrested after sitting in the road to prevent the removal of those being taken away in two police vans. Two of the protesters arrested were injured. One was taken a nearby hospital to be treated, while the other is being treated at the Uintah County Jail. The nature of their injuries is not being disclosed by the county sheriffs.

Two additional people were arrested when they arrived at Uintah Country Jail to provide support to the land defenders inside. An estimated 10 armed deputies with police dogs were standing outside the jail wearing bullet proof vests. Those at the jail to provide support were told that the deputies were there to “deter” any supporters from actually coming to the jail.

Currently all 21 individuals are still being processed and held.

Support these brave land defenders who put their hearts and bodies on the line by donating to their legal fund.

Rising Tide North America is handling donations through The Action Network. Donate to the land defenders’ legal support fund using this secure link

http://www.wildearthguardians.org/1PM Thursday June 19th @ Wild Roots Feral Futures (exact location TBA)

Bob Brister, an organizer with WildEarth Guardians, will share information and volunteer opportunities about two major campaigns he works on:

http://trapfreenm.org/Trap Free New Mexico: a coalition of wildlife conservation and animal protection groups are working to pass legislation in New Mexico to ban the poisoning and trapping of animals on public lands. Learn how you can be part of ridding New Mexico of animal traps.

Colorado Wolf Campaign: WildEarth Guardians is organizing local wolf advocacy groups we call “Wolf Packs” to carry out pro-wolf educational and advocacy projects in their communities. Learn how you can be an “alpha wolf” and start a wolf pack in your area.
———

For the 6th 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 14-22, 2014. 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.

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 to come collaborate on the future of radical environmentalism and eco-defense in our bio-regions and beyond.

If you are interested in facilitating a workshop, skill share, discussion, etc., or would like to otherwise get involved, contact us at feralfutures [at] riseup [dot] net

A jaguar roaming southeast of Tucson in the northern Santa Rita Mountains.

A jaguar roaming southeast of Tucson in the northern Santa Rita Mountains.

By Paul Ingram & Diangelea Millar, The Tucson Sentinel, via the Earth First! Newswire

A federal agency labeled more than 764,000 acres in Southeastern Arizona and Southwestern New Mexico on Tuesday as habitat critical to protecting the endangered northern jaguar.

Designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, the area covers mountain ranges throughout Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties as well as ranges in Hidalgo County, N.M.

The area was reduced from an earlier proposal of 838,000 acres because Fort Huachuca and the Tohono O’Odham Nation were excluded from the designation.

The designation is part of a long-standing series of lawsuits between the Center of Biological Diversity, a Tucson-based environmental organization, and the agency.

CBD spokesman Michael Robinson said the group expects Fish and Wildlife to produce a draft recovery plan this spring, but said the agency has been reluctant to create the habitat designation.

Tuesday’s announcement means that federal agencies will have to consider the impact on jaguars before approving uses such as mining. The designation doesn’t apply to private land unless the owners propose a use requiring federal funding or permits.

“It serves as a yellow flag for federal agencies that now have an additional responsibility to protect the habitat,” said Jeff Humphrey, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman.

The habitat could make it more difficult for the proposed Rosemont Mine to win federal approval. While Fish and Wildlife has stated that the mine’s use of 5,000 acres in the Santa Ritas would not be forbidden under habitat protection rules, environmental groups will challenge this funding.

From the Utah Geological Survey (industry-aiding governmental source): "This Uinta Basin water study will help alleviate problems associated with produced saline water as a means to facilitate increased conventional hydrocarbon production and help resolve water-related environmental barriers to possible oil shale development."(Associated Press) SALT LAKE CITY – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on its draft study of a company’s proposal to significantly boost its gas and oil production in the Uintah Basin.

Newfield Exploration Co., Utah’s largest crude oil producer, would be able to add 5,750 new oil and gas wells over a 16-year period at an existing field under the plan.

The Deseret News reported the Monument Butte Project covers 120,000 acres near Myton, and would result in 170 miles of new roads and new pipelines in Duchesne and Uintah counties.

The BLM says its plan is the most restrictive for new oil and gas development across sensitive landscapes while still meeting project needs.

The agency will accept public comment on the plan through Feb. 4.

Organized in 1984 to protect the free flow of the Gila and San Francisco Rivers and the wilderness characteristics of the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness areas, the Gila Conservation Coalition (GCC) is a partnership of local environmental and conservation groups and concerned individuals that promote conservation of the Upper Gila River Basin and surrounding lands. The GCC was instrumental in stopping the Hooker and Conner Dam proposals in the 1980s. The group also achieved protection of the East Fork of the Gila River from road building and partial closure of the wild San Francisco River to ORV use.Gila Conservation Coalition is looking to 2014

By Susan Dunlap, Silver City Sun-News

New Mexico will make decisions that determine the fate of the Gila River and the Gila Conservation Coalition held a meeting Thursday night at the Student Memorial Building at WNMU to begin gearing up to try to save the last free-flowing river in the state.

A group of approximately 30 concerned citizens, ranging from high school students to retirees, gathered in the third floor seminar room on campus to get an idea of what they could do to try to influence the outcome of the Gila River. Led by Gila Conservation Coalition Executive Director Allyson Siwik, the group listened to the options and the upcoming events they can attend to stay informed and make their voices heard.

In 2014 the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) will begin to provide reports giving analyses of the different options on the table and will make their final recommendation to the Bureau of Reclamation whether to use federal funding under the Arizona Water Settlements Act to divert 14,000 acre feet of water from the Gila River or to pursue non-diversion conservation alternatives. The federal government has promised to provide up to $62 million in funding if New Mexico opts to build a diversion project. But the Gila River diversion project is estimated to cost $300 million dollars.

Click here to read more…