2016 Sacred Water, Sacred Forests Camp

May 28, 2016 @ 9:00 am – May 30, 2016 @ 5:00 pm
NV 89301

A Gathering for Celebration, Community, Movement Building, Ecology, and Land Defense

Formerly Sacred Water Tour

Join us on Memorial Day weekend for a campout and tour of basin and range country threatened by the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s proposed groundwater pipeline project. This year’s Sacred Water, Sacred Forests Camp will bring visitors to the lands affected by the water grab to learn about the project and the threatened sacred lands and waters.

Activities will include a community BBQ dinner, workshops on ecology and politics, visits to important sites in the area as well as active forest-destruction operations, and discussions on organizing to protect this land. We’ll be joined by members of the community, local indigenous peoples, environmental activists, writers, photographers, ecologists, and many others. Families and kids are welcome!

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Location: The camp will take place at the beautiful Cleve Creek campground, 12 miles north of Highway 6-50 at the base of the Schell Creek Mountains, between Ely and Baker. This incredible site in Spring Valley is located across from one of the most important sacred and ecological sites in the region, the swamp cedars, and across from Great Basin National Park.

Background Information: There are many threats to the Great Basin. Driven by real estate speculation, the Southern Nevada Water Authority—the corporate-like utility that provides water to the Las Vegas area—is planning to extract millions of gallons of water annually from the eastern Great Basin. A more immediate problem is the destruction of hundreds of thousands of acres of pinyon-pine and juniper forests across the intermountain west in the name of “restoration.”

The Great Basin is a beautiful and remote place, full of rugged limestone mountains, broad valleys, a startling array of wildlife, and some of the remotest locations in the U.S.. This land is home to indigenous nations including Goshute, Shoshone, Paiute, and Washoe nations, who have lived here for countless generations.

The tour will take place in Eastern Nevada near Great Basin National Park, in Spring, Snake, Cave, Lake, and Delamar Valleys.

Snake Range, from Cleve Creek campground, 2015 Sacred Water Tour

Snake Range, from Cleve Creek campground, 2015 Sacred Water Tour

Transportation: Carpools may be available. Please post here if you can offer a ride, or if you’d like to come but need a ride. If you plan to drive, a vehicle with relatively high clearance is recommended. All the roads are passable to two-wheel drive passenger vehicles but can be slippery when wet, so four-wheel drive can be helpful. Any car can make it to the campground, and carpools may be available from there.

Camping: We will be camping in remote locations more than one hour from any services. Bring everything you need for the weekend: food, water, sleeping bags, tent — and a full tank of gas.

Post here if you can share gear or you need to borrow from someone else. This can be a harsh climate. Expect temperatures between 40 and 80 degrees. It could be sunny and baking hot, or cold and rainy. Snow is even possible, but could make our dirt roads impassable (we hope for no snow). Be prepared for all weather conditions! Bring extra clothes, sunglasses, and extra food & water!

Young Pronghorn Antelope near SNWA test wells

Young Pronghorn Antelope near SNWA test wells

Planning Ahead: If you are considering attending the Water Tour, please read this page.

Mark your calendars now! The itinerary is not yet planned, so stay posted for more details. If you’re a local or work on the issue and are interested in collaborating more closely, or have some ideas for this, please contact us. We would especially enjoy having those with a particular or specialized knowledge of the ecology, hydrology, or history of the region.

The tour will be guided by members of the Shoshone nation and members of Deep Green Resistance. This is not a full-service tour (we aren’t planning to cook for everyone or take care of all your needs). We will be in rugged locations with little to no services. Although the Cleve Creek basecamp is a developed campsite with pit toilets, be aware that it is still a campsite, and plan accordingly. There is a creek for water but it should be treated before being considered drinkable.

Background Information:

Video introduction to the issue

Pictures from the 2014 Sacred Water Tour

Report-back from the 2014 Sacred Water Tour

Pictures from 2015

Report-back from 2015

Background information about the SNWA Water Grab

Great Basin Water Network website


Do you have questions? Comments? Want to get involved? Do you need special accommodations? Comment below or email max@maxwilbert.org.

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