Lawsuit Challenges Unwarranted Killing of Colorado Mountain Lions, Black Bears

Fish and Wildlife Service to Spend More Than $4.5 Million on Lethal Project

     by Center for Biological Diversity

DENVER— Three conservation and animal-protection organizations sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today for funding a Colorado Parks and Wildlife plan to kill hundreds of mountain lions and dozens of black bears without analyzing the risks to the state’s environment.

The multi-year plan to kill black bears and mountain lions in the Piceance Basin and Upper Arkansas River areas of Colorado is intended to artificially boost the mule deer population where habitat has been degraded by oil and gas drilling. The killing plans were approved despite overwhelming public opposition, and over the objection of leading scientific voices in Colorado.

Today’s lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Colorado by the Center for Biological Diversity, The Humane Society of the United States and WildEarth Guardians. The lawsuit faults the Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to adequately analyze the impacts of these lethal predator-control experiments under the National Environmental Policy Act.

“It’s appalling that the Fish and Wildlife Service bankrolled this killing without bothering to truly examine the environmental risks,” said Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney at the Center. “Reckless oil and gas drilling has destroyed mule deer habitat, and outdated predator-control techniques can’t fix that. Slaughtering bears and mountain lions will only further damage these ecosystems.”

The Piceance Basin Plan will last three years. Colorado Parks and Wildlife will use specialized contractors, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program, to kill mountain lions and black bears using inhumane traps, snares and hounds. The killing will be focused on and around the Roan Plateau, considered one of the most biologically diverse areas in Colorado. Up to 75 black bears and 45 cougars will be killed for a cost of approximately $645,000 — 75 percent of which will be paid for with federal taxpayer dollars.

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorizing the use of millions of public dollars meant to promote wildlife restoration to kill Colorado’s bears and mountain lions is outrageous,” said Stuart Wilcox, staff attorney for WildEarth Guardians based in Denver. “Scapegoating species key to ensuring Colorado’s ecosystems remain resilient because the state wants to ignore the true impacts of the filthy fossil fuel industry adds insult to injury.”

The Upper Arkansas River Plan will last nine years, during which time Colorado Parks and Wildlife plans to kill more than 50 percent of the mountain lion population in the area. Colorado expects the killing of up to 234 mountain lions will cost nearly $4 million, 75 percent of which will be federally funded.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service has an obligation under federal law to evaluate the environmental implications of its actions, relying on the best available science, and to allow the public to review that analysis,” said Anna Frostic, managing attorney for wildlife and animal research at The Humane Society of the United States. “The agency has failed to comply with these statutory duties, ignoring potentially devastating impacts on black bears and mountain lions.”

Rather than provide an independent analysis disclosing the environmental impacts of the Piceance Basin and Upper Arkansas River plans, the Fish and Wildlife Service tried to adopt an environmental assessment prepared by Wildlife Services, a wholly separate agency, whose purpose is to kill so-called “nuisance” animals nationwide.

Background
Mountain lions and black bears are critical to their native ecosystems. Mountain lion predation produces carrion that feeds more bird and mammal scavengers than that of any other predator on the planet. Black bears’ diverse diet of fruits results in broad dispersion of seeds, and their foraging behavior creates disturbances that allow sunlight to reach plants below the forest canopy, making them “ecosystem engineers.”

Bears and cougars are vulnerable to persecution and could be extirpated from these two regions as a result of the plans. The Fish and Wildlife Service failed to consider the many substantial environmental harms that are likely to result from the plans, such as the harm to the local ecosystem of this potential extirpation and the suffering and deaths of orphaned cubs and kittens.

Protect the Mojave Desert from Military Expansion

     by Basin and Range Watch

Mojave Desert Habitat, Sheep Range, Desert National Wildlife Refuge

The US Air Force is proposing to close off 220,000 acres of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge and an additional 80,000 acres of lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management to expand and enhance military operations. The Air Force is proposing to increase the acreage of the existing withdrawal area to enhance testing, training and operational security; and will look at options for extending the duration of the existing withdrawal timeframe (20 years, 50 years, or making the military withdrawal permanent until such time as lands are no longer needed for military testing or training).

The deadline for the comments on the Draft Legislative Environmental Impact Statement is Thursday, March 8th, 2018.

Please support Alternative 1 which maintains the Status Quo and allows the Air Force to continue existing operations while maintain existing access.

The Military Land Withdrawal Act of 1999 withdrew about 2.9 million acres of public land for military use at the Air Force Range in southern Nevada–a huge area of desert basins and mountains–and now that the current withdrawal is set to expire on November 6, 2021, the military wants to take more. Congress will have to make the final decision on the withdrawal through legislation.


The proposed expansion areas are in green

The Desert National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1936 and is managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service primarily to protect desert bighorn sheep. It encompasses 1.6 million acres of prime habitat for bighorn sheep, desert tortoises, and other Mojave Desert species, as well as natural communities of Joshua trees, limestone endemic plants, sand dunes, natural desert rock pavement, big galleta-grass washes, and creosote-bursage shrub-lands. The mountains are cloaked in pinyon-juniper woodland with ponderosa pine forest as well. The refuge supports a population of about 600 bighorn sheep.

Desert bighorn sheep

Impacts to the Desert National Wildlife Refuge from the proposed expansion would include:

Disturbance to desert bighorn sheep from increased bombing, over flights, sonic booms, noise and vibrations.

The Air Force would build 115 miles of fence in pristine wilderness in the refuge. Fencing would cut off wildlife connectivity and disturb desert tortoise habitat.

Two large runways would be constructed on undisturbed playas on the refuge. The runways would be 6,000 ft. long and 90 feet wide.

Thirty threat emitters would be built on concrete pads and several miles of new roads will need to be constructed to built these facilities.

 Misfires of increased overflights and bombing will increase the threat of wildfires on the refuge.

Vibrations from bombing and sonic booms will threaten sensitive archeology sites.

Over 200,000 acres of public access would be cut off and nearly 70 miles of the Alamo Road would be closed.


Desert tortoise

Potentially up to 18,000 acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management near Beatty, Nevada would be closed off to create a buffer from potential misfires for Hellfire Drone tests on the base. This would create the following conflicts:

Recreation: The area is very scenic and now home to a network of new mountain bike trails. The trails were built on BLM land by an organization called STORMOV. It would hurt the local economy if the Air Force takes this land away from the public.  The area is being discovered by mountain bikers, hikers, horse-back riders and other recreationists.

Rhyolite cliffs along the Windmill Road in the proposed expansion area

Explosions could contaminate the headwaters of the Amargosa River. Contaminants from explosives could impact the people and wildlife that depend on this watershed. This is the headwaters of the Amargosa River and the region has already been impacted by past nuclear tests.

A large fence would be built around the 18,000 acre base expansion. The fence would impede connectivity for desert bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope.

The fence would also be built right through the habitat for the Amargosa toad, an endemic amphibian found only in the Oasis Valley, Nevada. It has a very small range.

Amargosa toad

Because the existing base is about 2.9 million acres, we would like to request that the Air Force utilize this vast space over taking an additional 300,000 acres.

 

Below is a sample letter that you can copy and paste.  It should be mailed to the US Air Force official address for  comments. It would help to add a personal message so they will not dismiss your letter as a repeat message.

 
The US Air Force is proposing to expand the Nevada Test and Training Range over approximately 300,000 more acres of land now managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management, in order to increase irregular warfare training, and for buffers for bombing targets in the military ranges (the military already controls almost 3 million acres here already, with no public access). This will close off recreational opportunities to the public, and prevent biologists from managing bighorn sheep in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge in the best and most transparent way. Hundreds of miles of fences will be built across the Sheep Range that may hinder wildlife movement and genetic connectivity. Increased bombing, over-lights. Explosions, over-flights and sonic booms will disturb bighorn sheep and other wildlife. More air traffic and bombing will increase the risk of wildfire on the refuge and elsewhere. The increased use of explosions will potentially contaminate watersheds in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge and the Amargosa River. More explosions may damage sensitive archeology sites. Close to 200 miles of public access to roads and mountain bike trails would be cutoff. This will hurt local economies.

Public land is also proposed to be withdrawn for military use near the town of Beatty NV, impacting recreation and pronghorn antelope habitat.

The existing base is 2.9 million acres – about the size of the state of Delaware. Please explore an alternative that utilizes the existing land on the base instead of impacting a cutting off access to an additional 300,000 acres of public land.
Please select Alternative 1 which maintains the Status Quo and allows the Air Force to continue existing operations while maintain existing access, and Alternative 4C–a 20-year withdrawal period before the next review. 

For more information, see Friends of Nevada Wilderness and Basin and Range Watch.

And please sign our Petition to Congress asking them to support Alternative One.

Help Stop Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s War On Prairie Dogs in State Parks

     by Prairie Protection Colorado

Prairie Protection Colorado (PPC) has been investigating the poisoning of prairie dogs in both Cherry Creek State Park and Chatfield State Park that occurred during 2017. During this year alone, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) poisoned over 3700 prairie dog burrows in these state parks with the incredibly dangerous and inhumane phosphine gas, Fumitoxin. When attempting to discover the reasons for this mass extermination, we were told that the prairie dogs were inhumanely gassed to death for three reasons:

  • They degrade vegetation (this certainly was not the case in the areas that were poisoned).
  • They were damaging trails (there were no trails in the areas poisoned).
  • Neighboring subdivisions were complaining (there were no neighboring subdivisions in the areas poisoned).

PPC immediately started calling the park managers to inquire into these poisonings. Cherry Creek State Park’s manager, Jason Trujillo, did speak with us but claimed that he knew nothing about the poisonings except that he had hired Wildlife Services to kill. He said he didn’t know where they poisoned or what they used to kill. We then reached out to Chatfield’s manager, Stuart Hayes, both through phone calls and emails and received no reply. Once we went up the chain and talked to their supervisors, Wendi Padia and Mark Leslie, we were met with silence and a refusal to answer any direct questions.

For over a month, we struggled to secure a meeting with Windi and Jason about the poisoning at Cherry Creek State Park since they have a Prairie Dog Management Plan that they clearly violated in multiple ways. Finally, Windi and Jason agreed to meet us but only over coffee at a Panera Bread restaurant, even though we repeatedly requested to meet at Cherry Creek State Park. We requested to meet at the park in order to have a productive conversation by walking the poisoned areas with these officials, getting to understand their prairie dog policies on the ground, and having an opportunity to better understand, through on the ground evidence, why they choose to poison over 2100 burrows this past October with burrowing owls appearing in the park for the first time in over 10 years. Even after repeated attempts to arrange our meeting in the park, we were told that we either meet at Panera Bread or not at all. We attended this meeting and were treated with hostility followed by an inability to be transparent and honest with us. Both Windi and Jason would not answer our questions directly and they behaved like politicians trying to circumvent the truth though the power of manipulative language.

As this was occurring, PPC submitted several Colorado Open Records Requests to CPW and Wildlife Services and discovered that CPW was withholding emails, maps and other information from our organization in violation of CORA law. In addition, Jason Trujillo knew exactly where the prairie dogs were killed and had discussed the poison used, Fumitoxin, in several emails. We now had evidence that he was lying to us about what had occurred in the park.

CPW, along with Wildlife Services, has a long history of mismanaging Colorado’s wildlife. Just recently they began a corrupt war on mountain lions and bears and began chasing them down with dogs and trapping and shooting them to boost mule deer populations in Colorado. Thankfully, WildEarth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity brought them to federal court and have put a hold on their plan by insisting that they actually take science into consideration when making such extreme decisions. CPW has also opposed wolf re-introduction into Colorado effectively nullifying advocates attempts to bring back this amazing keystone species to a land that cries out for them. In all cases, polls show that the majority of Colorado residents oppose these decisions made by our wildlife officials. CPW appears to be in the business of killing wildlife, not protecting them and they have no interest in what the residents of Colorado want for our land and wildlife.

PPC, together with our members and concerned wildlife advocates, plan on holding CPW accountable for their shameful decisions to poison prairie dogs in our state parks. In order to be effective, we need YOU to get involved and help us with various action calls, protests, letters and participation in this campaign. If Colorado’s residents step up and insist that this madness stop, we CAN change policy and insist that CPW officials are held accountable to the wishes of Colorado residents to protect our rapidly diminishing wildlife communities. This would be the first step in insisting that our state wildlife representatives begin protecting and conserving wildlife and land at this very critical time in our history. The prairie dogs need us, along with countless other species, and we can no longer stand back and wring our hands in disgust.

Take Action!

Colorado Parks and Wildlife: STOP Poisoning Wildlife In Our State Parks!
PPC and Care2 have put together a petition to sign and share to help us stop the poisoning of wildlife on our state parks. Please Sign Our Petition and help us illustrate that we deeply care about our prairie communities in our state park and that we will not stand by as our state’s wildlife officials poison a keystone species.

Write and Call CPW Agents Windi Padia and Jason Trujillo

It is important to let both Windi Padia (CPW north east region supervisor) and Jason Trujillo (Cherry Creek State Park manager) know that many Colorado residents care about prairie dogs and prairie communities in our state parks and that we will not tolerate the poisoning of our wildlife. You can contact them with your concerns at the following numbers and emails:

Windi Padia:
windi.padia@state.co.us
303-291-7361

Jason Trujillo:
jason.trujillo@state.co.us
303-690-1166 ext.6565

Donate to PPC

PPC always appreciates your financial contributions. Currently, our attorney is working with us on the violations CPW has committed in terms of policy and Open Records Requests. Your donations help make this work possible. You can donate by clicking on the orange button in the upper right section of this email.

Together, we can make a difference for the rapidly diminishing prairie dog colonies along Colorado’s Front Range and the communities they support.

Thank you for your continued support! Please watch your inbox for our newsletters so you can help ensure the continued existence of healthy prairie dog colonies on our state parks.

Prairie Protection Colorado
Fighting for the Prairies
prairieprotectioncolorado.org
prairieprotectioncolorado@gmail.com
720-722-1691

Oppose the Palen Solar Project—Comments Due December 11

     by Basin and Range Watch

Ask for the No Action Alternative
Copy letter at the end of this newsletter and send to BLM

November wildflowers blooming on the proposed site of the Palen Solar Project

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Riverside County, CA are seeking comments by December 11th, 2017 on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Review for the proposed Palen Solar Project – a 4,200 acre (6.5 square mile) photovoltaic solar project.

EDF Renewable Energy has applied for a Right-of-Way (ROW) from the BLM to construct a 500 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic facility and 6.7-mile single circuit 230 kilovolt generation interconnection (gen-tie) transmission line on public lands near Desert Center, Riverside County, California.

The project site has a long history of attempts to develop large scale solar energy in its boundaries. It started out in 2009 as a concentrated solar thermal parabolic trough project and later in 2013 as two solar power towers. In both cases, the developers withdrew their proposals.

The project would destroy a large tract of desert sand dune habitat in the California Desert. The habitat is home to many sand dwelling species of plants and animals. The area has cultural significance to Native American Tribes. The project would have significant visual impacts to the landscape and will be visible from many adjacent conservation areas.

Dust and desertification from the construction of the Stateline Solar Project, San Bernardino, California (photo, BLM 2014)

The BLM is deciding on the proposed plan and 3 alternatives. The Proposed Action would develop a 500 MW solar facility of 4,200 acres of BLM land. The Reduced Footprint Alternative would develop a 500 MW project on 3,100 acres of land. It would avoid a major wash and this is the BLM’s preferred alternative. The Avoidance Alternative would develop up to 250 MW on 1,600 acres of land. This alternative follows the conservation recommendations of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan and avoids much of the sand transport corridor, but would still develop and impact a major portion of this habitat.

Reasons to Support the No Action Alternative:
The Project Would Have Big Visual Impacts

The BLM has designated the region as the lowest possible Visual Resource Management classification. VRM Class IV – with the objective “to provide for management activities, which require major modification of the existing character of the landscape.” But the project site is highly visible from the Palen-McCoy Wilderness Area, the Chuckwalla Wilderness Area and the Palen Dunes Area of Critical Environmental Concern which are all managed as VRM Class I and II. These classes have objectives of “preserving the existing character of the landscape” and “retaining the existing character of the landscape”.

The project would also be visible from the southeast portion of Joshua Tree National Park.

While the Chuckwalla Valley has seen much large-scale energy development in the last decade, the area around the Palen Dry Lake is less visually impacted due to surrounding topographic features. Development of a large-scale solar facility would change that.

Desert Sunlight Solar Project: The living desert on these public lands has been transformed to a single use solar project.

The Project Would Impact Cultural Resources

Colorado River Indian Tribes have long opposed the construction of large solar projects located in the region. Many projects have resulted in cultural artifacts and human remains being removed by construction activity. The landscapes themselves are sacred to the tribes and the industrial construction of existing projects have damaged several thousand acres.

In 2012, several artifacts were dug up and destroyed during the construction of the Genesis Solar Project located along the Ford Dry Lake just east of the proposed Palen Solar Project.

The Project Would Impact Native Plants, Animals and important Sand Dune Habitat

The project is located on a sand sheet in the Colorado Desert sub-region of the Sonoran Desert. It is home to several species, many specialized to sandy habitats. Several specialized species are found on the dune habitat including the Harwood’s milkvetch and the Mojave fringe-toed lizard.

Mojave fringe-toed lizard on the project site

The Mojave fringe-toed lizard is adapted to fine-grained sand dune environments. It has specialized “fringes” on its toes that allow it to “swim” in sand. The species is found throughout the project site. Fringe-toed lizards often will be seen outside of their core habitat in this region crossing from one dune to another. The project would kill lizards and remove habitat.

Desert Kit Foxes suffered an outbreak of canine distemper during the construction of the nearby Genesis Solar Project in 2011. The Palen Solar Project could remove over 6 square miles of habitat for foxes.

Desert Kit Fox

Lake Effect/Avian Mortality

Several bird mortalities have been detected at many of the large-scale solar facilities that have been built in the last decade. Large-scale solar projects often resemble lakes and this is believed to be a cause of some of the bird mortality that is being detected on projects like the Desert Sunlight Project which is just under 20 miles west of the proposed Palen Solar Project. The hypothesis is that birds are attracted to the polarized light of the panels, but other factors like color may confuse birds into perceiving the panels as water. It is believed that other resources like insect prey and artificial ponds also attract birds. From 2012 to 2016, 3,545 mortalities from 183 species were detected on California solar facilities. Some of these mortalities have been listed species including the the Federally Endangered Yuma clapper rail and Federally Threatened Western yellow-billed cuckoo. Waterbirds such as White pelican and Western grebe have been found dead at solar projects. These projects are very large and only a small percentage of certain projects are surveyed so it is likely that many mortalities are missed because they are taken by scavengers.

The proposed Palen Solar Power Project would be located between the Desert Sunlight Solar Project to the west and the Genesis Solar Project to the east. All three construction alternatives of the Palen Solar Power Project would add significant cumulative additional impacts to the bird mortality of the region. More information on avian solar mortality can be found here.

Large-scale solar projects in the hot desert cause air quality problems. Dust control in hot, arid climates is very problematic. The removal of established vegetation, biological soil crusts and centuries old desert pavement creates opportunities for dust to be airborne every time the wind blows. Not only does fugitive dust create problems for visual and biological resources, it creates issues for public health as well. Efforts to mitigate fugitive dust on large desert regions often fall short.

Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) is a common issue that impacts desert communities when dust is stirred up. Valley fever has been spread by large-scale solar development in desert regions.

The California Independent System Operator (CaISO), California Energy Commission (CEC), and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) during Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (RETI 2.0) meetings explain that California now has so much utility-scale solar that the state is over-generating in peak times.

Non-transmission alternatives can solve this problem: distributed battery storage paired with rooftop solar systems could offer peak load shaving. Net metering generators could be paid for the amount of solar energy they store, instead of selling excess back to the grid. Dispatchable technologies could be investigated in this distributed approach, instead of spending billions of dollars on new thousand-mile-long transmission lines. There are new models worth investigating to avoid giant land use costs of utility-scale solar and wind projects. And of course energy conservation and efficiency can help ease peak over-generation. Parking lot structures in California could produce 39,000 MW of solar energy.

Sample Comment Letter to Write BLM

You can email, fax or mail your comment letter by December 11th to:

Bureau of Land Management
C/O Aspen Environmental Group
235 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, California 94104
email: palensolar@blm.gov
Fax: 760-833-7199 or you can comment from this link.

To Whom it May Concern,

Please choose the No Action/No Project Alternative for the following reasons:

The Palen Solar Project would create big visual impacts for the region. A solar project of any size will be visible from two wilderness areas and Joshua Tree National Park. A No Action Alternative would preserve part of the visual landscape in the region.

The Palen Solar Project will destroy Native American artifacts and cultural landscapes. This can not be mitigated.

The Palen Solar Project will impact many native desert species and damage an important and unique sand dune habitat. All 3 development alternatives will remove habitat for Mojave fringe-toed lizard, Harwood’s milkvetch, desert tortoise, kit fox and desert microphyll woodlands. Sand dune habitats are unique and should not be sacrificed.

The Palen Solar Project will produce a “lake effect” which could attract birds and cause death or injury through collision and dehydration. Other recently built solar projects in the region have detected large bird mortality numbers and these include Threatened and Endangered species. Adding an additional 2 to 6 square miles of solar panels will cumulatively add to this problem.

The Palen Solar Project will create fugitive dust. The removal of established vegetation, biological soil crusts and centuries old desert pavement creates opportunities for dust to be airborne every time the wind blows. Not only does fugitive dust create problems for visual and biological resources, it creates issues for public health as well. Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) has been a problem in the region.

The Palen Solar Project will contribute to California’s problem of over-generating large-scale solar energy during peak times. It will also create a need for more unsightly and expensive transmission lines. All of the environmental impacts associated with the Palen Solar Project are not necessary because non-transmission alternatives can solve this problem. Distributed battery storage paired with rooftop solar systems would alleviate this issue. We can meet renewable energy needs in more environmentally friendly ways.

While the Palen Solar Project lies in a Development Focus Area established under the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), it also predates the establishment of the DRECP and the BLM is not committed to following the Development Focus Area recommendations in the DRECP. In this case, any development in the location would create significant environmental impacts for the region.

Thank you
(Your name and info here)

 

Navajo Sign Law Criminalizing Human Trafficking

Navajo Nation, Human Trafficking, Navajo Nation Law against Human Trafficking

“The breeding ground for trafficking is poverty, alcohol, drugs and gambling,” Brown said. “On the Navajo Nation, we have all of these.” iStock

Nathaniel Brown on Human Trafficking: ‘Two years ago, I didn’t think we really had a problem … I have a permanent lump in my throat.’

A new Navajo law criminalizes human trafficking on the country’s largest American Indian reservation.

Navajo President Russell Begaye on August 7 signed the Navajo Nation Law against Human Trafficking, signaling his commitment to take a stance against an international crime that targets some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. The law, which amends the tribe’s criminal code, also calls for cooperation among government and civil institutions to define, prevent and combat the illegal “transporting, trading or dealing” of people.

“This is about strengthening our laws and collaborating with county, state and federal officials to stop the trafficking of our people,” Begaye said in a phone interview. “We are starting to see more missing children and teens, especially on the major corridors. We need to put families on alert so they know the issues, and we need to make sure all our people are protected.”

The Navajo Nation Council on July 19 unanimously approved the law, which defines trafficking as “the illegal recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of a person, especially one from another country, with the intent to hold the person captive or exploit the person for labor, services or body parts.” Such offenses include forcing people into prostitution or marriage, slavery, sweat-shop labor or the harvesting of organs from unwilling donors.

The Navajo Nation condemns these actions, which constitute “a serious offense and a violation of human rights,” the law states. Yet trafficking—especially on or around Indian reservations—remains largely invisible, said Council Delegate Nathaniel Brown, who sponsored the legislation in March.

“Two years ago, I didn’t think we really had a problem,” Brown told ICMN. “But then I started looking into it. When you really see this, you can’t un-see it. I have a permanent lump in my throat.”

Brown attended training sessions with leaders of other Arizona tribes, along with the Arizona Human Trafficking Council. He learned that trafficking is a problem on tribal land—but because federal agencies are not required to report ethnicity of victims, it is unknown just how widespread it is.

On a global scale, human trafficking is the third most profitable crime, after drugs and arms dealing, the United Nations reported in 2014. More than 2.5 million people worldwide have fallen victim to the crime, which is considered a $36 billion industry.

Indigenous people are especially vulnerable, Brown said. Traffickers target runaways or children from broken homes. They use social media or online advertising to lure children or teens to metro areas where they are often forced into prostitution.

“The breeding ground for trafficking is poverty, alcohol, drugs and gambling,” Brown said. “On the Navajo Nation, we have all of these.”

Brown said the reality of trafficking is “sickening.” As opposed to drug or gun dealing, sex can be sold “over and over again,” with victims having an average of 12 sexual partners per day, he said.

“Pimps can make their money over and over again with trafficking,” Brown said. “People who are trafficked become empty shells. They have no hope. They have hit bottom and they don’t trust anyone at all: not the police or the laws or the system.”

The new law acknowledges the jurisdictional limitations on tribal land and calls on the Navajo Nation to cooperate “bilaterally and multilaterally” with other organizations to suppress the crime. It also seeks coordination with think tanks to analyze trafficking on the reservation and take measures to curb it—including advocacy, education, counseling and training to prevent trafficking and protect victims.

The first step to combat trafficking is awareness, said Council Delegate Amber Crotty, who serves as chairwoman of the Sexual Assault Prevention Subcommittee. She wants to see immediate efforts to raise awareness and educate the public.

“We know we have major corridors where there is national traffic coming through the reservation,” she said. “We know these corridors are prime gateways for traffickers to come in and prey on the vulnerable. We also know they’re using social media or other means to promise work, movie careers, things like that to lure people in. This is happening in Indian country. As we learn more about it, people can be educated on it. We can prevent individuals from being trafficked into the sex trade.”

The new law is the first on the Navajo Nation to address human trafficking, Crotty said. It adds a specific, sex-related crime to the criminal code and allows law enforcement officers to make arrests. A human trafficking conviction will carry a fine and a minimal prison sentence.

But the law also starts a conversation with federal partners, who can enforce stricter punishments, Crotty said. “As with any law, this is the beginning of a process,” she said. “This is just the first step. We will continue to layer onto our criminal justice system to change with the times, to add more laws against cyber bullying and revenge porn, to modernize our criminal code.”

Passage of the Navajo law came as Sen. Tom Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, hosted a listening session on trafficking in Indian country. During the July 26 hearing, held in Washington, Udall called on the federal government to do more to keep Indian country safe.

“Because Native Americans disproportionally face high rates of poverty and trauma, they are especially vulnerable and frequent targets of human trafficking,” Udall said in a statement released after the hearing. “But the fact is that the federal government knows very little about the rates of human trafficking on tribal lands. And it knows even less about human trafficking of individual Native Americans.”

Udall also called for improved data collection on human trafficking on tribal lands. He asked the Government Accountability Office to research the prevalence of trafficking in Native communities, the frequency with which law enforcement agencies encounter it, victims’ services and efforts to increase prosecution.

“Like with other crimes in Indian country, addressing human trafficking will require Congress to look at and pass legislation that addresses issues of jurisdiction and inter-agency cooperation,” he said. “I’m hopeful that we can work together to provide tribes with more resources to combat human trafficking and ensure that all Native victims of crime get the support they so desperately need.”

Mountain Biking is a Threat to New Wilderness Designation

by George Wuerthner / The Wildlife News

Several years ago, I published a book on motorized recreation and its impacts on public lands. In doing the research for that book, one of the statistics that I found interesting is the demographic profile of the “average” motorized ORV user. They tended to be male, between the ages of 20 and 40, and had incomes at or slightly above the national average (It takes a lot of money to buy pick-ups, snowmobiles and dirt bikes).

Another interesting statistic is that most motorized users had an “outlaw” attitude and regularly violated trail closures and felt like they were entitled to go anyplace their machines could carry them. They were adrenaline junkies, and like spoiled children, they groused at being told they were banned from some landscapes.

Mountain bikers, as a demographic group, fit the profile of off-road vehicle users. They are predominately male, between 20-40, and tend to have above average incomes and often have the same outlaw attitude and sense of entitlement.

We see this sense of entitlement in the continual commandeering of trails and/or illegal construction of new trails on public lands by mountain bikers. When the Forest Service or BLM seeks to close some of these trails (very infrequently done) mountain bikers squeal like a poked pig, claiming they’re being “discriminated against.”

A good example is the reaction of mountain bikers in Wyoming to closure of the Dunior Special Management Area near Dubois Wyoming. The Dunior has been a candidate for wilderness for years.  But without seeking any permission, mountain bikers began to ride in the area and upgrade trails. The Shoshone National Forest finally closed the trails, and the mountain bikers screamed about their “loss” of access. Access that was garnered illegally.

A similar situation exists in the Palisades Wilderness Study Area on the border of Idaho and Wyoming. Mountain bikers have commandeered trails in the area and are fighting to oppose wilderness designation for the area. This conflict would not have occurred if the Bridger Teton National Forest had simply unambiguously closed the trails to mountain bikers. Afterall a Wilderness Study Area is supposed to be managed for its wilderness qualities until Congress determines its fate and mechanical access is not permitted.

A comparable conflict is being precipitated on the Lewis and Clark National Forest in Montana where mountain bikers are regularly riding in a wilderness study areas like the Big Snowy Mountains. Similarly, mountain bikers regularly ride in the Gallatin Range, another Wilderness Study Area on the Gallatin/Custer National Forest.

When the Forest Service limits mountain bike use, the mountain bikers scream that they are being denied access to public lands. On the contrary, most trails currently used by mountain bikers are available to anyone to walk. The only thing that is being closed is access to their machines (bikes).  Most of these users are in better than average physical condition.

While there are local and regional mountain biking advocacy groups as well the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) all promoting more mountain bike access and trail construction, there is virtually no push back from conservation groups. I am not aware of a single employee of any conservation group whose sole responsibility is to monitor mountain bike use in proposed wilderness areas and to provide push back and support to public lands managers who might want to limit mountain biking in these areas.

I believe if mountain biking isn’t controlled and contained just as motorized ORV use has been limited, we will find it nearly impossible to designate any new wilderness areas.

Indeed, some of the more aggressive mountain bikers are even seeking to scuttle the prohibition on mountain biking in designated wilderness, which will open the door to a host of other interests to argue they too should be given access to the these lands. In a sense mountain biking, to use a cliché, is the camel’s nose under the tent.

Mountain biking is part of the outdoor recreation industry that is more about physical exercise, challenging one’s prowess on a machine and use of our public lands as outdoor gymnasiums than about appreciation of natural systems and/or protecting the ecological integrity of the landscape. It’s about speed and domination.

Challenging oneself isn’t necessarily bad. We all, I think, enjoy challenges. And mountain biking is great fun. I ride my bike regularly on trails specifically designed for mountain bike use.

However, we must recognize that unlimited access to public lands whether by extractive industries like logging, mining or livestock grazing or recreational users, can threaten the wildlife and ecological whole of the land.

We have so few landscapes specifically set aside to preserve ecological integrity that we must make protection of natural function a primary function.  This is an idea that seems foreign to many mountain bikers, just as it seems incomprehensible to many motorized recreationists or a smaller sub-set of bird watchers, hikers and backpacker.

In the end, we must accept limits. One of the lessons one teaches young children as a parent is the need for restrictions on behavior. You can’t always get what you want, but you can get what you need.  Far too many mountain bikers remind me of spoiled children who put on a tantrum when they are told that no they can’t do something.

I may be optimistic, but I am hoping to see a maturing of the mountain biking culture. After all you don’t need to bike in roadless lands to get an adrenaline high.  You do need to consider one’s impacts on other people and critters.

We need wild places for a host of reason, including protecting sensitive wildlife, ecological processes, and scenic beauty. But perhaps one of the most important reasons for creating wilderness areas is that it teaches us humility and self-limits. These are lessons the mountain biking community could use.

Subscribe to DGR email lists for news & events

We’re improving some technical things on our end for blog subscriptions.

To subscribe to news & events for this chapter and/or for our international lists, use the form in the sidebar, or browse all DGR lists.

If you received this post by email, it means you’re subscribed via wordpress.com. You’ll keep getting emails for regular posts, but not for calendar event postings or for exclusive alerts. To get them all, subscribe to the list as described above. Then login at wordpress.com to unfollow from the old method.

If you have any questions or run into any problems, email webmaster@deepgreenresistance.org

Deep Green Resistance Southwest April News Roundup

Protect Pinyon-Juniper Forests Campaign

10408937_1152182091482706_3597032084269905075_n

Photo Credit: Ray Bloxham/SUWA showing the aftermath of treatments in the Modena Canyon Wildlands.

Deep Green Resistance and WildLands Defense are advocating for a moratorium on all pinyon-juniper deforestation in the Great Basin and we need your help. Pinyon-juniper forests are being wantonly killed as weeds while their inherent ecological value is summarily ignored. These forests store carbon dioxide, dampen climate change, provide crucial wildlife habitat, protect watersheds, and have helped humans survive in the Great Basin for millennia. A moratorium gives us time to marshall our resources to put this destruction to a permanent end.

See for yourself the destruction of Pinyon-Juniper forests and then join the fight.

Don’t let them destroy these forests! Sign our petition here.

Also join us to ask BLM to stop clearcutting pinyon-juniper forests.

3/25/2016 The Language of Pinyon-Juniper Trees
2/3/2016 BLM & the Ranching Industry: a History of Collusion
1/5/2016 Pinyon-Juniper Forests: BLM’s False Claim to Virtue
12/13/2015 Pinyon-Juniper Forests: The Oldest Refugee Crisis
12/1/2015 Pinyon-Juniper Forests: An Ancient Vision Disturbed

Follow our Protect Pinyon-Juniper Forests campaign on Facebook for more updates.

Sacred Waters, Sacred Forests

Sacred Water Tour, 2014 (Photo: Max Wilbert)

Sacred Water Tour, 2014 (Photo: Max Wilbert)

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

Join us in May of 2016 for a tour of sacred lands threatened by the proposed Southern Nevada Water Authority groundwater pipeline. We will spend three days visiting the communities affected by the water grab, learning about the project and the threatened sacred lands and waters. For those already familiar, we’ll also be holding workshops on the ecology and politics of the region at a basecamp in Spring Valley. The tour will begin at Cleve Creek campground, 12 miles north of Highway 6-50 at the base of the Schell Creek Mountains.

The SNWA water grab is a prime example of how civilizations (cultures based on cities, as opposed to cultures based on perpetual care of their landbases, without resource drawdown) inevitably destroy the planet. A bloated power center, ruled by the ultra-rich and served by an underclass of poorly-paid workers, bolstered by bought-and-paid-for politicians (see Harry Reid) and misused public tax dollars,  reaches out and takes what it wants from the countryside.

One of the developers who wants the water grab has described the Mojave desert around Las Vegas as “flat desert stuff.”  They call living land a wasteland to justify its continuing plunder.  To indigenous peoples—Shoshone, Paiute, and Goshute—the land and water are sacred.

Anyone who respects land and visits this place will fall in love with it.  That’s the purpose of the Sacred Water Tour, an annual gathering organized by Deep Green Resistance for the past three years.  In coordination with local activists and indigenous people, the public is welcomed every Memorial Day weekend to tour the region.

Resistance Radio: Derrick Jensen interviews Max Wilbert about the SNWA water grab
2015 Sacred Water Tour: Sacred Water Under Threat
2014 Sacred Water Tour: Report-Back
Groundwater Pipeline Threatens Great Basin Desert, Indigenous Groups
Follow our Stop the SNWA Water Grab campaign page on Facebook for more updates


Regional News

Ivanpah-solarfluxcone

Image: Cone-shaped solar flux of high intensity as in the above 50 kiloWatt per square meter diagram, at Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System during operation.

Follow the DGR Southwest Coalition Facebook page for more news.


Deep Green Resistance News Service Excerpts

Derrick Jensen: When I Dream of a Planet In Recovery

The time after is a time of magic. Not the magic of parlor tricks, not the magic of smoke and mirrors, distractions that point one’s attention away from the real action. No, this magic is the real action. This magic is the embodied intelligence of the world and its members. This magic is the rough skin of sharks without which they would not swim so fast, so powerfully. This magic is the long tongues of butterflies and the flowers who welcome them. This magic is the brilliance of fruits and berries who grow to be eaten by those who then distribute their seeds along with the nutrients necessary for new growth. This magic is the work of fungi who join trees and mammals and bacteria to create a forest. This magic is the billions of beings in a handful of soil. This magic is the billions of beings who live inside you, who make it possible for you to live.

Derrick Jensen: Not In My Name

Let me say upfront: I like fun, and I like sex. But I’m sick to death of hearing that we need to make environmentalism fun and sexy. The notion is wrongheaded, disrespectful to the human and nonhuman victims of this culture, an enormous distraction that wastes time and energy we don’t have and undermines whatever slight chance we do have of developing the effective resistance required to stop this culture from killing the planet. The fact that so many people routinely call for environmentalism to be more fun and more sexy reveals not only the weakness of our movement but also the utter lack of seriousness with which even many activists approach the problems we face. When it comes to stopping the murder of the planet, too many environmentalists act more like they’re planning a party than building a movement.

Sustaining a Strategic Feminist Movement

At the core of this movement, there is an intangible force with a measurable impact. It’s an attitude, a mindset, a determination that compels us to push back against oppression. It’s the warrior mindset, the stand-and-fight stance of someone defending her home and the ones she loves.

Many burn with righteous anger. This is important – anger lets us know when people are hurting us and the ones we love. It’s part of the process of healing from trauma. Anger can rouse us from depression and move us past denial and bargaining. It is a step toward acceptance and taking action.

Rewriting the trauma script includes asserting our truth and lived experiences, and naming abuses instead of glossing over them. It includes discovering (and rediscovering) that we can rely on each other instead of on men. It’s mustering the courage to confront male violence. But it’s not going to be easy.

Ben Barker: Masculinity is Not Revolutionary

To be masculine, “to be a man,” says writer Robert Jensen in his phenomenal book, Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity, “…is a bad trade. When we become men—when we accept the idea that there is something called masculinity to which we could conform—we exchange those aspects of ourselves that make life worth living for an endless struggle for power that, in the end, is illusory and destructive not only to others but to ourselves.” Masculinity’s destructiveness manifests in men’s violence against women and men’s violence against the world. Feminist writer and activist Lierre Keith notes, “Men become ‘real men’ by breaking boundaries, whether it’s the sexual boundaries of women, the cultural boundaries of other peoples, the political boundaries of other nations, the genetic boundaries of species, the biological boundaries of living communities, or the physical boundaries of the atom itself.”

Too often, politically radical communities or subcultures that, in most cases, rigorously challenge the legitimacy of systems of power, somehow can’t find room in their analysis for the system of gender. Beyond that, many of these groups actively embrace male domination—patriarchy, the ruling religion of the dominant culture—though they may not say this forthright, with claims of “anti-sexism.” Or sexism may simply not ever be a topic of conversation at all. Either way, male privilege goes unchallenged, while public celebrations of the sadism and boundary-breaking inherent in masculinity remain the norm.

Film Review: The Wind that Shakes the Barley

All people interested in a living planet–and the resistance movement it will take to make that a reality–should watch this film. The courage found within every one forming their amazing culture of resistance–militant and non; including those who set up alternative courts, sang traditional songs and speak the traditional Gaelic language, open their homes for members of the resistance–is more than i have ever experienced, yet exactly what is needed in our current crisis. Those who fought back endured torture, murder, and the destruction of their communities. Yet, they still fought because they were guided by love and by what is right.


 

Deep Green Resistance: a quote from the book

In blunt terms, industrialization is a process of taking entire communi­ties of living beings and turning them into commodities and dead zones. Could it be done more “efficiently”? Sure, we could use a little less fossil fuels, but it still ends in the same wastelands of land, water, and sky. We could stretch this endgame out another twenty years, but the planet still dies. Trace every industrial artifact back to its source­ which isn’t hard, as they all leave trails of blood-and you find the same devastation: mining, clear-cuts, dams, agriculture. And now tar sands, mountaintop removal, wind farms (which might better be called dead bird and bat farms). No amount of renewables is going to make up for the fossil fuels or change the nature of the extraction, both of which are prerequisites for this way of life. Neither fossil fuels nor extracted substances will ever be sustainable; by definition, they will run out. Bringing a cloth shopping bag to the store, even if you walk there in your Global Warming Flip-Flops, will not stop the tar sands. But since these actions also won’t disrupt anyone’s life, they’re declared both real­istic and successful.

 


2014-04-16-likely-defeat

 

2016 Sacred Water, Sacred Forests Camp

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!

RSVP on Facebook

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

Questions?

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

Screenshot (131)

Deep Green Resistance Southwest February News Roundup

Protect Pinyon-Juniper Forests Campaign

Will Falk in a Pinyon-Juniper clearcut (Photo by Max Wilbert)

Will Falk in a Pinyon-Juniper clearcut (Photo by Max Wilbert)

Deep Green Resistance and WildLands Defense are advocating for a moratorium on all pinyon-juniper deforestation in the Great Basin and we need your help. Pinyon-juniper forests are being wantonly killed as weeds while their inherent ecological value is summarily ignored. These forests store carbon dioxide, dampen climate change, provide crucial wildlife habitat, protect watersheds, and have helped humans survive in the Great Basin for millennia. A moratorium gives us time to marshall our resources to put this destruction to a permanent end.

See for yourself the destruction of Pinyon-Juniper forests and then join the fight.

Sign this petition with us and ask BLM to stop clearcutting pinyon-juniper forests

2/3/2016 BLM & the Ranching Industry: a History of Collusion
1/5/2016 Pinyon-Juniper Forests: BLM’s False Claim to Virtue
12/13/2015 Pinyon-Juniper Forests: The Oldest Refugee Crisis
12/1/2015 Pinyon-Juniper Forests: An Ancient Vision Disturbed

Follow our Protect Pinyon-Juniper Forests campaign on Facebook for more updates.

Sacred Water Tour

Sacred Water Tour, 2014 (Photo: Max Wilbert)

Sacred Water Tour, 2014 (Photo: Max Wilbert)

The SNWA water grab is a prime example of how civilizations (cultures based on cities, as opposed to cultures based on perpetual care of their landbases, without resource drawdown) inevitably destroy the planet. A bloated power center, ruled by the ultra-rich and served by an underclass of poorly-paid workers, bolstered by bought-and-paid-for politicians (see Harry Reid) and misused public tax dollars,  reaches out and takes what it wants from the countryside.

One of the developers who wants the water grab has described the Mojave desert around Las Vegas as “flat desert stuff.”  They call living land a wasteland to justify its continuing plunder.  To indigenous peoples—Shoshone, Paiute, and Goshute—the land and water are sacred.

Anyone who respects land and visits this place will fall in love with it.  That’s the purpose of the Sacred Water Tour, an annual gathering organized by Deep Green Resistance for the past three years.  In coordination with local activists and indigenous people, the public is welcomed every Memorial Day weekend to tour the region.

Join us in May of 2016!

Resistance Radio: Derrick Jensen interviews Max Wilbert about the SNWA water grab
2015 Sacred Water Tour: Sacred Water Under Threat
2014 Sacred Water Tour: Report-Back
Groundwater Pipeline Threatens Great Basin Desert, Indigenous Groups
Follow our Stop the SNWA Water Grab campaign page on Facebook for more updates


Regional News

Spring Creek Canyon, Utah

Spring Creek Canyon, Utah

Spring Creek Canyon – What makes this canyon and the surrounding Hurricane Cliffs so special is its geographic location at the transition of the Colorado Plateau and Great Basin geologic provinces, giving rise to a unique collection of plant species.
Deep Green Resistance Colorado member Deanna Meyer interviewed on Resistance Radio – Recently she has been involved in advocating for the forests in her area as well as the rapidly disappearing prairie dogs throughout the mid-west. She elieves that the strategies and tactics of people who care about the living planet must shift from asking nicely to defending those they love by any and all means necessary.
More Than Words – The race to save a Northern Paiute dialect that’s down to a handful of speakers reveals what we stand to lose when a language dies.
Tell the BLM that you care about wildlands in southwestern Utah (petition)
Bighorn Sheep Die-off in Montana Mountains, Nevada
A Biocentrist History of the West – Wildlife Services, a branch of the Department of Agriculture, acts as “the hired guns of the livestock industry.”
USDA’s Secret War on Wildlife (video)
Even more about Wildlife Services and how they torture dogs and kill endangered species
A New Study Suggests Even the Toughest Pesticide Regulations Aren’t Nearly Tough Enough – The industrial agriculture system is violent. It murders humans and so many other beings – entire living communities. Policy-makers such as those in this article covering the UCLA study – people who maintain the validity of this systematic murder – are culpable and must be held accountable.
How big oil spent $10m to defeat California climate change legislation
In Utah, a massive water project is gaining ground – The project could divert 86,000 acre-feet from Lake Powell to the retirement community of St. George.
Massive Gas Pipeline Project Endures in Texas – Even in oil and gas friendly Texas, there is a growing outcry about the egregious abuse of landowners rights’ carried out by the company behind a new gas pipeline.
In Parts of the West, Grazing Cattle Are Making the Drought Worse
Lost Bones, Damage and Harassment at Ancient Sacred Site

Follow the DGR Southwest Coalition Facebook page for more news.


Deep Green Resistance News Service Excerpts

Derrick Jensen Interviewed About Deep Green Resistance, “Transphobia,” and More

Recognizing Greenwashing comes down to what so many indigenous people have said to me: we have to decolonize our hearts and minds. We have to shift our loyalty away from the system and toward the landbase and the natural world. So the central question is: where is the primary loyalty of the people involved? Is it to the natural world, or to the system?

What do all the so-called solutions for global warming have in common? They take industrialization, the economic system, and colonialism as a given; and expect the natural world to conform to industrial capitalism. That’s literally insane, out of touch with physical reality. There has been this terrible coup where sustainability doesn’t mean sustaining the natural ecosystem, but instead means sustaining the economic system.

Police Intimidation: From Dalton Trumbo to Deep Green Resistance

Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security agents have contacted more than a dozen members of Deep Green Resistance (DGR), a radical environmental group, including one of its leaders, Lierre Keith, who said she has been the subject of two visits from the FBI at her home.

DGR, formed about four years ago, requires its members to adhere to what the group calls a “security culture” in order to reduce the amount of paranoia and fear that often comes with radical activism. On its website, DGR explains why it is important not to talk to police agents: “It doesn’t matter whether you are guilty or innocent. It doesn’t matter how smart you are. Never talk to police officers, FBI agents, Homeland Security, etc. It doesn’t matter if you believe you are telling police officers what they already know. It doesn’t matter if you just chit chat with police officers. Any talking to police officers, FBI agents, etc. will almost certainly harm you or others.”

Derrick Jensen: To Protect and Serve

So here’s the question: if the police are not legally obligated to protect us and our communities — or if the police are failing to do so, or if it is not even their job to do so — then if we and our communities are to be protected, who, precisely is going to do it? To whom does that responsibility fall? I think we all know the answer to that one.

If police are the servants of governments, and if governments protect corporations better than they do human beings (and far better than they do the planet), then clearly it falls to us to protect our communities and the landbases on which we in our communities personally and collectively depend. What would it look like if we created our own community groups and systems of justice to stop the murder of our landbases and the total toxification of our environment? It would look a little bit like precisely the sort of revolution we need if we are to survive. It would look like our only hope.

Derrick Jensen: Calling All Fanatics

I’ve always kind of hated that quote by Edward Abbey about being a half-hearted fanatic (“Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast . . . a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic”). Not so much because of the racism and misogyny that characterized some of his work. And not even because of the quote itself. But rather because of how that quote has been too often misused by people who put too much emphasis on the half-hearted, and not nearly enough emphasis on the fanatic.

The fundamental truth of our time is that this culture is killing the planet. We can quibble all we want — and quibble too many do — about whether it is killing the planet or merely causing one of the six or seven greatest mass extinctions in the past several billion years, but no reasonable person can argue that industrial civilization is not grievously injuring life on Earth.

Given that fact, you’d think most people would be doing everything they can to protect life on this planet — the only life, to our knowledge, in the universe. Sadly, you’d be wrong.

Beyond Flint, Michigan: The Navajo Water Crisis

Recent media coverage and spiraling public outrage over the water crisis in Flint, Michigan has completely eclipsed the ongoing environmental justice struggles of the Navajo. Even worse, the media continues to frame the situation in Flint as some sort of isolated incident.

Madeline Stano, attorney for the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, assessed the situation for the San Diego Free Press, commenting, “Unfortunately, Flint’s water scandal is a symptom of a much larger disease. It’s far from an isolated incidence, in the history of Michigan itself and in the country writ large.”


Deep Green Resistance: a quote from the book

At this moment, the liberal basis of most progressive movements is impeding our ability, individually and collectively, to take action. The individualism of liberalism, and of American society generally, renders too many of us unable to think clearly about our dire situation. Individual action is not an effective response to power because human society is political; by definition it is build from groups, not from individuals. That is not to say that individual acts of physical and intellectual courage can’t spearhead movements. But Rosa Parks didn’t end segregations on the Montgomery, Alabama bus system. Rosa Parks plus the stalwart determination and strategic savvy of the entire black community did.


2014-02-28-build-and-strengthenPlease join us or provide material support to make Deep Green Resistance possible.