Tag Archives: Us Forest Service

6/26/2012 Forest Service Approves Grand Canyon Uranium Mine Despite 26-year-old Environmental Review

The Havasuapi refuse to become the next millennium’s world terrorists by allowing mega nuclear industrial complex mining industries to mine in the Grand Canyon.6/26/2012 Forest Service Approves Grand Canyon Uranium Mine Despite 26-year-old Environmental Review “>

9/17/2011 Gallup Independent: Options discussed to save the Peaks from reclaimed water use at Snowbowl

9/17/2011 Gallup Independent: Options discussed to save the Peaks from reclaimed water use at Snowbowl By Kathy Helms, Dine Bureau: WINDOW ROCK – Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly will travel to Geneva, Switzerland, next week to hear U.N. Special Rapporteur James Anaya’s report to the U.N. Human Rights Council on the protection of sacred sites. On the home front, efforts will continue to ensure reclaimed water is not used to desecrate the sacred San Francisco Peaks. Some present and former Navajo Nation Council members and a representative of Dine Hataalii Association met in August with officials from the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort to discuss options to stop the use of reclaimed water for artificial snow-making at the resort.

A preferred alternative would be to support amending the U.S. Forest Service permit to allow the use of well water drawn from land at the base of the mountain owned by the Snowbowl. A water source that does not rely on Flagstaff’s water treatment plant and is not connected to the city system would ensure reclaimed water is not used.

Ivan Gamble of LeChee, who does not work for any of the entities involved and said he has never skied at the Snowbowl, has been trying to facilitate discussions between Navajo, Hopi and Snowbowl owners.

“We used to have a very good working relationship with the tribes back in the mid-’90s when we supplied a lot of logs for reconstruction of the villages and the kivas,” Eric Borowsky, Snowbowl general partner, said Friday. “Then once we started the upgrade proposal, the Forest Service said we could no longer have direct communication with the tribes, it all had to be government to government.”

Borowsky said he has been trying to come up with an alternative water source. “We do have permission to use reclaimed water, but I know the tribes would like a different source of water. I’m very happy to work with them to try to come up with an alternate solution and to return to the days when we had a very good working relationship.”

The possibility of drilling wells has been mentioned, he said, but whether to move forward on that option would be up to the tribes. “They have to take a formal position on this matter and then we’ll have to work together to try to make it happen.”

Jerry Honawa, 74, of Hotevilla, a member of the Tobacco Clan and the Pure Moon Society, has started a petition to obtain signatures of traditional practitioners from various villages and kivas at Hopi.

San Francisco Peaks, or Nuvatukyaovi in Hopi, is considered the “Temple of the Gods,” Honawa said Friday. “From what we are taught about our migration, this is one of the farthest northern temples from the migration from way down South America somewhere. They left temples along the way, and this is the last one on this continent.”

Honawa does not condone the string of protests which have been taking place in Flagstaff and Albuquerque. “The way it is done does not signify anything that a practitioner or a medicine man would be doing.” The proper way would be dialog across the table, he said, “rather than on the street corner yelling my lungs out. This is the way I believe and this is the way I was raised.”

Honawa does not speak for the kikmongwis, or traditional village chiefs, because Hotevilla doesn’t have a kikmongwi anymore. “They’re kind of extinct,” he said. “But we do have acting people that are kind of like the leaders within the village.”

In addition, each kiva has a person they look to as their leader for whichever clan is responsible for that kiva, he said. “We have six of them here. Out of the six, three are the responsibility of the Snake Clan and the Sand Clan, one is the Badger/Butterfly, one of them is the Sun Clan, and the other is the Spider/Bluebird.”

As the Tobacco Clan patriarch, Honawa visits most of the kivas, he said. “Tobacco is at every kiva and I go to each one of them at certain periods of time. I am also a member of the Pure Moon Society, and that is where the smoke hazing of the Katsinam (Hopi ancestral spirits) is prevalent. That’s the kiva of the Badger Clan People, where the Pure Moon Society has their headquarters, basically.”

The Hopi believe that the Katsinam are responsible for moisture and that the installation of snow-making technology within the 777-acre special use permit area would alter the natural processes of the San Francisco Peaks and the responsibilities of the Katsinam. The use of reclaimed water, especially, would contaminate the natural resources needed to perform the required ceremonies that are the basis of Hopi cultural identity.

Hopis often are asked why they aren’t seen when they make their pilgrimages to Nuvatukyaovi. The reason is “a lot of this is done in a sacred way to where it is not for the public eye,” Honawa said.

“One of my first experiences, when my grandfather was still with us, I took him there; and when we saw these people, he said, ‘Act like we’re not doing anything special.’ We acted like tourists, and then when the people were gone, then we continued. These are some of the things that they practice and they asked us to carry it like that.”

Honawa’s petition states that the signers do not support artificial snow-making. “This issue has gone on too long, has been fought in the wrong places. We support the compromise being fashioned between the various entities and hope they are able to secure a compromise based on good faith and mutual understanding.”

A focus group from Navajo District 5, which is comprised of elders from Birdsprings, Leupp and Tolani Lake, said it would be less offensive to use well water on the mountain, known to Navajo as Dook’o’oosliid, rather than reclaimed water. Dine Hataalii Association reportedly is weighing the option and has not issued an outright objection.

8/10/2011 CENSORED NEWS: Blockade halts ski resort destruction and desecration of Holy Mountain

8/10/2011 CENSORED NEWS: Blockade halts ski resort destruction and desecration of Holy Mountain By Protect the Peaks Press statement Censored News: FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — (August 8th, 2011) Nine people took direct action at 5:00 AM on Monday morning, blockading the ongoing destruction and desecration of the Holy San Francisco Peaks. Nine individuals directly confronted the ecocidal actions of Arizona Snowbowl, halting their daily clear-cutting and pipeline excavation plans for eight hours.

Responding sheriffs deputies immediately arrested the group’s police liaison, who was ensuring the safety of demonstrators. More than 50 law enforcement officials used industrial saws and a jack hammer to forcefully break apart the blockade.

“The action we took today is one part of a series of events with the intent to stop Snowbowl, the US Forest Service, and other corporations from further desecrating the Holy San Francisco Peaks,” stated Haley Coles after being released from jail. “The pipeline will not be tolerated. Spewed waste water turned into artificial snow will not be tolerated. Clear cuts, slash piles, and burning of hundred-year old trees will not be tolerated. The Holy mountain will be defended, and the desecration will be stopped; at whatever cost. We have the mountain on our side,” said Coles.

Stephen Zavodynik, also arrested during Monday’s blockade, stated, “Today, a small group of people decided that they had enough of wealthy investors, cultural genocide, and privileged white people who are indifferent to the destructive impacts of their recreational activities. We decided to take matters into our own hands and you can too. Whatever you feel is sacred, defend it with all your heart and take a risk, because our future generations will not forgive inaction.”

“As a snowboarder, I support an immediate reversal of all construction related to the expansion and spreading of treated sewage on the sacred San Francisco Peaks. It is our obligation to act immediately to prevent ongoing cultural genocide and environmental destruction just miles from where we live, where old growth forest is culled using slash and burn foresting techniques while huge, diesel-powered machines cut into the earth in preparation for the import of hormones, carcinogenic chemical compounds, and fecal matter onto the highest reaches of the San Francisco peaks.

Allowing Arizona Snowbowl to buy treated sewage from the City of Flagstaff is an absolute failure of our elected representatives to protect the civil rights of indigenous members of the Flagstaff community. I will continue to use any means necessary to protect the peaks and support my friends and community members.” stated Kennedy.

Jenna Tomasello, who was also part of the action, stated that “Almost all of our options have been exhausted. The US Supreme Court failed to protect religious freedoms of Native peoples. The Flagstaff City Council has failed to meaningfully listen to its constituents who have consistently vocalized their opposition to Arizona Snowbowl development for decades. And the US Forest Service has failed to protect the public from the environmental impacts of treated sewage effluent. It is time for more people, wherever you are, to open your eyes. Respect the land of which we are dependent on and the people that the land has been stolen from. The only choice for us is to take action against those who threaten Indigenous cultures, the environment and our future. It’s frustrating that we had to do this in order to make this point clear.” stated Tomasello.

“For those of us who have chosen to fight the colonial strongholds, we have also chosen to fight for the minds that hold this power. If harmony is to prevail, all beliefs attempting to control nature must be liberated. We belong to the Earth; the Earth does not belong to us.” stated Tom Lang, who was part of the action.

All 10 arrested were released within hours due to strong outpouring of community support. 17 people have been arrested during a community “Week of Action to Protect the Peaks.” 23 arrests have been made since June 16, when 6 people locked themselves to Snowbowl excavators and inside sewage pipeline trenches.

“This was an autonomous action planned by those who took part. It was beautiful and powerful and very responsible. We took every measure to ensure our safety. Nobody was unwillingly put in the way.” stated Rudy Preston, the arrested police liason for the group. “The Civil Disobedience roadblock on the mountain was not a family event or publicized with the rest of the legal actions planned for the ‘Week of Action.'” stated Preston.

Since May 25, 2011, the owners of Arizona Snowbowl, with the support of the U.S. Forest Service and the Flagstaff City Council, have laid over five miles of a 14.8 mile wastewater pipeline and have clearcut over 40 acres of rare alpine forest. A current lawsuit against the Forest Service focusing on the human health impacts of wastewater snowmaking is still under appeal in the 9th Circuit Court. The individuals involved in today’s action are separate from the Coalition involved in the lawsuit.

The San Francisco Peaks are Holy to more than 13 Indigenous Nations.

They are a place of worship, a place where deities reside, a place where offerings are made, where herbs are gathered, where emergence has occurred, and a location where other sacred religious practices take place .

Monday’s blockade to protect the Peaks joins four decades of sustained resistance to desecration of the Holy Peaks. Over the past three weeks since Snowbowl began clear-cutting, dozens of protest camps have been established on the mountain and solidarity actions have occurred in Phoenix and Los Angeles.

CONTACT: (928) 600-0856

6/28/2011 Washington Post International: Los Alamos nuclear lab to remain closed as New Mexico wildfire nears – BlogPost

The Washington Post International: Los Alamos nuclear lab to remain closed as New Mexico wildfire nears – BlogPost – Posted by Nikke Alex via Marley Shebala: Yeeyah!!!Glenn Walp, a former Pennsylvania State Police commissioner and author of “Implosion at Los Alamos,” told ABC News that “potential is high for a major calamity if the fire would reach” the area where “approximately 20,000 barrels of nuclear waste” are stored. (via Marley Shebala) As the Las Conchas wildfire continues to burn in New Mexico, officials from the Los Alamos National Laboratory say the radioactive and nuclear materials stored there are safe.

A small fire broke out Monday on the nuclear laboratory’s property near Technical Area 49, a site formerly used for radioactive explosives testing and now used for training purposes, but it was quickly contained, according to a U.S. Forest Service press release. “About one acre burned and the Lab has detected no off-site releases of contamination,” the release said. The lab will remain closed to all non-essential employees on Wednesday.

The wildfire has burned an estimated 49,000 acres of land south and west of the lab, according to the Forest Service. Los Alamos’s 12,000 residents are now under a mandatory evacuation order.

The lab will hold a press conference with public safety officials Tuesday afternoon. According to a press release, no fires burned on lab property Monday night and all hazardous materials are “accounted for and protected.”

Glenn Walp, a former Pennsylvania State Police commissioner and author of “Implosion at Los Alamos,” told ABC News that “potential is high for a major calamity if the fire would reach” the area where “approximately 20,000 barrels of nuclear waste” are stored.

Lab spokesman Steve Sandoval would not confirm that there were any such barrels on the property to the Associated Press, but he did say that “low-level waste is at times put in drums and regularly taken from the lab.”

“Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question other than to say that the material is well protected,” he said. “And the lab — knowing that it works with hazardous and nuclear materials — takes great pains to make sure it is protected and locked in concrete steel vaults. And the fire poses very little threat to them.”

The lab — where the first nuclear weapons were developed — has been posting dramatic pictures of the fire to its Flickr account.


LOCKED DOWN: Protest halts Snowbowl destruction on San Francisco Peaks  News Alert: Six people were arrested and one taken to the hospital for heat exposure after they locked themselves to heavy machinery to protect sacred San Francisco Peaks from Snowbowl development. Five adults and one juvenile were arrested. Another juvenile was taken to Flagstaff Medical Center for excessive heat exposure.

Activists locked down to equipment on San Francisco Peaks Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights brendanorrell@gmail.com
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said that a woman who was unchained in the closed area was issued a citation for third degree trespass and released. Two 16-year-old juveniles face one count of third degree trespass. Nadia del Callego, 27, faces one count of third degree trespass and one count of contributing to delinquency of a minor. Kristopher Barney, 22, Evan Hawbaker, 22, and Elizabeth Lavely, 28, face one count of third degree trespass. Hailey Sherwood, 20, faces one count of third degree trespass, one count of contributing to delinquency of a minor and once count of endangerment.

Hopi Radio KUYI provided this report from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office: “Summit Firefighters cut the chains and locking devices off of each protester. As one juvenile was being freed she began to pass out and was immediately accessed by medics and was subsequently transported to Flagstaff Medical Center for excessive heat exposure. Five adults and one juvenile were arrested and transported to the Juvenile Detention Center or the Coconino County Detention Facility.”

Activists are protecting sacred San Francisco Peaks from Snowbowl pipeline construction, which would carry sewage water for snow. Native medicine men gather herbs for healing on the mountain, sacred to 13 area Indian Nations.

Photos: Rally Thursday afternoon in support of the Snowbowl action.

Thursday morning, June 16, 2011
Contact: Beth Lavely
Tel: 928.254.1064


Today we take direct action to stop further desecration and destruction of the Holy San Francisco Peaks. We stand with our ancestors, with allies and with those who also choose to embrace diverse tactics to safeguard Indigenous People’s cultural survival, our community’s health, and this sensitive mountain ecosystem.

On May 25th 2011, sanctioned by the US Forest Service, owners of Arizona Snowbowl began further destruction and desecration of the Holy San Francisco Peaks. Snowbowl’s hired work crews have laid over a mile and a half of the planned 14.8 mile wastewater pipeline. They have cut a six foot wide and six foot deep gash into the Holy Mountain.

Although a current legal battle is under appeal, Snowbowl owners have chosen to undermine judicial process by rushing to construct the pipeline. Not only do they disregard culture, environment, and our children’s health, they have proven that they are criminals beyond reproach.

Four weeks of desecration has already occurred. Too much has already been taken. Today, tomorrow and for a healthy future, we say “enough!”

As we take action, we look to the East and see Bear Butte facing desecration, Mt. Taylor facing further uranium mining; to the South, Mt.

Graham desecrated, South Mountain threatened, the US/Mexico border severing Indigenous communities from sacred places; to the West, inspiring resistance at Sogorea Te, Moana Keya facing desecration; to the North, Mt. Tenabo, Grand Canyon, Black Mesa, and so many more… our homelands and our culture under assault.

We thought that the USDA, heads of the Forest Service, had meant it when they initiated nationwide listening sessions to protect sacred places. If the process was meaningful, we would not have to take action today.

More than 13 Indigenous Nations hold the Peaks Holy. The question has been asked yet we hear no response, “what part of sacred don’t you understand?”

For hundreds of years resistance to colonialism, slavery, and destruction of Mother Earth has existed and continues here in what we now call Arizona.

The United States recently moved to join the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, evidently the US has not currently observed and acted upon this declaration, otherwise we would not be taking action today. This document informs our action, we also assert that UNDRIP supports the basis for our action.

Article 11, 1: Indigenous peoples have the right to practice and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artifacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature.

“Article 11, 2: States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property taken without their free, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs.”

“Article 12, 1: Indigenous peoples have the right to manifest, practice, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies; the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites; the right to the use and control of their ceremonial objects; and the right to the repatriation of their human remains.”

“Article 25: Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.”

For nearly 4 decades, resistance to desecration and destruction of the Peaks has been sustained. Prayer vigils, petitions, lobbying, protests, and many diverse tactics have been embraced. Historic court battles have been fought.

We continue today resisting Snowbowl’s plan to spray millions of gallons of wastewater snow, which is filled with cancer causing and other harmful contaminants, as well as clear-cut over 30,000 trees. The Peaks are a pristine and beautiful place, a fragile ecosystem, and home to rare and endangered species of plants and animals.

Our action is a prayer.

We invite those of you who could not join us today and who believe in the protection of culture, the environment and community health to resist destruction and desecration of the Peaks:

– Join us and others in physically stopping all Snowbowl development!
– Honor and defend Indigenous Peoples’ inherent right to protect Sacred Places
– Resist colonialism and capitalism! Embrace diverse tactics to end Snowbowl’s and all corporate greed
– Demand USDA end Snowbowl’s Special Use Permit
– Demand that the City of Flagstaff Mayor and Council find a way out of their contract to sell wastewater to Snowbowl
– Demand that Arizona Department of Environmental Quality change its permission allowing wastewater to be used for snowmaking.