• #NoDAPL National Day of Action – 200+ Stand with Standing Rock in Reno

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    200+ protectors outside Army Corps of Engineers field office in Reno, NV in solidarity with Standing Rock – #NoDAPL! (Photo: Autumn Harry)

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    Helen Filmore speaking about what she witnessed during her recent trip to Standing Rock. (Photo: Autumn Harry)

    Today over 200 people in Reno and thousands across the US and internationally mobilized to support the water protectors at Standing Rock in their efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. We gathered at the Army Corps of Engineers field office in Reno to demand the agency cancel the permits and halt the pipeline – now and in the future. Organizers attempted to deliver the below letter to Army Corps staff, but found the office unexpectedly closed.

    Follow Sacred Stone Camp on Facebook for information on the #NoDAPL national day of action and Stand with Standing Rock, Reno NV for updates on local solidarity efforts.

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    November 15, 2016

    Ms. Kristine Hansen
    Senior Project Manager, Nevada-Utah Branch
    Army Corps of Engineers field office
    300 Booth Street, Reno, NV 89509

    Dear Ms. Hansen,

    The “Dakota Access” Pipeline (DAPL) is a $3.8B, 1,100 mile fracked-oil pipeline currently under construction from the Bakken shale fields of North Dakota to Peoria, Illinois. DAPL is slated to carry about 500,000 barrels of crude oil a day across Lakota Treaty Territory at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation where it would be laid underneath the Missouri River, the longest river on the continent. Construction of DAPL threatens the water source that millions of people depend on. It is not a question of if a pipeline will rupture, it is a question of when.

    The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) fast-tracked the Dakota Access Pipeline without proper consultation or adequate assessment, determining that there will be “no direct or indirect impacts” on the 200 cultural and spiritual sites, the four states the pipeline crosses, or the Missouri River under which the pipeline is slated to run. This lack of due diligence was outlined in critical letters to the USACE from the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Interior, and the American Council on Historical Preservation.

    The Obama administration and the USACE must act now to reject this pipeline and cancel the permits. This disaster-waiting-to-happen cannot be passed along to the administration of President elect Donald Trump. We cannot and we will not allow our human rights, our Indigenous rights, our water or our climate to be sacrificed for the benefit of corporations.

    We are deeply concerned that the Army Corps granted permission for police and private security to arrest water protectors on USACE land. The militarization of the police and private security has escalated this conflict, putting the safety of the water protectors at risk. We demand the Army Corps retract this permission in order to deescalate the situation and ensure the safety of the water protectors.

    Similarly, we call on the USACE to discontinue stall tactics, like those described in yesterday’s press release, which stated, “The Army invites the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to engage in discussion regarding potential conditions on an easement for the pipeline crossing that would reduce the risk of a spill, hasten detection and response to any possible spill, or otherwise enhance the protection of Lake Oahe and the Tribe’s water supplies.” This statement, issued one day before massive mobilization against the agency, does not address our clear demand to reject outright the construction of the pipeline. No more stalling, no more rerouting. The USACE has the responsibility to respect indigenous sovereignty, cancel the permits, and halt this project now and in the future.

    Many individuals and organizations throughout the state of Nevada have carried out rallies, concerts, fundraisers, and teach ins. Others have traveled to Standing Rock to. In addition we have organized for the transfer of donations, and several members of our community have traveled to Standing Rock, North Dakota to participate in the prayerful resistance on the front-lines. We join this fight because federal regulations are supposed to protect everybody and not privilege corporate profits over basic civil rights of people, and the health and future of our environment. This is happening in collusion with our national government and the state of North Dakota. If it happened in North Dakota, it could happen in Nevada.

    Today we join tens of thousands of people at hundreds of events across the country to stand in solidarity with water protectors at Standing Rock. Nevadans are calling on the Army Corps, and stakeholders at every level – including the banks who are funding Dakota Access and the companies building the project – to ensure native sovereignty is honored, indigenous rights are protected, and our communities, water, and climate are valued over fossil fuel profits.

    This fight is grounded in the values expressed at the Oceti Sakowin Camp: respect, compassion, honesty, generosity, humility, and wisdom. The protectors have vowed that they will stay on the land indefinitely in order to stop the construction of the pipeline. We vow to continue to stand in solidarity with them. As such, we urge the Army Corps of Engineers to immediately halt the Dakota Access Pipeline and to cancel the permits in order to prevent any further desecration of sacred burial and archaeological sites and to protect the land and water we all depend on.

    Stand with Standing Rock, Reno NV 
    Water is Life!

  • ‘Keep it in the Ground’ trial postponed, but we’ll be back!

    Today’s trial against PLAN Director, Bob Fulkerson for charges stemming from Nevada’s massive ‘Keep it in the Ground’ protest on June 14th was postponed. Fulkerson and fellow activist, Travis Fuller, were both tackled and detained by Siena Hotel security at the rally, becoming the first people arrested during a year of protest aimed at Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease sales across the country.

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    Supporters gathered outside the Reno Municipal Court

    The Reno Municipal Judge ordered a continuum in order to allow time to access video footage from the Siena Hotel. The judge also recused himself due to his history of relationship with the Fulkerson family. A new trial date will be set within the week. Travis Fuller will stand trial on September 21st.

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    Autumn Harry, member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe

    PLAN is incredibly inspired and grateful to the dozens of people who came out to support Bob and stand up for Nevada’s water and our country’s climate future. A special thank you to student activist, Sierra Jickling and Autumn Harry, member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, whose words put the struggle to defend land and water into a national context marked by unprecedented climate catastrophe, but also unprecedented resistance from frontline communities.

    Together, we reaffirmed our commitment to stand together. From the prayer camp against a dangerous oil pipeline at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to the inspiring movement to halt new leases in the flood ravaged Gulf of Mexico and the KING national convergence in Washington D.C. on September 15th – we will continue to fight back against a system that persecutes the people who are protecting life and supports the industries and fossil fuel corporations that are causing irreparable harm.

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    Sierra Jickling, UNR student activist

    We continue to call on President Obama to do what’s right by communities and climate by ending new fossil fuel leases on our public lands and waters.

    Check out videos from today’s press conference and rally here and here.

  • Why we fight to “Keep it in the Ground”

    In May PLAN and Great Basin Resource Watch traveled to central Nevada to visit lands slated for auction at the upcoming Bureau of Land Management oil and gas auction on June 14th.

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    View of Big Smoky Valley (Photo PLAN)

    The 42 parcels on the auction block cover over 74,000 acres in the majestic Big Smokey Valley. The land was nominated for the BLM lease sale by a Texas real estate developer without the knowledge of most of the residents living and farming near the potential fracking sites.

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    Reese River Valley (Photo PLAN)

    Fracking is environmentally risky and has the potential to contaminate drinking water. In Nevada, water is especially precious – it is the lifeblood of farmers and ranchers across the state.

    By keeping fossil fuels in the ground we are protecting our ground water and aquifers. To avoid catastrophic warming, scientists estimate that approximately 80% of proven fossil fuel resources need to stay in the ground. Here in Nevada, serious challenges to water users and wildlife are already being felt as a result of our changing climate. For more information about official protests filed against the BLM lease sale in the Reese River and Big Smokey Valleys, click here.

    Join us next week to send the message that our public lands are not for sale! Rally to Keep it in the Ground on Tuesday June 14th at 8am. Meet us at the Virginia Street Bridge in downtown Reno before we head to the BLM live auction at the Siena Hotel on South Lake Street. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

    We also traveled to Crescent Valley where Barrick’s Cortez Complex is located, which includes the Pipeline and Mt. Tenabo open pit gold mines.

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    PLAN staff Ellen Moore and Erika Castro, and Great Basin Resource Watch director, John Hadder get a birds eye view of the Cortez Complex. (Photo PLAN)

    Destruction to the Mt. Tenabo Western Shoshone spiritual and cultural region has proceeded at an alarming rate, although not unexpected rate. Barrick reported nearly 500 million dollars in net proceeds from the Cortez Complex in 2014.

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    Mt. Tenabo – the wall of Barrick’s open pit mining operation extend up the sacred mountain. (Photo PLAN)