Posts Tagged ‘reclamation’

EcoSikh presents on Sikh Women and Biodiversity at SAFAR Conference, Toronto

 

EcoSikh presents on Sikh Women and Biodiversity at SAFAR Conference, Toronto

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Posted 26 September 2011, by Staff, EcoSikh, ecosikh.org

 

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EcoSikh has been invited to make a presentation on Sikh Women and Biodiversity at a key academic conference on Sikhism and Gender at the University of Toronto on October 1, 2011.

The SAFAR: Our Journeys conference will feature over 30 speakers including Sikh feminist scholars, theologians and leaders, including keynote speaker Nikky-Guninder Kaur author of The Birth of the Khalsa: A Feminist Re-Memory of Sikh Identity.

Bandana Kaur of EcoSikh will be presenting a paper on Sikh women and biodiversity conservation in Punjab, the birthplace of the Sikh religion.

In her paper, titled “Women Farmers of Punjab: Forgotten Voices from the Plains”, Bandana will examine the Green Revolution from the perspective of Sikh women living in the Malwa region of Punjab, an area recognized for the challenges posed to the farming community. Her paper examines the historical relationship between women and agricultural biodiversity in Punjab, and contemporary efforts by rural Sikh women to revive agricultural biodiversity today.

“Sikh women engaged in agricultural biodiversity conservation can help inform a new approach to agricultural development in Punjab that recognizes complex and interrelated systems in: the content and diversity of what is produced, the inputs both human and technical used to produce these goods, and the knowledge systems upon which choices are based.”

A special issue of the academic journal Sikh Feminist Review will be devoted to the conference proceedings. This public record of Sikh feminist research will serve as one of the first accessible domains to privilege Sikh feminist scholarship.

 

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http://www.ecosikh.org/ecosikh-presents-on-sikh-women-and-biodiversity-at-safar-conference-toronto/

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Prairiewoods celebrating 15 years as ecospirituality oasis

Prairiewoods celebrating 15 years as ecospirituality oasis

The labyrinth at Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center, 120 E. Boyson Rd., Hiawatha, Iowa. Taken Friday, Sept. 16, 2011. (Angela Holmes/SourceMedia Group)

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Posted 24 September 2011, by Cindy Hadish, Eastern Iowa Life (SourceMedia Group), easterniowalife.com

 

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The Gazette

HIAWATHA — With more than 40 years in the making, Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center will celebrate its 15th anniversary with a nature festival.

After purchasing farmland in 1962 as a potential site for a regional headquarters, the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, based in La Crosse, Wis., had numerous offers to buy the land on the Cedar Rapids/Hiawatha border.

“The sisters could have made millions,” says Prairiewoods Director Barry Donaghue of the Congregation of Christian Brothers. “But they said, ‘Let’s see if we can make it an oasis. Let’s take care of it.’”

Betty Daugherty, a Franciscan nun and one of six founding members of Prairiewoods, initiated weekly committee meetings to determine the future of the site.

Betty Daugherty

“It was a gradual process,” says Daugherty, who still resides at the center at 120 E. Boyson Road in Hiawatha.

Joann Gehling, another Franciscan nun and founding member, says planning began in earnest in 1994, once the philosophy was determined to combine ecology and spirituality into what would become known as an ecospirituality center.

Gehling, who lives near the center, says other religious communities had similar undertakings elsewhere in the country, but nothing like Prairiewoods existed in Iowa.

Joann Gehling

Their vision, based on the Franciscan philosophy of God revealed in the natural world, included restoration of the prairie and ecological practices, such as the use of natural materials and renewable energy in the buildings.

Doors of the center opened in 1996.

With 30 acres of tallgrass prairie and 40 acres of oak woodlands, the site offers the oasis that the sisters envisioned.

Picnickers and hikers walk the center’s woodland trails. Business workers find respite at retreats in the center’s main building, which sports meeting rooms, a fully-staffed kitchen and meditation room with inspiring view of the woods. Meals, cooked to perfection by chef Jill Jones, use produce grown on-site and other local foods.

One hundred solar panels generate 22,500-kilowatt hours of electricity annually and classes use a new building as a solar training facility.

Barry Donaghue

Artists and writers find solitude in Prairiewoods’ two hermitages. A 19-room guesthouse also provides overnight accommodations.

People of all backgrounds and faiths use an outdoor labyrinth and traditional sweat lodge.

As Donaghue describes it, the center isn’t focused on Catholicism or any particular religion.

“We don’t proselytize,” says Donaghue, who has studied and ministered in Australia, England, Ireland, France, Israel and the Fiji Islands. “Basically, we’re trying to get people to think.”

With that in mind, Prairiewoods is home base for groups such as Wednesday Women, who meet 10-11:30 a.m. Wednesdays to explore topics related to spiritual growth, and Green Living Group, which meets 6:30-8 p.m. the third Wednesday of every month to discuss subjects such as voluntary simplicity.

Holistic treatments, including massage and reflexology, are scheduled by appointment.

Prairiewoods also offers retreats and events, including Nature Fest, scheduled for 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, to celebrate the center’s 15th anniversary.

The celebration features music, games, blessing of animals, an ice cream social and environmental art and poetry from Iowa winners of the 2011 River of Words.

In a column Daugherty wrote about exploring ecospirituality, she notes that “eco” comes from oikos, a Greek word for “home.”

“Hence, ecospirituality is not about a relationship with a God in a far-away heaven,” she writes. “The Divine can be found in our daily lives, in our human relationships and in our relationship with Earth.”

 

FYI

 

What: Nature Fest at Prairiewoods

Where: 120 E. Boyson Rd., Hiawatha

When: 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2

Other: Event features live music by Deep Dish Divas and Bob Ballantyne; games, nature tours and outdoor activities. Ice cream social begins at 1:45 p.m.; message from Sen. Rob Hogg and storytelling at 2 p.m.; blessing of animals at 2:45 p.m. and more.

The event includes the only Eastern Iowa showing of winners of River of Words, an environmental art and poetry competition for youths ages 5 to 19.

More information: www.prairiewoods.org

A deer roams the woods at Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center, 120 E. Boyson Rd., Hiawatha, Iowa. Taken Friday, Sept. 16, 2011. (Angela Holmes/SourceMedia Group)

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http://easterniowalife.com/2011/09/24/prairiewoods-celebrating-15-years-as-ecospirituality-oasis/

 

Residents turn vacant lot into a lovely, welcoming glen

 

Residents turn vacant lot into a lovely, welcoming glen

Flower garden transforms eye-sore to eye-popping.

 

At left, Chris Quinn of West Des Moines sits with Terri Mitchell of the Mondamin Presidential neighborhood in the new garden they and a couple dozen other volunteers have created at 19th Street and College Avenue. Residents this summre set to work next to busy 19th Street transforming the vacant, overgrown lot to a lush, colorful garden that attracts appreciative remarks from many who drive by or live in the area. / JANET KLOCKENGA/THE REGISTER

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Posted 22 September 2011, by Janet Klockenga, Des Moines Register (Gannett), desmoinesregister.com

 

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A once-vacant lot at 19th Street and College Avenue has blossomed this summer, now offering eye-popping color in three flower beds, thanks to the loving care of neighbors in the Mondamin Presidential neighborhood.

The garden, which residents are terming the Mondamin Glen, sits just to the east of busy 19th Street. In spring, residents started clearing brush and overgrown trees from the 155-by-75-foot lot during a Habitat For Humanity Rock the Block cleanup event.

From there, the garden grew.

Residents living in the Mondamin Presidential neighborhood have set to work next to busy 19th Street transforming a vacant, overgrown lot to a lush, colorful garden that attracts appreciative remarks from many who drive by or live in the area. Here, Master Gardeners Terri Mitchell and Chris Quinn talk about future plans for the garden. / JANET KLOCKENGA/THE REGISTER

Mondamin Presidential Neighborhood Association president Valerie Allen is proud of the way neighbors combined forces to work on the project.

“Hundreds of hands touched the Mondamin Glen over these past several months,” Allen said, adding that the idea came from longtime resident Rhonda Cason. Another resident, Terri Mitchell, a Master Gardener, led the way to map out the garden and plant it.

“There were so many folks involved with that project, I couldn’t begin to thank them for all their donation of time, energy and materials,” Allen said.

Mitchell got some help in plotting and planning the garden from fellow Master Gardener Chris Quinn of West Des Moines. Mitchell’s husband, Stan, also showed up nearly every evening, hauling water for the garden from a nearby fire hydrant on 19th Street.

As the garden grew, so did the attention paid to it.

“It was great for attracting hummingbirds,” Quinn said.

And honks from passing drivers.

“People love it,” said Terri Mitchell. “They drive by and honk all the time while we’re out here working. Sometimes we worry a little bit; some people have to stop and look at it, backing traffic up.”

“It’s in a perfect location because a lot of people see it when they’re getting off work,” said Stan Mitchell. “I can’t believe how many people have stopped and said they like it. Young kids have actually stopped to pick up trash here.”

Terri said one woman told her “it’s the most beautiful garden in Des Moines.”

“Another one called it ‘eye candy,’ ” she said. “It makes me happy to hear that.”

The garden features three round flower beds, one that’s planted to attract butterflies. The main bed holds a large new neighborhood sign the association paid for, along with three cement deer sculptures that Stan repainted. The sculptures had long resided in the yard of James Strode, who died a couple years ago.

Dramatic castor bean plants, each well over 6 feet tall, are planted in the middle of two flower beds, which boast tidy rings of salvia, bee balm, coneflowers and Asiatic lilies. A separate seating area in the corner provides a shady place for reflection.

The resident gardeners got most of their annuals at no charge from the city’s greenhouse on the east side, and the Mondamin Presidential Neighborhood Association kicked in some money to pay for other plants and landscaping materials. Terri Mitchell estimated it cost less than $2,000 to get the garden planted.

She said she hopes next year to plant more roses, and to install a couple trellises. The neighbors plan to lay a path of pavers among the three flower beds.

The constant watering, especially during the August heatwave, was worthwhile, Terri Mitchell said.

“I’m surprised how pretty it turned out,” she said.

Neighborhood association prssident Valerie Allen likes the way the garden has drawn admiring glances from passing motorists.

“When you drive north on 19th Street, it makes you slow down and take notice,” she said. “It’s just one of the many things the residents have helped accomplish this year. We take pride in our neighborhood, and we truly care how it’s perceived.”

The caretakers of Mondamin Glen are hoping to plant tulips and other bulbs in the garden this fall. Mitchell said she hopes eventually the garden will be filled with perennials. The group will welcome donations of bulbs and mulch this fall.

For more information about their needs, call Terri Mitchell at 282-9709.

 

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http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20110922/COMM/309220066/-1/SPORTSstories/Residents-turn-vacant-lot-into-lovely-welcoming-glen

Website on marine reserve impact launched

 

Website on marine reserve impact launched

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Posted 19 September 2011, by Kimberlee Meier, Port Lincoln Times (Fairfax Media), portlincolntimes.com.au

 

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THE launch of a new website by the fishing industry aims to help address misconceptions about the health and sustainability of resources regarding the commonwealth’s marine reserve network planning process.

The National Seafood Industry Alliance (NSIA) has launched a website that identifies the impacts on the fishing industry of the proposed South-West marine bioregional planning process.

The South-West region includes the waters off Port Lincoln heading west all along the coast into Western Australian waters.

The website has information about the sustainability of Australia’s fisheries and the communities that rely on fishing and aquaculture, fisheries management and the marine environment.

Fishers believe the government’s plan for marine parks will exclude them from lucrative fishing grounds, and make them move to new grounds outside of the proposed reserves, putting pressure on new grounds.

Locals such as leather jacket fisherman Paul Claughton and rock lobster fisher Daryl Spencer are two of the people whose stories feature on the website, outlining the impacts the proposed marine parks would have on their livelihood.

Wildcatch Fisheries SA chair Jonas Woolford said lots of information could be found on the website, including the South-West’s industry submission about the proposed marine marks.

“This is our way of saying this is our proposal and these are the reasons why,” Mr Woolford said.

“We still achieve all of the conservation objectives that they’re (government) are after … and have the least disruption to our fishing activities.”

National Seafood Industry Alliance chair Katherine Sarneckis said the website provided facts “rather than fiction,” about fisheries and the proposed marine reserve network.

“As the Commonwealth marine bioregional planning process continues around Australia, it will be updated to include information on the industry approaches, social and resource impacts of proposals, and management of our fisheries and marine ecosystems in those areas,” Ms Sarneckis said.

The new NSIA website can be found at www.SeafoodforAustralia.com.au

 

 

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http://www.portlincolntimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/website-on-marine-reserve-impact-launched/2297911.aspx

Planting Trees on Farms Can Greatly Improve Food Security

 

Planting Trees on Farms Can Greatly Improve Food Security

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Posted 16 September 2011, by Staff, Environmental Protection (1105 Media), eponline.com

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Restoring and preserving dryland forests and planting more trees to provide food, fodder and fertilizer on small farms are critical steps toward preventing the recurrence of the famine now threatening millions of people in the Horn of Africa, according to forestry experts from the CGIAR Consortium.

Across the Horn, drought-induced famine has claimed tens of thousands of lives and swelled refugee camps in Kenya, Ethiopia and elsewhere, with millions of starving people – many of them children. Bearing the brunt of the crisis is Somalia, which not coincidentally is also a country that has lost a significant amount of its forests.

Experts say forest destruction and other forms of human-caused land degradation have done far more than the drought to turn vast areas of once-grazeable and -farmable land into a lunar-like landscape.

“Forests and trees frequently form the basis of livelihood diversification, risk-minimization and coping strategies, especially for the most vulnerable households such as those led by women,” said Frances Seymour, director general of the CGIAR’s Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

 “However, deforestation and land degradation have hindered capacities to cope with disasters and adapt to climate variability and change in the long-term.”

New research by CIFOR carried out in 25 countries worldwide has shown that forests serve as a crucial defense against poverty, providing about a quarter of household income for the people living in or near them. Forests in perennially parched areas of the Horn are critical to retaining moisture and nutrients in the soil, while offering a bulwark against wind erosion. They also provide sources of food and fuel, particularly in tough times.

“There is a mistaken view that because these are dry areas, they are destined to provide little in the way of food and are simply destined to endure frequent famines,” said Dennis Garrity, director general of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).

“But drylands can and do support significant crop and livestock production. In fact, the famine we are seeing today is mainly a product of neglect, not nature.”

Forest and agroforestry experts say the famine should prompt significant new investments in proven approaches to reforestation and agroforestry that elsewhere in Africa are restoring forests as protectors of drylands and providing important sources of food and other valuable agriculture products.

For example, in Niger, a program launched in 1983 has transformed 5 million hectares of barren land into agroforests. ICRAF experts found that during the drought that hit the country in 2005, farmers who embraced agroforestry were able to sell trees for timber and use the money to buy food. They also were able to supplement their diets with fruits and edible leaves harvested from drought-resistant trees.

In Ethiopia, reforestation projects known as Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), implemented by the World Bank and World Vision, are restoring some 2,700 hectares of degraded land. The projects already are providing income-generating wood and tree products for local communities, improving pasture and achieving a drastic reduction in soil erosion.

Meanwhile, using trees in a wider variety of farm applications is rapidly making agroforestry a popular approach to improving food production in the drylands of Africa. So-called “fertilizer trees” that capture nitrogen from the atmosphere and deposit it into the soil are being used to restore degraded farmlands in Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Niger and Burkina Faso.

There are also a wide range of naturally growing trees suitable for livestock consumption that have long been used by livestock keepers in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in the dry season when grass and crop residues are scarce.

“We need to pay far more attention to the role of forests and trees to serve both as protectors of productive farm lands and as ways to sustainably and substantially increase food security in the Horn,” said Lloyd Le Page, CEO of the CGIAR Consortium, who sees the food crisis in the region as a call to action for agricultural innovation. He noted that the intensified focus on the link between forests and food security is part of a wider effort within the CGIAR to approach farms as agriculture ecosystems that depend upon and contribute to the health of broader landscapes.

Scientists are concerned that despite clear evidence of their benefits – and of the disasters that occur in the wake of their loss – dryland forest protection and restoration is receiving scant attention compared to humid forest preservation. They point out that this disparity is particularly evident within discussions of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

“It’s ironic that dryland forests are not front and center in the climate change debate, because climate change is likely to bring more frequent and more severe droughts to dryland areas, and the adaptation challenge for affected communities will be great,” Seymour said.

She also noted that protection of both dryland and humid forests can reduce the likelihood of future climate change-induced droughts through mitigation of forest-based greenhouse gas emissions. Humid forests in particular serve as vast “sinks” that absorb and store carbon and thus help slow the pace of climate change in the long term, but there are also many opportunities to maintain and enhance the amount of carbon stored in dryland landscapes.

 

 

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http://eponline.com/articles/2011/09/16/restoring-planting-trees-on-farms-can-greatly-improve-food-security.aspx

Green Buildings 101: Bioclimatic Design

 

Green Buildings 101: Bioclimatic Design

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Posted 13 September 2011, by Jennifer Shockley, Green Building Elements (Important Media), greenbuildingelements.com

 

Design industries are taking new approaches to environmentally sustainable projects. Being aware and being pro-active is no longer a phase it is mandatory that in every project, our impact on the earth is accounted for. This accountability is found in Bioclimatic Design.

Bioclimatic Design is the reduction of energy consumption using appropriate techniques such as energy efficient systems and technologies including, but not limited to, passive solar systems. Passive solar systems are based on a building, its spaces, both interior and exterior, and the local climate.

Bioclimatic Design is the use of environmental sources: air, sun, wind, vegetation, water, soil, daylight for heating, cooling and lighting of buildings. Plus when a design takes into account the local climate, these factors must be considered and designed around: heat protection including insulation and air tightness, solar energy for heat and light, sun protection with the orientation, use of reflective materials, surfaces and colors, and the removal of heat with natural ventilation.

Kane Cres writes,

“As inhabitants of buildings, we can make our lives more comfortable, preserve the environment, our health and well being. We can use them appropriately to this end.

The energy we consume in buildings is costly. It is worthwhile asking ourselves who pays for this consumption and why.”

To achieve perfect balance with the environment with the use of Bioclimatic Designs the industry will require all kinds of participants. The manufacturing companies, the sellers, the designers, and the clients must all be on board and willing to achieve great designs through green technologies and to demand that their expectations be met, if a material is not available at the highest economy-safe standards, than a material must be designed at that level.

Different projects and companies are already displaying the smart choices that go along with Bioclimatic Design.

Elmer Avenue "Green Street"

In Los Angeles, a 40-acre neighborhood area known as Elmer Avenue has become a complete ‘green street.’ It is a Neighborhood Retrofit Demonstration Project following the water augmentation study done by the Council for Watershed Health to help lower dependency on foreign water supplies and to suppress flooding that occurs from the annual, although short-lived, winter downpours.

This street utilizes a variety of strategies to capture rainwater and runoff through the soil, clean it, and recycle it by added the water to the aquifers. The one block location generates and now captures more water than they use in an entire year.

“By capturing the rainwater, Southern California reduces its reliance on foreign sources of water and improves the overall health of the landscape. In addition, it helps save energy, since an incredible 19% of our energy use in California is devoted just to the movement of water from place to place!” wrote Brian Sheridan, Development and Marketing Manager of the Council for Watershed Health.

Elmer Avenue is a project designed to rehabilitate the neighborhood and also it is a continuous active research project that will benefit many communities in the future.

Elmer Avenue Bio-swale

The project implements the use of:

  • Under street filtration galleries
  • Open bottom catch basins
  • Bio-swales
  • Rain barrels
  • Permeable pavers
  • Climate appropriate landscape
  • Solar street lights

The first phase of the project was completed in 2010 becoming LA’s first off-the-grid neighborhood and the second phase will include an additional 20 acres, thereby capturing 60 acres of land’s rainwater to add to the aquifers.

Another company dedicated to Bioclimatic Design is a start-up company called First Coast Solar Screens founded by John Wilder a RESNET Certified Energy Auditor.

Solar screens can reduce temperatures of the sun coming through glass by embracing a relatively new technology of sun-screen fabrics. John Wilder wrote,

“The sun’s heat coming through glass almost works like a magnifying glass. I just took the temp coming through a skylight at our city hall yesterday and it was 117 degrees I took a temp through an east facing window in our school and it was 108 degrees. The solar screens reduce these temps down in the low 70′s which of course have a dramatic effect on your AC bill. They are literally the best bang for your buck in energy savings and typically have a 1-2 year payback.”

First Coast Solar Screens uses Phifer solar screening products.

Phifer fabrics

Phifer was founded by Reese Phifer and is the world’s leading manufacturer and seller of energy saving sun control fabrics for residential and commercial use.

 “Phifer’s commitment to the environment dates back to the company’s origins when our founder, Reese Phifer, envisioned a manufacturing facility that would bring a better standard of living to its community, advances in technology to its industry and innovative products to its customers.”

They offer products of insect control, plus interior and exterior sun control. Their products are 100 percent recyclable and their fabrics are PVC-free.

Their production process includes a waste management program, employee awareness training and pollution prevention programs to insure that they stay as green as possible.

Phifer was the first manufacturer in their industry to receive GREENGUARD Certification. They state,

 “At Phifer, environmental responsibility is part of our corporate culture. We are leaders. We are proactive. We do it because it is the right thing to do.”

Sun Control

GREENGUARD is an environmental institute that was created to help manufacturers to improve their processes and to do so in a more environmentally-safe and aware way. It has helped manufacturing companies in more than 20 industries to improve their processes.

As this article could continue on for endless pages, circling through all the companies that make up design industries, it is evident that Bioclimatic Design is everywhere and requires everyone’s commitment. It is throughout the design industries and is becoming a required mind-set verses a personal choice. It will take every industry, every person to re-establish what we’ve taken from and done to the earth.

Bioclimatic Design is a circle engulfing the world to make it a better place.

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Resources: Greenguard, Phifer, Council for Watershed Health, The American Institute of Architects and Kane Cres

Special Thanks to: John Wilder and Brian Sheridan

 

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http://greenbuildingelements.com/2011/09/13/green-buildings-101-bioclimatic-design/

Caravan to Black Mesa 2011

Caravan to Black Mesa 2011

Join the Caravan in Support of Indigenous Communities Who Are in Their Fourth Decade of Resisting Massive Coal Mining Operations on Their Ancestral Homelands of Big Mountain; Black Mesa, AZ. November 19th – 26th, 2011

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Posted 13 September 2011, by Brenda Norrell, Censored News, bsnorrell.blogspot.com
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Communities of Black Mesa Have Always Maintained That Their Struggle for Life, Land; Future Generations Is For Our Collective Survival.

Greetings from Black Mesa Indigenous Support,

We are excited to once again extend the invitation from Dineh resisters of the Big Mountain regions of Black Mesa in joining a caravan of work crews in support of the on-going struggle to protect their communities, ancestral homelands, future generations and planet that we all share. These communities are in their fourth decade year of resistance against the US Government’s forced relocation policies, Peabody Coal’s financial interests, and an unsustainable fossil fuel based economy.

Participating in this caravan is one small way in supporting these courageous communities who are serving as the very blockade to massive coal mining on Black Mesa. The aim of this caravan is to honor the requests and words of the elders and their families. With their guidance we will carry their wishes & demands far beyond just the annual caravans and link this struggle with social, environmental, and climate justice movements that participants may be a part of.

By assisting with direct on-land projects you are supporting families on their ancestral homelands in resistance to an illegal occupation and destruction of sacred sites by Peabody Energy. We will be chopping and hauling firewood, doing minor repair work, offering holistic health care, and sheep-herding before the approaching freezing winter months.

Indigenous nations are disproportionately targeted by fossil fuel extraction & environmental devastation; Black Mesa is no exception. Peabody Energy, previously Peabody Coal Company (the world’s largest private-sector coal company) is continuing to scheme for ways to continue their occupation of tribal lands under the guise of extracting “clean coal”.

Peabody’s Black Mesa mine has been the source of an estimated 325 million tons of greenhouse gases that have been discharged into the atmosphere.* In the 30+ years of disastrous operations, Dineh and Hopi communities in Arizona have been ravaged by Peabody’s coal mining. As a result of the massive mining operation, thousands of families have had their land taken away and been forcibly relocated. Peabody has drained 2.5 million gallons of water daily from the only community water supply and has left a monstrous toxic legacy along an abandoned 273-mile coal slurry pipeline. Furthermore, Peabody has desecrated & completely dug up burials, sacred areas, and shrines designated specifically for offerings, preventing religious practices. The continued mining by Peabody has devastating environmental and cultural impacts on local communities and significantly exacerbates global climate chaos.

A trench carved out by a Peabody dragline in order to access coal seams. Photo: Jonathan LeFaive

Relocation laws have made it nearly impossible for younger generations to continue living on their homelands. Institutional racism has fueled neglect and abandonment of public services such as water, maintenance of roads, health care, and schools. Many of the residents in the regions of Black Mesa that we’ll be visiting are elderly and winters can be extremely rough on them in this remote high desert terrain. Due to lack of local job opportunities and federal strangulation on Indian self-sufficiency, extended families are forced to live many miles away to earn incomes and have all the social amenities (which include choices in mandatory American education).

It is increasingly difficult for families to come back to visit their relatives in these remote areas due to the unmaintained roads and the rising cost of transportation. As one of their resistance strategies they call upon outside support as they maintain their traditional way of life in the face of the largest relocation of indigenous people in the US since the Trail of Tears.

May we stand strong with the elders & families of Black Mesa in their declaration that “Coal is the Mother Earth’s liver” and join them in action to ensure that coal remains in the ground! Families of Black Mesa are determined to repair and end the devastating impacts of colonialism, coal mining, and forced relocation of their communities, sacred lands, and our planet. False solutions to climate change and large scale coal extraction must be stopped!

Drawing on the inspiration of the elders & families of Black Mesa, they offer us a transformative model for the strategic, visionary change that is needed to re-harmonize our relationships with one another and with the planet. But too often Black Mesa becomes invisibilized as other human rights, environmental justice and climate justice struggles are showcased and highlighted in both the mainstream & progressive media. The truth is that all of these struggles are interconnected and central to our collective survival is the need to increase the visibility of struggles such as Black Mesa, a decades-long indigenous-led resistance to the fossil fuel industry, in related movements for human rights, environmental, climate & social justice.

Forging links between people grounded in movements based on social and ecological justice and the Black Mesa resisters (who are also grounded in these movements) is essential to address the disproportionate problems of poverty and disenfranchisement to achieve social, environmental, & climate justice.

On-Going Resistance To The Continued Desecration Of The Sacred San Francisco Peaks:

Blockade Halts Ski Resort Destruction & Desecration of Holy Mountain. Photo: www.indigenousaction.org

The struggle to protect the San Francisco Peaks is part of an international movement to protect sacred sites and is intricately connected with the struggle to protect the sacred places of Big Mountain & Black Mesa, AZ. The San Francisco Peaks has considerable religious significance to thirteen local Indigenous nations (including the Havasupai, Dine’ {Navajo}, Hopi, and Zuni.) In particular, it forms the Dine’ sacred mountain of the west, called the Dook’o’oosłííd.

In recent months the San Francisco Peaks has been desecrated by Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort with permission from the US Forest Service by cutting 40 acres of pristine forest and laying miles of pipeline to spray artificial snow made of sewage water that would be bought from the City of Flagstaff. In response, there has been a convergence on the peaks to protect what has yet to be desecrated and create a long term form of protection for the Mountain including demonstrations, encampments, multiple lockdowns, further litigation, and tribes filing a human rights complaint with the United Nations.
If you’re visiting Black Mesa, then you will be likely be traveling through the vicinity of the holy San Francisco Peaks which is located just outside of Flagstaff, AZ. Stay posted for updates & how you can support the protection of the Peaks at http://www.truesnow.org and http://www.indigenousaction.org

Support the Action in Stopping the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) “States & Nation Policy Summit” in Scottsdale, AZ; Nov 30 – Dec 2, 2011:

ALEC- a conglomerate of legislators and corporate sponsors is planning to meet for their “States and Nation Policy Summit” just outside of Phoenix, AZ (Scottsdale) from November 30-December 2, 2011 . “The group’s membership includes both state lawmakers and corporate executives who gather behind closed doors to discuss and vote on draft legislation. ALEC has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months for its role in crafting bills to attack worker rights, to roll back environmental regulations, privatize education, deregulate major industries, and pass voter ID laws”.** Arizona politicians and the private prison industry, under ALEC, finalized the model legislation which became SB 1070, the harshest anti- immigrant measure in the country and a license for racial profiling.
Thanks to ALEC, at least a dozen states have recently adopted a nearly identical resolution asking Congress to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to stop regulating carbon emissions (which they recently did): http://www.democracynow.org/2011/9/7/smog_v_jobs_is_obama_admin”.
A Peabody Energy representative is on the Corporate Board of ALEC. Kelly Mader, the Vice President of State Government Affairs at Peabody was given ALEC’s 2011 Private Sector Member of the Year Award. In these closed door ALEC meetings, it is no wonder that corporations such as Peabody serve state legislators their agendas on legislation which directly benefit their bottom line. Mader is due to attend the ALEC meeting in Phoenix.

Families of Black Mesa may need supporters to watch over their home and animals so that they can attend the ALEC demonstrations. Please contact BMIS if you can help with this as well as additional logistics such as funds, transportation, and lodging. Thank you!

The struggles on Big Mountain are directly connected to the struggles on the San Francisco Peaks and the movement to stop ALEC. Stay tuned for possible actions and protests in support of struggles to protect ancestral homelands & sacred sites, to stop corporate profiteering off the exploitation, suffering and degradation of us all -particularly indigenous peoples, migrants, the working class, prisoners, and essentially all of Mother Earth.

“Arizona Says NO to Criminalization, Incarceration, & Corporate Profiteering at the Expense of Our Communities” http://azresistsalec.wordpress.com/ *
For additional info on ALEC: http://alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

Ways you can support:
Join the Caravan: Connect with a coordinator or create a work crew in your region. Contact BMIS so that we can connect you with others who may be in your region. So far caravan coordinators are located in Prescott, Phoenix and Flagstaff, AZ; Denver, CO; Santa Cruz, CA; Eugene and Portland, OR; and the San Francisco’s Bay Area. Meeting locations and dates will be posted on the BMIS website & our facebook page as coordinators set them up. This caravan will be in collaboration with the annual Clan Dyken Fall Food and Supply Run on Black Mesa. It is of the utmost importance that each guest understands and respects the ways of the communities that we will be visiting. Prior to visiting Black Mesa, all guests must read and sign the Cultural Sensitivity & Preparedness Guide: http://blackmesais.org/tag/cultural-sensitivity/

Host or attend regional organizational meetings in your area: We strongly urge participants to attend or organize regional meetings. Due to the large number of caravan participants in past years, we are limiting the number to just under 100 this fall. Please register early and plan on attending meetings held in your region. There you’ll engage in political education work and help regional coordinators plan logistics, fundraisers, and collect donated food and supplies ahead of time.

Trucks, chainsaws, & supplies are integral to the success of the caravan. The more trucks we have, the more wood, water and other heavy loads we can transport. Axes, mauls, axe handles, shovels, tools of all kinds, organic food, warm blankets, and did we mention trucks? — either to donate to families or to use for the week of the caravan–are greatly needed on the land to make this caravan work! We’ve got a 501-C3 tax-deductible number, so if you need that contact us. Please keep checking the BMIS website for an ongoing list of specific requests by Black Mesa residents.

A Navajo man holds up a piece of coal that is spotted with “fool’s gold”. Photo: Jonathan LeFaive

Challenge Colonialism! One of our main organizing goal’s is to highlight anti-colonial education within all the regional meetings leading up to the caravan. In addition to the Cultural Sensitivity Guide, we encourage you to bring articles, films, and other resources to your regional meetings & host discussions that further our collective understanding for transforming colonialism, white supremacy, genocide, & all intersections of oppression. We have started a resources list, which is now on the website.  Feel free to share with us any resources that you like so that we can build upon this list & strengthen our growing support network! In addition please check out our Points Of Unity.

Fundraise! Fundraise! Fundraise! As a grassroots, all-volunteer network, we do not receive nor rely on any institutional funding for these support efforts, but instead count on each person’s ingenuity, creativity, and hard work to make it all come together. We are hoping to raise enough money through our community connections for gas, specifically for collecting wood and food for host families, and for work projects.   Host events, hit up non-profits, generous food vendors, and folks in your own networks. An article that we want to highlight is ‘8 Ways to Raise $2,500 in 10 Days’. Check our website soon for this document, template letters to vendors, fundraising guidelines, and more. You can Donate here: http://blackmesais.org/donate/

Stay with a family any time of the year: Families living in resistance to coal mining and relocation laws are requesting self-sufficient guests who are willing to give three or more weeks of their time, especially in the winter. Contact BMIS in advance so that we can make arrangements prior to your stay, to answer any questions that you may have, and so we can help put you in touch with a family. It is of the utmost importance that each guest understands and respects the ways of the communities that we will be visiting. Prior to visiting Black Mesa, all guests must read and sign the Cultural Sensitivity & Preparedness Guide: http://blackmesais.org/tag/cultural-sensitivity/
Give back to the Earth! Give to future generations!
May the resistance of Big Mountain and surrounding communities on Black Mesa always be remembered, and supported!

With love,
Black Mesa Indigenous Support

Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS) is a grassroots, all-volunteer collective committed to supporting the indigenous peoples of Black Mesa in their resistance to massive coal mining operations and to the forced relocation policies of the US government. We see ourselves as a part of a people powered uprising for a healthy planet liberated from fossil fuel extraction, exploitative economies, racism, and oppression for our generation and generations to come. BMIS stands with the elders of Black Mesa in their declaration that “Coal is the Mother Earth’s liver” and joins them in action to ensure that coal remains in the ground.
Address: P.O. Box 23501, Flagstaff, Arizona 86002
Voice Mail: 928.773.8086
Email: blackmesais@gmail.com
Web: www.blackmesais.org

Facebook: Black Mesa Indigenous Support
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(Ed Note: Missing photographs were missing from the original article at the time this post was accessed.)

(Ed Note: Please visit the original site for more content associated with this article.)

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http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/09/caravan-to-black-mesa-2011.html