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California | Environment & Forest Defense

Sacred Medicine Lake Near Mt. Shasta Faces Destruction!
by Morning Star Gali
Monday Feb 19th, 2007 10:00 AM
Battle Continues as Bureau of Land Management Announces Plans to Appeal the Ninth Circuit Court Ruling In Favor of Pitt River Tribe To Continue their Proposal for a Geothermal Power Plant


Native American Tribes and Environmental Groups To Protest At BLM’s Office In Alturis to Demand Religious Freedom and Environmental Justice!

For Immediate Release February 20, 2007

Contacts: Mark LeBeau 916.801.4422
Morning Star Gali 510.827.6719



Sacred Medicine Lake Near Mt. Shasta Faces Destruction!

Battle Continues as Bureau of Land Management Announces Plans to Appeal the Ninth Circuit Court Ruling In Favor of Pitt River Tribe To Continue their Proposal for a Geothermal Power Plant

Native American Tribes and Environmental Groups To Protest At BLM’s Office In Alturis to Demand Religious Freedom and Environmental Justice!
_______________________________________________________________________
What: PROTEST
When: 12:00 PM
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Where: BLM Office
708 W. 12th St., Alturas, CA


Who: Speakers at the protest include Jonothan Freeman of Seventh Generation Fund, Advocates for the Protection of Sacred Sites, Radley Davis and Mark LeBeau of the Pitt River Nation. Sponsors include International Indian Treaty Council, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Redding Rancheria Cultural Department.

Why: Medicine Lake Highlands, which are located near Mt. Shasta, CA are under attack! Bureau Of Land Manangement, California Energy Commission, and Calpine Energy company have recently indicated that they will attempt to carry out their geothermal power plants proposal and appeal of the Ninth Circuit Court Hearing that was in favor of the Pitt River Tribe.

Their proposal not only destroys fragile ecosystems, but directly undermines Native American cultural integrity, trampling their right to religious freedom. The Medicine Lake Highlands have significant spiritual and cultural value to Pitt River Tribes (and putting a power plant there would desecrate this sacred and traditionally important area).

The proposal requires drilling to 9000 feet beneath the surface; require injection and extraction of large amounts of toxins that can cause cancer or birth defects such as arsenic, mercury, and hydrogen sulfide; create a situation for accidental releases of acids and chemicals into the shallow water table or maintenance-related pipeline ruptures and explosions; replace the natural surface environment with toxic slump ponds, roads, pipelines, and cooling towers; have the potential to cause earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or avalanches; SAY THE FOLLOWING IN A SUCCINCT WAY THAT IS CLEARER OR OMIT IT: harness this energy and peddle it as “green energy”; not simply trap steam or mine hot water from natural geysers. ….that would likely cause irreversible contamination of the air, water, plants, and wildlife in the region and threaten the underlying aquifer – which is California’s largest pure spring system and flows into the Fall River and joins with the Pit River and winds into the Sacramento River and San Francisco Bay.
The federal government must ban such development out of respect for American Indian religious and traditional use rights and to fulfill its fiduciary responsibility to the tribal governments of the area and act in their best interests. The 9th Circuit reversed a lower court decision indicating that the federal agencies neglected their fiduciary responsibilities to the Pit River Nation by violating the National Environmental Protection and the National Historic Preservation Acts and that the agencies never took the requisite “hard look” at whether the Highlands should be developed for energy at all. This notice came as no surprise to many Native peoples who are used to government policies and statements shifting like the wind.

Native peoples, lawmakers, homeowners, ranchers, fishing enthusiasts, environmentalists and other citizens and surrounding towns have consistently opposed this project and demands a halt to the disastrous proposal and vow to nonviolently defend Medicine Lake from any attempts to build power plants in this sacred and natural area. Over 200 tribal members and environmental justice advocates rallied in front of Calpine Energy Company’s Headquarters on January 29, 2007. Pitt River tribal representatives handed Calpine a Notice Of Eviction.



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