Flagstaff Commits 3.6 Billion Gallons of Treated Sewage for Snowmaking on Sacred Mountain
Waste Water from Mari Cleven on Vimeo.
For Immediate Release
City of Administrator Shuts Public Out of Controversial Decision
FLAGSTAFF, AZ — City of Flagstaff Utility Director Brad Hill single-handedly authorized a controversial 20-year contract to extend sale of treated sewage for snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks in Northern Arizona. He refused to hear public comment preceding his decision.
“This extension amounts to committing 3.6 billion gallons of treated sewage to be sprayed on a sensitive mountain ecosystem. This is where Indigenous People pray and where children will be exposed to harmful contaminants in snow made from this effluent.” said Klee Benally, volunteer with Protect the Peaks, “This is incredibly offensive, unsustainable and ultimately irresponsible considering the escalating water crisis we’re facing in the Southwest.”
“To add insult to injury,” Mary Sojourner, Protect the Peaks volunteer, said, “I find it reprehensible that we, the public who will be affected by this decision, were not allowed to make comments; and that an open review process was not put in place.”The decision to extend the contract was made despite pleas from local residents and Indigenous People. “This type of agreement is short sighted and unsustainable in our continuous drought situation and also shows a total lack of regard for the 13 Indigenous Nations for whom the Peaks are sacred,” said Dawn Dyer, Protect the Peaks volunteer.
On July 22, 2014, when Arizona Snowbowl was 2 years into their original 5 year contract. Snowbowl manager J.R. Murray petitioned for the twenty-year extension. The volume of treated sewage effluent provided to Snowbowl and the duration of time for snowmaking, November to February, has not been changed. The City is required to deliver Class A reclaimed water – though since it has problems at its two reclaimed water treatment plants, it is questionable if the City can consistently deliver effluent at that standard. Flagstaff’s reclaimed water also contains high amounts of selenium and other dangerous contaminants.
City officials acknowledge that reclaimed wastewater may contain antibiotic resistant bacteria and pharmaceuticals, but have no timeline for testing and mitigating these issues. It is illegal to ingest reclaimed wastewater through the eyes, mouth, ears or skin due to its fecal coliform and chemical content. In spite of this, state agencies are turning a blind eye to these facts when considering matters with Snowbowl – thus the City and state agencies are therefore putting thousands of skiers and families at risk.
TAKE ACTION! Email Flagstaff Officials & Voice Your Concerns: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Over thirteen Indigenous Nations have expressed overwhelming opposition to the use of reclaimed wastewater on the San Francisco Peaks, citing the damage it will do to medicinal plants, animals, culture, and the sanctity of this sacred site. The Forest Service, City of Flagstaff, and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality have all colluded to push snowmaking through and to ignore any voice against such action.
Currently, Flagstaff taxpayers are subsidizing Snowbowl’s reclaimed wastewater use for dirty snow. Arizona Snowbowl receives reclaimed wastewater for a fraction of the cost that city residents would, resulting in millions of dollars of Flagstaff tax payer funds subsidizing this unsustainable business, a business not even within city limits.
A council ordinance adopted in 2002 and reaffirmed by council in 2013, states that all agreements for existing treated sewage effluent customers are reviewed, approved, executed and enforced by the Utilities Director. Snowbowl manager J.R. Murray lobbied city officials to get the extension approved.
Arizona Snowbowl operates their private business on the Peaks under permit from the US Forest Service. The Forest Service approved ski area expansion and treated sewage snowmaking in 2005. The Coconino Forest Service Environmental Impact Statement (page 3-121) stated, “It is unrealistic to think that the Snowbowl would be a significant driver of tourism activity or the economy.”
The Hopi Tribe currently has a lawsuit against the City of Flagstaff to halt the sale of wastewater for snowmaking. The lawsuit asserts that the contract is not in the public’s best interest. In spite of the pending suit, the City of Flagstaff is undermining their concerns and ultimately judicial processes, which if regarded, should have put the City’s contract on hold until the lawsuit was resolved.
After years of legal battles, protests, teach-ins and more than 50 arrests resulting from protests to protect the Peaks, Snowbowl started making snow in 2012. The recent decision extends the contract through 2034.
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ALERT: Imminent Uranium Mining Threat at Grand Canyon – Haul No!
Underground blasting & above ground work has begun at Pinyon Plain/Canyon Mine, just miles from the Grand Canyon.
Workers are readying to start mining uranium at the mine. According to the Forest Service, workers are blasting daily though no ore is being moved yet. Once Energy Fuels starts hauling out radioactive ore, they plan to haul 30 tons per day through Northern Arizona to the company’s processing mill 300 miles away.
The Grand Canyon, sacred site Red Butte, precious water, and communities along the haul route are in danger!
As all legal options have failed, we need you to join us to stand up and stop this nuclear catastrophe from permanently poisoning our communities!
Join our telegram channel to connect for actions and support: https://t.me/haulno
For more info & to donate for legal defense: www.haulno.com
Pinyon Plain/Canyon Mine Haul Route Facts:
* Total distance of 300 miles.
* 12 trucks with capacity to haul up to 30 tons of highly radioactive ore per day.
* Truck loads to be covered with thin tarps, the only shielding from uranium and only protection from environmental contamination.
* Proposed route will go through high population areas such as Valle, Williams, and Flagstaff; as well as through rural Navajo reservation communities including Cameron, Tuba City, and Kayenta; near the Hopi reservation, and finally arrive at Energy Fuel’s White Mesa Mill only three miles from the Ute Mountain Ute tribal community of White Mesa, Utah.
The Intercept and Grist begin release of 50,000 TigerSwan spy documents
Article by Brenda Norrell, Censored News
Reprinted with permission.
April 14, 2023
The Intercept and Grist began releasing new TigerSwan spy documents in new coverage of the mercenaries hired by the Dakota Access Pipeline. They now have 50,000 TigerSwan spy documents, and another 9,000 are held up in the court battle for now. The documents reveal TigerSwan spying on Water Protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota, Bold Iowa, and at other locations.
Reporters Alleen Brown and Naveena Sadasivam expose the new spy documents in their article, After Spying on Standing Rock, TigerSwan Shopped Anti-Protest ‘Countinsurgency’ to Other Oil Companies.
The article follows an expensive court battle by The Intercept seeking the release of the documents. The North Dakota Supreme Court ordered the release after TigerSwan was found operating without a license in North Dakota.
“The released documents provide startling new details about how TigerSwan used social media monitoring, aerial surveillance, radio eavesdropping, undercover personnel, and subscription-based records databases to build watchlists and dossiers on Indigenous activists and environmental organizations,” The Intercept writes. Read the article at The Intercept: https://theintercept.com/2023/04/13/standing-rock-tigerswan-protests/
Paiute journalist, drone activist and filmmaker Myron Dewey was among those that TigerSwan spied on and stalked at Standing Rock 2016-2017, as revealed in the new documents that were ordered released by the court.
On Tuesday, the driver that killed Myron Dewey on an isolated road near his family’s home in Yomba, Nevada, entered a surprise plea bargain deal that was cut with a new prosecutor assigned to the case in Nye County, Nevada. John Walsh pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of vehicular manslaughter.
This TigerSwan spy document, showing TigerSwan stalking Myron Dewey and Prolific the Rapper at Standing Rock on Dec. 17, 2016, is from the new documents at The Intercept. Document link: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/23773105-tigerswan-document-daily-intelligence-update-20161217
Below: From the TigerSwan spy files just released: The power of the global movement, with its heart in Standing Rock.
Below: The first flood of documents show how rattled DAPL was over the involvement of celebrities, the Standing Rock Chairman at the United Nations, Bernie Sanders, the Palestinian flag flying, and big orgs. The doc is from a pitch that TigerSwan made for more work, hustling another pipeline to spy on resistance.
|Above: TigerSwan surveillance used drones and helicopters.https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/23773104-tigerswan-document-daily-intelligence-update-20161014|
Above: TigerSwan spy file at Bold Iowa. The mercenaries hired by the Dakota Access Pipeline called Bold Iowa Water Protectors “belligerents.” Document link:
TigerSwan spied on, and stalked the media, including Paiute journalist Myron Dewey, Amy Goodman at Democracy Now, and myself, publisher of Censored News, as revealed in the newly released documents by The Intercept and Grist. TigerSwan used its surveillance on the media in its pitches for more spy work to other oil and pipeline companies.
TigerSwan turned its surveillance at Standing Rock into a potential money maker, using it for powerpoints in its pitches to other oil and pipeline companies for spy work.
TigerSwan even stalked the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, in its high-stakes spying for dollars.
TigerSwan’s Opposition Model, shown below, was used as a potential maker in PowerPoints to other oil and pipeline companies.
The Intercept described the battle for these documents.
“A discovery request filed as part of the case forced thousands of new internal TigerSwan documents into the public record. Energy Transfer’s lawyers fought for nearly two years to keep the documents secret, until North Dakota’s Supreme Court ruled in 2022 that the material falls under the state’s open records statute,” The Intercept said.
“Because an arrangement between North Dakota and Energy Transfer allows the fossil fuel company to weigh in on which documents should be redacted, the state has yet to release over 9,000 disputed pages containing material that Energy Transfer is, for now at least, fighting to keep out of the public eye.”
TigerSwan spy documents on Water Protectors
Note: The documents show that TigerSwan spied on Censored News, as shown in today’s article at The Intercept.
Indigenous Action Podcast Ep. 9: Against Colonial Logics: Rethinking Resistance to Resource Extraction
Ep. 9: Against Colonial Logics: Rethinking Resistance to Resource Extraction
Many Indigenous frontline resistance struggles are wrought with strategies and tactics that reinforce colonial logics. From resource extraction resistances, “honoring” treaties, green capitalism, and Indigenous non-profit capitalists, how do we identify, challenge, and go beyond these issues so we can more effectively fight for liberation?In this show we hear from Bearcat reporting from the frontlines […]
Subscribe: iTunes | Spotify
Many Indigenous frontline resistance struggles are wrought with strategies and tactics that reinforce colonial logics. From resource extraction resistances, “honoring” treaties, green capitalism, and Indigenous non-profit capitalists, how do we identify, challenge, and go beyond these issues so we can more effectively fight for liberation? In this show we hear from Bearcat reporting from the frontlines of the Treaty People Gathering and powerful perspectives from Amrah and edxi about their frontline experiences and analysis. As always, claws out!
Guests: edxi betts is an Afro Blackfeet Indigenous trans feminine Pinay multi media insurrectionary artist & organizer. Her work entails political education while providing material support to oppressed & colonized communities. Creating art/media for the sake of propagating resistance culture, counter narrative and collective liberatory projects that spark discourse, sources of healing, critical thought, dialogue, and direct action. More info & support: www.linktr.ee/bettsurevolt
Amrah Salomón J. is a writer, artist, activist, and educator of Mexican, O’odham and Tohono O’odham, and European ancestry. @oodhamantiborder @defendoodhamjewed Cashapp: $DefendOodhamJewed Paypal.me/DefendOodhamJewed Venmo: @DefendOodhamJewed
Jenn Bearcat (she/her): Newe-Numa (Tosa Wihi) from Doka Badee, so-called Northern Nevada currently residing in Albuquerque, NM. She’s a 3rd generation land defender with a healthy respect for a diversity of tactics and a healthy distrust of the state. She contributes to a network of organizers and frontline defenders confronting issues surrounding colonization.
Host: Klee – Instagram: @kleebenally
About the podcast: Welcome to Indigenous Action where we dig deep into critical issues impacting our communities throughout Occupied America/Turtle Island. This is an autonomous anti-colonial broadcast with unapologetic and claws-out analysis towards total liberation. So take your seat by this fire and may the bridges we burn together, light our way.
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August 9, 2014 at 6:37 PM
While the lack of respect and disregard for their neighbors shown here is typical of the short sighted and misinformed, this decision will have very little long term effect on any one. I know the preceding would be dismissed as, What ?? If it weren’t for the fact that there will not be any “snow making” on any mountains nor will there be any sewage treatment plants operating anywhere on the planet in as short as five years ten at the most. Below is a poem that I feel sums it up, and if you choose could be used as guide.
The Change came in geological terms, a rush
Not so slow in human terms either
Twenty years for what some had seen coming for a hundred
Some did not believe it, even with clearly evident facts, laid bare at their feet
Some who understood fanned flames of doubt, while preparing in the back room
Some wrung their hands and in fear ran in circles while doing nothing constructive
Some stood on hills watching new things happen with amazing speed
Some went to work and made plans for dancing a new dance
We do not live on the planet we were born on
We KNOW nothing everything is,new, strange and influx
Some will come out the other side
We will be changed
August 11, 2014 at 12:57 PM
Traduction française et vidéo sous-titrée en français:
October 25, 2014 at 5:11 AM
I think the cities of Sedona, Verde Valley and others downstream on Oak Creek need to join in the lawsuit. Not only is the spreading of sewage on the Sacred Peaks a sacrilege, those of us downstream rely on the runoff for our drinking water!
October 30, 2014 at 9:01 AM
Qui Awhawnni ; save Mother Earth please !