Protest the Forest Service's attempts to desecrate the San Francisco Peaks!

Take Action! PROTEST THE FOREST SERVICE!

Let the Forest Service know that you are outraged by their decision to appeal the decision to protect the sacred San Francisco Peaks!

Lets stand for unity to protect our environment and heal the cultural relationships in our community.

Join us Monday, June 4 from 11:30 am until 2:00 pm at the Coconino National Forest Service office.1824 S. Thompson St. (off of W. route
66, across the street from the Daily Sun).

What: Protest the Forest Service's attempts to desecrate the San Francisco Peaks! When: Monday, June 4 from 11:30 am until 2:00 pm Where: Coconino National Forest Service office.1824 S. Thompson St. (off of W. route 66, across the street from the Daily Sun). Why? Because we care about community health, our environment, and Native American religious freedom!

BRING SIGNS, BANNERS, & WATER


To: Save the Peaks coalition @savethepeaks.org
Subject: U.S. Department of Justice Chooses to Continue Desecration of Sacred Site
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 20:58:52 -0700

U.S. Department of Justice Chooses to Continue Desecration of Sacred Site

Flagstaff, AZ -- On Wednesday, May 30th the United States Department of Justice on behalf of the Forest Service filed for a rehearing and appeal "en banc" in the case to protect the San Francisco Peaks in Northern Arizona. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals previously ruled in favor of Native American tribes and environmental groups on the grounds that a proposed ski area development and expansion would violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

The Peaks, which are held holy by more than 13 Native American Nations, have been at the center of a legal battle that has pitted tribes and environmental groups against the U.S. Forest Service and a small private ski area. The Arizona Snowbowl ski area has been attempting an expansion and snowmaking with treated sewage effluent on the sacred mountain. The US Forest Service, which leases the land to Snowbowl, approved the decision but was faced with lawsuits by the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, Hualapai Tribe, the White Mountain Apache Tribe, the Yavapai-Apache Tribe, the Havasupai Tribe, the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Flagstaff Activist Network.

"The decision of the Forest Service and Snowbowl to appeal the ruling is shameful and harmful to all of the tribes and people of this country who value religious freedom and a healthy environment." Said Howard Shanker, of the Shanker Law Firm, PLC. "The 9th Circuit ruling did not grant Native Americans new rights that restrict other uses of public lands, it only upheld and protected the rights they already have."

"The Federal Government does not have a compelling interest to prop up a private business. As a taxpayer, I am outraged. The Forest Service has spent a lot of our money in this case and they are disregarding good case law. All public land users should be outraged." Carly Long, President of the Flagstaff Activist Network said.

Recently 21 tribes had collaboratively passed a resolution calling on the Federal Government not to appeal the 9th Circuit ruling. The resolution also urged the government to repair damage done to tribal relations due to controversy created by the proposed ski area development. A rehearing could bring the case back before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. An Appeal "en banc" could have the case heard before the entire 9th Circuit.

There is no guarantee that the courts will hear this case.

[p]eople wonder why we are upset, because after all we can still use part of the Mountain. . . We do not see the Mountain as a pie to divide up into segments. The Mountain is a whole entity like a pregnant woman or a large mature tree. . ." Stated Vincent Randall, Yavapai-Apache Nation Councilman in the 9th Circuit Court briefing.

"We always knew that this would be a long and difficult struggle. The fight for human rights and religious freedom has always been a challenge in this country." Said Jeneda Benally, a volunteer with the Save the Peaks Coalition. "The Save the Peaks Coalition is committed to creating healthy relationships between people in our community and lasting environmental justice for future generations."

The Save the Peaks Coalition has initiated a "Healthy Communities/Turquoise Ribbon campaign" to engage local citizens and the Flagstaff business community in the call for respect for the environment, community health, and cultural diversity.

The Save the Peaks Coalition also has called for a demonstration on Monday, June 4th at the Coconino National Forest Service office in Flagstaff Arizona. The protest will be held from 11:30 am until 2:00 pm. The Forest Service office is located at 1824 S. Thompson St. (off of W. route 66, across the street from the Daily Sun). Visit http://www.savethepeaks.org for more information.

"We must at some point stop trying to fake the world and realize that our actions as humans have created a world in peril. The Native cultural perspective that is protected by this court decision is in fact a road map to once again creating a world in balance." Said Rudy Preston.


Informant: Don B Fanning

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