Activists Gather to Oppose SNWA
“Sacred Water, Sacred Forests” Camp Brings Opponents of Water Pipeline and Pinyon-Juniper Treatments to Spring Valley
By Max Wilbert
Spring Valley, Nev. (May 28) – Deep Green Resistance, an organization opposing the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s (SNWA) proposed groundwater development project and the Pinyon-Juniper forest treatments taking place across the intermountain West, is organizing a gathering over Memorial Day weekend, May 28th and May 30th.
The event will take place at Cleve Creek Campground in Spring Valley, between Baker and Ely.
Organizers say the event will include a community BBQ, workshops, campfires, activities for kids, and visits to important sites that may be impacted by the groundwater project and Pinyon-Juniper treatment sites. Attendees are expected to include local Shoshone and Goshute tribal members, ecologists and activists, and community members.
This is the third year local pipeline opponents have partnered with activists from Utah, Oregon, Colorado and California to organize a trip in the region. Trip organizers say the purpose of the tour is to appreciate the land threatened by water extraction and learn more about the issues, as well as to build a community of activists to resist the water grab.
Rick Spilsbury of the Ely-Shoshone Tribe has been fighting the water grab for decades, and sees opposition as critical to the future.
“The Western Shoshone still hunt and gather here—right where the worst of the environmental damage will be.” said Spilsbury. “The mass killing of life in this area will not only be the final blow to Western Shoshone culture, it will be a serious threat to their long-term sustainability—and even viability.”
The $10 billion SNWA groundwater development project would extract water from mountain valleys in eastern Nevada and deliver it by pipeline to Las Vegas. The project faces mounting opposition and was dealt another blow in the State Supreme Court last May, when the court denied petitions from SNWA and the State Engineer.
Activists are also concerned about Pinyon Pine and Juniper trees, which they allege are being destroyed inappropriately. The BLM, which contends that Pinyon-Juniper forests are spreading into new areas and destroying habitat for the threatened Sage Grouse, has been removing Pinyon-Juniper forests for over a decade and plans to remove millions more acres of forest within the next decade.
Interested members of the public can find more information about the campout on the Deep Green Resistance Southwest web site.