August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Federal court to hear arguments on sewage snowmaking on sacred San Francisco Peaks

Contact: Klee Benally

UPDATE: Save the Peaks District Court Oral Arguments Rescheduled for July 16th

PHOENIX -- An Arizona District Court has rescheduled oral arguments in the lawsuit challenging the proposed use of treated sewage effluent on the San Francisco Peaks located in northern Arizona. The oral arguments have been moved from June 14th and rescheduled to be heard at 2:30 PM, Friday, July 16th, 2010 in the United States District Court before the Honorable Mary H. Murguia in Phoenix, Arizona.

The court stated that it is, "directing the Parties to provide supplemental briefing on the issue whether this lawsuit is barred by the doctrine of claim preclusion or res judicata."

"Res judicata is a legal doctrine that limits the ability of certain plaintiffs to bring cases that have already been heard" said Howard Shanker, attorney for the Save the Peaks Coalition and other plaintiffs. "In this case, the court has not heard this issue and the relationships, if any, of plaintiffs to prior litigants is not the type that would preclude this action in any event."

This case addresses whether or not a private, for-profit business, Arizona Snowbowl Resort Limited Partnership (ASR), which operates on public land managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS), will be permitted to make fake snow using treated sewage water.

The case is known as The Save the Peaks Coalition, et al. v. U.S. Forest Service. The suit asserts, among other things, that the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) prepared by the USFS ignores the possibility of human ingestion of snow made from treated sewage effluent.

Volunteer supporters of the Save the Peaks Coalition are organizing a caravan from northern Arizona, and rally and march at the Sandra Day O'Conner Federal Court House in Phoenix for July 16th.

For a full background, legal documents, photos, and further information on the Save the Peaks Coalition please visit:

Navajo to Protest Uranium Mining Expansion

Support New Mexico Indigenous Leaders in Protesting the Expansion of Uranium Mining and the Nuclear Cycle of Destruction!
Demand a Clean Up of This Toxic Legacy and Respect for Sacred Lands
Wednesday, May 26, Noon
Grand Hyatt Hotel
1750 Welton Street, Denver, Colorado

On May 25-27 a delegation of Navajo community leaders will come to Denver to protest US Government support for expanding the nuclear industry that has already had a devastating impact on Native American and Chicano communities in New Mexico.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the National Mining Association will host a “Uranium Recovery” conference designed to make it easier for mining companies to move forward with a new era of uranium mining.
When the uranium boom ended over thirty years ago, mining companies skipped town and left New Mexico with a devastating legacy of sick communities—including high rates of cancers, respiratory diseases, reproductive disorders and miscarriages. They also left contaminated water, soil, and air. There are still hundreds of abandoned uranium mines in New Mexico, largely located on Navajo land and Pueblo lands, and state and federal agencies are only now beginning to inventory those mines and begin the cleanup process.
Despite this toxic legacy and a Navajo ban on mining, uranium companies like HRI have dozens of mining projects they are trying to get permitted. One mine in particular, the Roca Honda Mine, is proposed for the sacred burial grounds on Mt. Taylor in Grants, NM. Despite heavy consequences to the health of the local communities and the environment, and the violation of sacred land, the NRC is trying to make this permitting process easier.
It is time to end the cycle of violence perpetrated by the nuclear industry, from mining to weapons, to nuclear power and waste! It’s time to invest this money in good jobs, renewable energy, sustainable practices and respect for Indigenous rights!
Please join in Solidarity with these Community Leaders to Protest the Expansion of Nuclear Industrial Complex and all efforts to renew uranium mining!
This event is being organized by the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment and the Think Outside the Bomb youth network for nuclear abolition. For more information contact:

Think Outside the Bomb, 718-290-6399