Are you willing to give a child cancer for a job?

Lithium Nevada and supporters of the proposed Thacker Pass lithium mine project love to claim that the mine will bring jobs to the area. This may be true. But, even if it is true, the mine will also bring more air, water, and soil pollution. The mine will also lead to escalated crime against women, especially indigenous women.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the Bureau of Land Management notes that soil and water will be contaminated with sulfates, arsenic, antimony, and uranium, for example. Long term exposure to antimony can result in chronic bronchitis and chronic emphysema. And, this is in an area where wild fire smoke is already wrecking local air quality. Long term exposure to arsenic can lead to skin lesions and skin cancer. Long term exposure to uranium can lead to kidney damage and liver and bone cancer. And, this is in an area where Fort McDermitt tribal members have already been killed by cancer from working at the McDermitt and Cordero Mercury mines.

This kind of pollution affects children, the elderly, and the sick at much higher levels than it affects others. So, the question is: Are you willing to give kids cancer, are you willing to kill the elderly and the sick for a job?

Another thing to consider, here, is the amount of crime, violence, and drug use that accompany new mines. The connection between higher rates of domestic and sexual violence – especially against indigenous women – and the presence of man camps is well-established. So, another question is: Are you willing to be raped for a job? Are you willing to see your daughter, sister, or cousin raped for a job? Are you willing to risk a child in your community sex-trafficked for a job?

One more thing to consider is whether people will actually seek employment at the mine or whether people are even capable of seeking employment at the mine. The mine will require drug tests. I’m sure that includes marijuana. Meanwhile, Fort McDermitt tribal members have pointed out that there are already plenty of jobs in the area, but no one wants to work them. There is a marijuana farm at Fort McDermitt, for example, and one of the reasons the Tribe allowed that farm to come to the reservation was the promise of jobs for tribal members. But, that farm has already had to establish a camp for workers outside of the reservation because not enough tribal members have sought employment at the farm.

The truth is, folks, destructive industries like mining ALWAYS use the jobs arguments to justify destroying the land and polluting vulnerable communities. But, it is precisely because the land is destroyed and communities are polluted that people need jobs. As more land is destroyed, and it becomes more and more difficult for people to support themselves on the land, the easier it is for mines to make people dependent on them. And, at the end of the day, we know many ancestors of Fort McDermitt tribal members were massacred by the federal government – the very same federal government permitting the Thacker Pass mine. These people were massacred BECAUSE THEY STOOD IN THE WAY OF DESTRUCTIVE INDUSTRIES LIKE MINING.

Don’t expose children to cancer for a job. Don’t kill grandmothers for a job. Don’t risk the rape of someone you know for a job. Protect Thacker Pass.

#ProtectPeeheeMuhuh #ProtectThackerPass #NoMoreStolenSisters #MMIW

Art by Sara-Marie Stiksrud.

Protecting Peehee Muh’huh, or Thacker Pass, Means Protecting the Eastern Sierra, too

by Caelen McQuilkin

Published in the Opinion section of The Mammoth Times on August 19, 2021

Drive slightly east and then five hours north out of Lee Vining, and you’ll find yourself in Thacker Pass, a wide-open landscape of sagebrush and sloping hills, achingly beautiful in that special high desert way. Drive slightly east and then five hours north out of Lee Vining, follow the 80 most of the way, turn left once you reach the small town of Orovada, Nevada, and you might fall in love with a place you had never previously heard of.

That’s what happened to me this summer when I saw the first social media posts and advocacy surrounding Peehee mu’huh, or Thacker Pass, and the movement to protect it from the proposed development of a 5,000 acre open-pit lithium mine atop what one of the advocacy groups fighting to protect the area, Atsa koodakuh wyh Nuwu, or People of Red Mountain, knows as “a spiritually powerful place blessed by the presence of our ancestors, other spirits, and golden eagles – who we consider to be directly connected to the Creator,” according to their statement of opposition. This is due to the history of the place: a long time ago, Indigenous people in the area–the ancestors of many of the advocates fighting to protect the place today–were massacred at Thacker Pass. “To build a lithium mine over this massacre site in Peehee mu’huh would be like building a lithium mine over Pearl Harbor or Arlington National Cemetery,” the statement reads. “We would never desecrate these places and we ask that our sacred sites be afforded the same respect.”

Though the movement to protect Thacker Pass is centered around land over 300 miles away from the Eastern Sierra, it provides a model for what environmentalism in the 21st century must look like if we are to address the root causes of environmental destruction. This type of environmentalism centers around anti-racist and anti-capitalist struggles, therefore addressing several root causes of environmental destruction in the modern day: the force of colonization, and the disproportionate power held by large corporations and by the rich. The movement begs us to interrogate ourselves with larger moral questions that Daranda Hinkey, a member of the Fort McDermitt Paiute Shoshone tribe and founder of People of Red Mountain, brought up: “What do we truly care about most?” she asked, referencing the outsized attention that purchasable items supposed to save us from the climate crisis receive, and the “greenwashing” that makes them palatable. “Do we care about the land? Do we care about the animals? Do we care about the water? Do we care about the air?”

Protecting Thacker Pass will help usher in a new era of environmentalism aimed towards racial and class justice, and therefore could in turn protect the Eastern Sierra from the similar environmental threats and racial inequities our region faces.

Historically, our region and the Thacker Pass region were linked through the movement of people. In the modern day, many Indigenous people still act on and appreciate this connection, and movements like Thacker Pass cast light upon its continued relevance. “A long time ago, we used to roam this way all the way down to Pyramid Lake, out to Lee Vining and California. There used to be roads here, a long time ago,” said Ron Guerrero, a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute tribe and supporter of the movement to protect Thacker Pass. “We weren’t separated by reservations. You know they put us on reservations, but we used to migrate with the animals. All through these lines, all the way to California, this is where we travelled through. At one time, we were all one. Bishop Paiutes, Pyramid Lake Paiutes, Fort McDermitt Paiutes, we were all one.”

The human history of this landscape shows that people have recognized the inherent connections between the land that makes up the high desert of the American West. Many still do recognize this inherent connection, and are acting on it. Myron Dewey, a filmmaker, journalist, and supporter of the movement, explained: “I’m a descendant of Yosemite. I’m currently enrolled in the Walker River Paiute tribe on my dad’s side, and I’m also Tomoke-Shoshone on my dad’s side, and from my mom’s side, I’m from the Bishop Paiute tribe,” he said. “Those Sierra mountains are our homelands. What I would like people to know, is to do the land acknowledgement on the land that you’re on, and know that the Indigenous people, even though they don’t all live in their traditional homelands, they’re still trying to protect them.”

Indeed, environmental threats like that at Thacker Pass are already present in our region. As far as lithium mining goes, a project to begin exploratory drilling for lithium in Panamint Valley was approved in 2019, according to Friends of the Inyo, and while the corporation has most recently decided to prioritize other mining projects, they may be back in the future. In addition, a recent gold mining proposal at Conglomerate Mesa, a large section of high desert landscape located at the doorstep of Death Valley National Park, and on the homelands of the Timbisha-Shoshone and Paiute-Shoshone tribal nations, poses a threat to sacred Indigenous land and critical wildlife habitat. According to Brian Hatchell, Desert Policy Associate at Friends of the Inyo, the Canadian company K2 Gold and their subsidiary Mojave Precious Metals are currently planning to begin the construction of miles of new roads and over a hundred exploratory drill holes at Conglomerate Mesa. This construction will come in anticipation of the actual mine, which will include cyanide heap-leach mine. “Numerous leaders in local tribes have opposed the gold exploration and mining by K2 Gold,” said Hatchell. “Conglomerate Mesa is a kingdom of solitude abundant in flora and fauna wonders that captures the pure essence of desert backcountry exploration. This area is simply too special for gold exploration and the open-pit cyanide heap leach gold mine that would follow.”

At Thacker Pass, the opposition to lithium mining formed in the beginning of 2021, after the corporation Lithium Nevada was able to quickly push through approval for its project, taking advantage of the recent weakening of environmental review process laws under the Trump administration. At its start, the resistance consisted of two people camped at Thacker Pass, but today, it has grown in size and impact.

Two advocacy groups–Protect Thacker Pass and Atsa koodakuh wyh Nuwu, People of Red Mountain–are working in solidarity to resist the mine by spreading awareness and education, taking legal action, building social pressure, and planning to peacefully blockade mine construction. The advocacy groups’ arguments are rooted in their belief that Thacker Pass is valuable and irreplaceable, and the impact of mining it will cause serious and irreversible damage, both to the area and through the precedent it will set for extractive practices in the West as a whole.

One such irreplaceable value of Thacker Pass is the fact that destruction of the landscape, and the wildlife it is home to (including the greater sage grouse, Lahontan cutthroat trout, pronghorn antelope, and golden eagle) will mean destruction of Indigenous culture and traditional knowledge. Hinkey explained what protecting Thacker Pass means to her: “It means I am protecting all the knowledge that all my grandmas and my grandpas, what they carry and what they tell me,” she said. “Everything that I know was not things that I just came up with. It was things that I learned. And so to me, it’s protecting that.”

People of Red Mountain’s statement in opposition to the lithium mine details why preserving cultural knowledge is so important.

“Thacker Pass is essential to the survival of our traditions. Our traditions are tied to the land,” it reads. “When our land is destroyed, our traditions are destroyed.” According to the statement, these traditions specific to Thacker Pass include picking choke cherries from the orchards there, gathering yapa, or wild potatoes, hunting groundhogs and mule deer, and gathering traditional medicines such as ibi, a chalky rock used for ulcers and internal and external bleeding, and toza root, which is considered one of the world’s best anti-viral medicines. Hinkey explained: “In the spring, there are a bunch of First Foods, and wildflowers, and the sagebrush, and a bunch of wildlife… As Native people, we are supposed to be caretakers of the land,” she said. “We’re supposed to be protectors for the people that are vulnerable. And when I say people, I mean the animal people, I mean the plant people. We still see them as that, and so we’re supposed to speak up for the ones that are vulnerable or can’t speak up for themselves.”

These arguments are so weighty they seem hard to effectively ignore, but one way advocates for the mine are promoting their development is through “greenwashing,” or presenting the illusion that they are not only environmentally responsible, but actually helping the environmental cause. Because lithium is necessary for the production of the batteries that run EV cars–technology often regarded as one of the solutions to the climate crisis–some believe that developing lithium mines such as this one will be necessary to slow climate change. “The company wants to blow up a mountain and call it green,” said Max Wilbert, one of the founders of Protect Thacker Pass. “Call it good for the planet to blow up a mountain and poison water and leave behind a wasteland and destroy all this wildlife habitat. That’s not unique here, that’s all over the world, that this sort of thing is happening.”

Many leaders at Thacker Pass mentioned greenwashing and its ties to their philosophy about environmentalism. If we can’t create an environmental movement that is geared towards addressing root causes, rather than symptoms, some said, then companies that can effectively greenwash will simply continue profiting from the same crisis that has already begun to harm the most vulnerable. Thinking about the world in terms of multiple generations to come may help rewire one’s thinking to reject greenwashing and false solutions like this one. Many advocates at Thacker Pass expressed their views through this lens.

“This is our future. It’s not only mine, it’s yours too… I’m old. It’s not for me, it’s for younger generations. It’s for you guys. That’s what my part is–I’m fighting the fight for all of us,” said Ron Guerrero, a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, who came to Thacker Pass for the first time in the spring and has since been back over ten times. Hinkey had similar thoughts. “It’s not just us in this present day having a new lithium car, having solar panels or wind turbines. It’s not us now. I think that we’re starting to realize with climate change, we have to really think to the future,” she said. “With the greenwashing, it’s like we’re destroying the land–adding to the mining, adding to the carbon emissions.”

If we want to preserve our planet for future generations, we need to listen to the voices at Thacker Pass–voices that are calling for a reevaluation of humanity’s entire relationship with the environment through a reckoning with the implications of colonization. A rekindling and centering of the Indigenous knowledge about living with and caring for the land, acting with far future generations and therefore permanent solutions in mind, thinking radically about what it will take to truly address the climate crisis and emerge better for it.

Protecting Thacker Pass means protecting the Eastern Sierra–through the inherent links of our regions, and through the symbolism of the movement that will benefit all places worth protecting. As Dewey put it: “Come and support Peehee mm’huh, Thacker Pass, through whatever donations or physical support you can give. Or just come and witness and experience, and see how the Indigenous people are still trying to protect what little is left of traditional harvesting areas, sacred sites, clean water,” he said. “We have an obligation and an opportunity to make a wrong right, and you can be part of that healing.”

If you are interested in updates about the movement, donating, joining the protest camp, or otherwise becoming involved, visit https://protectthackerpass.org. Read the entirety of People of Red Mountain’s statement at https://protectthackerpass.org/people-of-red-mountain/. Find more information about the movement to protect Conglomerate Mesa at http://protectconglomeratemesa.com/.

Peehee Mu’huh speaks

By Daranda Hinkey

For This Is Reno, August 31, 2021

I look over Peehee Mu’huh, a vast land of sagebrush that has been taken care of by the Paiute and Shoshone since time immemorial. The heat is settling in at Peehee Mu’huh Camp, while we continue to build an opposition to protect this land.

Peehee Mu’huh, also known as Thacker Pass, is a culturally significant place for my people, yet it is being threatened by Lithium Nevada, a.k.a. Lithium Americas, because they want to extract the lithium from the ground and sell it. The country believes they need to transition to “green energy,” to save the planet and cut down carbon emissions. They do not realize that in return for electric car batteries, aggressive lithium mining will harm the planet more in the process.

Lithium is a trick. In reality, pushing for lithium is another way for a handful of the rich to sustain their high-maintenance lifestyles.

This lithium mine will be the first of its kind. It will burn sulfuric acid 24 hours a day to leach the lithium from the clay. It will then move through more processing plants that require 4.6 million gallons of water per day. With sulfuric acid burning every day, even the best air filters in the world cannot control the dangerous particles. The mine will affect at least a 150-mile radius.

This mine will strip the area of 1.7 billion gallons of water per year. What plants, medicines, animals, land, and water will be left for the Indigenous peoples of the area when their homelands are stripped due to a catastrophic drought heightened by the mine?

Peehee Mu’huh is a massacre site of a band of our people, making it a sacred burial ground. This place also holds medicines, first foods, stories, teachings, and animal habitats.

Lithium Nevada plans to turn this sacred place into a hazardous dust bowl, impacting multiple generations to come. These burial grounds, animal habitat and medicines should not be dug up for the sake of electric cars and batteries. The Paiute and Shoshone cannot eat lithium; they cannot drink or hunt or weave lithium. Lithium Nevada comes to our Tribe to offer temporary items and monetary objects, but they cannot replace the spirits that have been laid to rest at Peehee Mu’huh, and they have not much to offer for our culture and our values.

Peehee Mu’huh does not want to be sold. She does not want to be stripped from its sagebrush and contaminated with chemicals. She does not want her animals to flee. She does not want the ancestors’ bones to be unearthed.

My people before me and the people far after me have spoken; they say to keep the lithium in the ground. They wish for our people to not forget our Indigenous ways in a world that continues to attempt to dismantle our identities. My ancestors wish for our modern warriors to protect our Sacred.

Daranda Hinkey is a Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone tribal member. She is a part of the People of Red Mountain who oppose the Thacker Pass Lithium Mine in order to keep their cultural resources and Sacred sites protected.

Published in This is Reno, August 31, 2021. Photo by Bob Conrad for This is Reno

As hopeful as honesty is

As I come down from the stress and anxiety of preparing for Friday’s oral arguments in the Thacker Pass case, I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned since Max Wilbert and I set up our little two-person tent back on January 15 to protest the Bureau of Land Management’s final record of decision to permit an enormous open pit lithium mine that would destroy Thacker Pass. It’s been difficult to articulate what I’ve learned. The difficulty comes from the fact that I want to have learned something encouraging or hopeful, something that leaves my readers feeling good.

But, what I’ve learned is not encouraging or hopeful. At least, it’s only as encouraging or hopeful as honesty is.

Honestly, this campaign has left me feeling empty and exhausted. Part of it comes from my fear that, after all the work so many have done to protect Thacker Pass, the judge is still going to allow Lithium Nevada to rip the land up on their way to stealing artifacts and sacred objects created by my Native clients’ ancestors. Another part of it is my knowledge that this fight is really just beginning.

The biggest part of it, though, is that I thought through this work there might be some moment of fulfillment, some moment of victory or pride I would experience in “fighting the good fight” or in being counted among those “who are at least doing something.”

The truth is, I’ve never felt that moment. The natural world is still being destroyed at an intensifying pace, most people don’t care, and most people probably will never care.

I’m not going to give up. You shouldn’t either. Golden eagles need us. Sage grouse need us. Yearling pronghorn antelope need us. The generations who may or may not exist depending on our success need us. That should be enough.

There’s no glory or fulfillment or spiritual salve in fighting to protect the natural world. You might be happier and healthier if you never join the fight. But, if we don’t do it, who will?

Video and notes from Friday’s preliminary injunction hearing

Live blogging notes from the preliminary injunction hearing, Friday August 27, 2021

The wind is strong from the east this morning at #ThackerPass. Coyotes howling. Hummingbirds in the air. A jackrabbit hopped through camp in the pre-dawn. The land is alive and awake.

9:00am: Will Falk is beginning arguments now on behalf of Reno-Sparks Indian Colony and Atsa Koodakuh wyh Nuwu, People of Red Mountain.

Will Falk is describing September 12, 1865 massacre of roughly 31 Paiute/Shoshone people in the Thacker Pass area. It was committed by the 1st Nevada Calvary.

Will is arguing it is likely that the native people fled the soldiers and may have moved west into Thacker Pass.

There are over 1000 cultural resource sites and 50+ sites eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places WITHIN the Thacker Pass mine project area. Destroying these would cause irreparable harm to sacred sites and to People of Red Mountain/Reno-Spark Indian Colony.

People of Red Mountain and Reno-Sparks Indian Colony have argued that disturbing these sites is like digging up Arlington National Cemetery or Pearl Harbor – a national disgrace.

Will is arguing that the tribes believe removing artifacts is like looting – history removed from context and from the land on which is was created.

Lawyer for Burns Paiute Tribe is taking the stand.

Burns Paiute lawyer states that consultation for the archeological dig permit is “very early in the process.” Says “consultation is not normally a quick process.”

He states that BLM has “an affirmative duty” to consult with tribes. Their responsibility is to DO IT RIGHT, not the tribes’ responsibility to get involved. The law is quite clear.

“Tribes are often reluctant to reveal info about sacred sites” – lifted directly from BLM handbook.

Discussing previous case showing links between Burns Paiute Tribe has deep links to the Peehee Mu’huh / Thacker Pass region.

Strong arguments that mitigation would not alleviate the harm to Burns Paiute Tribe.

“It is known as a spiritually powerful place” – Diane Teeman, Burns Paiute Tribe

Burns Paiute Lawyer argues that National Historic Preservation Act is NOT just about bones and artifacts. It’s about landscapes. Protecting these important and historical sites.

Says this digging amounts to irreparable harm that warrants a preliminary injunction.

Says that BLM has violated that National Historic Preservation Act and it’s own policies.

BLM lawyer taking the stand now.

Arguing that BLM’s consultation was reasonable and in good faith, and arguing that People of Red Mountain should not be allowed to consult as they are not federally recognized.

BLM lawyer says that goal of their resource management plan is to protect more important landscapes. Judge challenges, repeats that tribes often do not reveal sacred sites.

BLM lawyer states they asked for stories… and basically that’s enough. The tribes should have told them everything. 🙄

BLM basically arguing “you had your chance, should have spoken up.” Sorry BLM. The public comment period NEVER ENDS in a democracy.

BLM arguing the tribes are outside the area of effect.

BLM says “no evidence of any massacre has come up yet.” Reno-Sparks has no particular connection to Thacker Pass area. Wow BLM. You don’t know what you’re talking about do you!

Judge challenges, says its unreasonable that BLM didn’t consult with the tribes when they HAVE done so on other projects nearby. BLM argues that was because human remains were found. They undercut their own case, arguing they must consult with lineal descendants.

BLM argues again that People of Red Mountain should have NO STANDING. As opposed to their own agency, working on unceded native land claimed through the Doctrine of Discovery? Who has no standing here BLM?

Judge asks BLM to respond to Falk argument about irreparable harm to burial sites. BLM say they do not dispute there will be harm, falls back on argument amounting to “we’ve tried our best!”

BLM says you can mitigate harm to artifacts and bones by not putting them in plastic bags, but instead not putting them in plastic bags.

BLM backtracks, says they *do* argue there will be no irreparable harm. Judge challenges them, reminds BLM they stated “we do not question cultural significance.”

“I spoke too broadly” says BLM lawyer.

BLM argues there is no evidence of grave sites. BLM is not prepared to tell tribes what they believe. Judge says their argument boils down to: “There may be important cultural sites there, but our system will mitigate any harm that could occur.”

“It’s unlikely to cause irreparable harm,” says BLM. Unlikely huh?

Judge asks: is it legal for us to defer decision on the injunction until after the permit process for the ARPA (archeological permit) has been resolved? BLM says yes, states the permit process is not likely to result in mitigation, because the tribes are saying “don’t do it.”

Lithium Nevada lawyer taking the stand. She argues the motion should be denied, “there is no harm at all.”

$LAC lawyer argues that Reno-Sparks should not be allowed to intervene because they should have told the BLM years ago “this is our territory.” She is a colonizer through and through. No recognition of the history and process of the destruction of native people, and how that plays out.

Lithium Nevada lawyer argues that one plan from years ago should have included Thacker Pass. Linear thinking ignores that native history is being reconstructed and sovereignty is rebuilt over time. Consultation is not consent.

Her argument rests on a bureaucratic detail: tribes should have used BLM process. This amounts to: “You had your chance.” We are witnessing a soulless person arguing for modern #greencolonialism.

LNC lawyer: “Everyone is on notice on the importance of Arlington National Cemetery”—not true for Thacker Pass. Judge challenges that BLM did not consult, so how could they know? Good point.

She suggests that people walking in lines across the project site should have been able to see evidence of a massacre. Says that it’s harmful to Lithium Nevada to allow tribes to halt this mine. “We’ve already spent millions of dollars.”

Lithium lawyer says that “Indian village remnants” and “violent incident” was miles from project area. Judge challenges, pointing out that Falk argues the entire area is a cemetery. Lithium lawyer responds that “the law doesn’t protect that.”

She argues “extraordinary care” for cultural mitigation. AKA: “We will very carefully desecrate and destroy your sacred sites!”

She argues that standing on the sidelines until late in the permitting process is “not in the public interest.” Which public?

She makes the national security argument. What about national security for the Paiute and Shoshone Nations? Tribes make arguments when they become aware of the issues. Project was rushed in 1 year during COVID.

Will Falk back on the stand. He argues that permitting took place in <1 year, during COVID. Rushed environmental permitting. Tribes were locked down. Federal Government has fiduciary duty to Indian tribes. And they didn’t notify tribes of biggest lithium mine in the world?

“My clients’ ancestors were massacred by the federal government.” So why be surprised they have trouble trusting BLM now? Esp. when area has seen looting in the past. Strong arguments by Falk.

“Trying to sneak projects through… fast tracking during pandemic… then when they get info about sacred sites… that is the essence of bad faith.” – Falk

Reno-Sparks has clearly told BLM they will need to consulted on projects outside their immediate area. To permit this project in 11 months and complete real consultation is ridiculous.

Falk: BLM had in their OWN RECORDS a document describing a massacre in the project area. They KNEW that Burns and Reno-Sparks were related to here. And they KNEW a history of looting in the area. And they KNEW that tribes often do not tell about sacred sites.

Falk argues that past projects in the area are not consultation, because consultation was inadequate for those projects too. Wind is strong here. The land is with Falk.

Past projects were small, consultation was inadequate. Past district-wide plans were for completely different types of projects. Tribes DID says they opposed any adverse impacts to cultural and sacred sites. Falk says fast tracking was done to deceive and bypass public opposition.

Falk: Nevada is looking to massively expand lithium mines. This one will set the tone. MUST be done right. The Historic Properties Treatment Plan (HPTP) was done without tribal consultation. Jargon hides the reality that HPTP really means looting, removing artifacts from places where tribes can now visit and learn their history with children, elders, families.

Burns Paiute Lawyer: BLM lawyer cited prior case incorrectly. Tribes did nothing wrong. Again, BLM violated their own rules. Just because a tribe said something in 2003 doesn’t mean much. Priorities and interests change.

Burns Paiute Lawyer: the tribe didn’t have to do consultation earlier. You do it when the issue arises. It’s arising now. By not having consultation, Burns tribe lost the chance to ask “should this happen at all?” Is Thacker eligible for listing on the National Register?

Burns Paiute Lawyer: no dispute this is an important place. Even archeological digging harms the religious and cultural significance, and potential for listing and protecting this place. This is irreparable harm and justifies a preliminary injunction.

Judge Miranda Du: “I will decide on this matter within a week.
BLM lawyer: We may file a motion early next week to extend the deadline out further relating to new claims being brought in the lawsuits.

That’s the end of the hearing.

The video below is the press conference held in the afternoon of August 27, 2021 following the hearing.

[embedded content]

Oct 18, 1868 Diary Entry from Thacker Pass

While researching the history of Thacker Pass / Peehee mu’huh for legal work, Will Falk found this diary entry, titled Field Notes of the Subdivision Lines in Township 44, from Oct 18, 1868:

General Description

About one half only of this Township is fit for cultivation and that is confined mostly to the grassland, which is all fine meadow and has a rich soil, about 230 tons of hay has been cut in Sec 25 this year, along both sides of the river.

Trout creek is the only mountain stream of any importance that flows through this Township. At this season of the year but little water.
The creek bed has an average width of one chain, and banks of an average height of 4ft.

It drains a considerable extent of mountain country and during the spring floods carves a very large body of water flowing through Trout Creek Valley. It has a heavy fall and rushes through the canyon in Sec. 8.17, with tremendous force. The walls of this canyon rise from 200 ft to 250 ft in perpendicular height. There are water marks here some 8ft or 10ft above it’s present level.

The sage land between the mountains and meadow is a bed of gravel worked through this canyon.

Sec. 33 is very wet meadow. In the N.W. 44 is a large clump of buffalo bush and the remains of an Indian camp. In the (dept.code), 1/4 there is an endless number of springs containing excellent water, the best indeed to be found in this section of the country.

Along the line between sec. 22, 23, and between the creek and the meadow I found the remains of an extensive Indian camp. It was at these camps that Captain _ Payne, with 100 E, 1st Nevada Cavalry, attacked and whipped a body of Indians on Sept 12th 1865. There are many Indian skulls and other remains to be found scattered over this junction of the township. I found same also opposite here on the East side of the river.

You can view a scan of the original document here