Sacred Land News and Action Alert – 2005-07-24 02:12:15
Monday, July 25th is National Senate Call-in Day to Oppose Tax Support for Nuclear Power Expansion and Radioactive Waste Dumps on Native Land
Sacred Land News and Action Alert
“Native people have borne the brunt of America’s past energy policy, from uranium mining in the southwest to massive hydro-electric projects in the sub-arctic. It is time for energy justice, and it is time for a new energy policy.”
— Winona LaDuke, Honor the Earth Program Director
With an imminent final vote on a national energy policy, musicians Ani DiFranco and the Indigo Girls, actor James Cromwell and Native American political advocates Winona LaDuke and Margene Bullcreek will hold a Capitol Hill press briefing luncheon on July 25 at 11:30 AM to express their strong opposition to congressional efforts to resuscitate nuclear power with billions of dollars in federal tax subsidies.
The groups will highlight the dangers and failure of nuclear power by drawing particular attention to pending federal plans to dump 44,000 tons of high-level radioactive waste on Skull Valley Goshute sacred land in Utah.
Monday, July 25th is National Call-In Day – Please Call!
This coming Monday, July 25, call your Senators to voice your opposition to the energy bill, demand an end to taxpayer funding of nuclear power, and ask Congress to address its failure to oversee the proposed Private Fuel Storage high-level waste dump on Skull Valley Goshute land in Utah.
• Capitol Switchboard: 1-202-224-3121
Toll-Free Numbers: 1-888-355-3588 or 1-877-762-8762
ª To learn more about alternatives to current US energy policy on Native American lands, read Honor the Earth’s initiative on Energy Justice at http://www.honorearth.org/initiatives/energy.html
• California Bond Measure — Letters Needed!
SB 153 Could Protect “Cultural Landscapes”
California State Senator Wes Chesbro (D, Northwestern CA area) is sponsoring legislation to authorize major funding for environmental preservation initiatives. A coalition of Native American and environmental organizations is requesting that specific language be inserted in the bill (SB 153) that defines “Cultural Landscape.”
Additionally, we are requesting that the budget allocation be increased by 50%, and of the increased amount $50 million be allocated to support preservation of cultural landscapes. Please send a letter to Senator Chesbro (full sample letter follows).
• To read the text of the bill:
Here is sample text for a letter to Senator Chesbro.
July 22, 2005
The Honorable Senator Wes Chesbro
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Senate Bill 153 and California’s Cultural Landscapes
Dear Senator Chesbro:
I am writing to urge you to include policy language and increased funding in SB 153 to protect California’s rapidly vanishing cultural landscapes.
State bond funding has just begun to make a contribution toward the preservation of California’s rich legacy of archaeological, tribal, historical, and ethnographic resources complementing a long history of funding natural resource protection. Unfortunately, the State has been much less successful at protecting and preserving those places where natural and cultural resource values coexist, places we call cultural landscapes.
The 2000-2005 California Comprehensive Statewide Historic Preservation Plan identified the preservation of cultural landscapes and Traditional Cultural Properties as a key preservation issue. Likewise, the Draft California Comprehensive Statewide Historic Preservation Plan for 2006-2010 includes cultural landscapes as one of 12 key preservation issues in California, concluding that “the state faces many challenges and obstacles to the preservation of its important cultural landscapes.”
The Draft plan includes the specific goal to “Promote the identification and protection of California’s significant cultural landscapes and landscape features.”
State funding for cultural landscape preservation continues to lag well behind even the limited funding for preservation of historic structures. Your leadership is needed now to enhance funding levels for these important places and ensure that funding is dedicated for this purpose.
I strongly urge you to support a 50% increase in the level of funding currently allocated in SB 153 for cultural heritage resources. I further support including language in the legislation that explicitly directs that increase ($50 million) be granted to support preservation of California’s rich cultural landscapes by defining “cultural landscapes” under Section 5096.705 of Article I as follows:
“Cultural landscape” means a geographic area that includes cultural and natural resources associated with an historic event, activity, cultural practice or belief, person or group of people.
Language specific to supporting cultural landscape preservation under 5096.720 (g) will ensure that the funds are used for the purpose for which they were intended and not diverted to other funding categories, no matter how worthy.
Finally, I encourage you to incorporate language into this section, similar to that in the Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program (EEMP) and other Federal environmental programs, that creates a positive incentive to fund natural resources projects that include a cultural or historic component.
As California’s population continues to grow and develop, it is increasingly important that the State invest in those resources most at risk. Cultural landscapes are particularly vulnerable to social, economic, and environmental changes. Funding for the protection and preservation of cultural landscapes would address these threats and fill a critical gap in the state’s current resource protection efforts.
Christopher (Toby) McLeod
Sacred Land Film Project
PO Box C-151
La Honda, CA 94020 USA
a project of Earth Island Institute
Our documentary film on threatened sacred places, In the Light of Reverence is distributed by Bullfrog Films: 1-800-543-3764