In May PLAN and Great Basin Resource Watch traveled to central Nevada to visit lands slated for auction at the upcoming Bureau of Land Management Sale on June 14th. The 42 parcels on the auction block cover over 74,000 acres in the majestic Big Smokey Valley. The land was nominated for the BLM lease sale by a Texas real estate developer without the knowledge of most of the residents living and farming near the potential fracking sites.
Join us next week to send the message that our public lands are not for sale! Rally to Keep it in the Ground on Tuesday June 14th at 8am. Meet us at the Virginia Street Bridge in downtown Reno before we head to the BLM live auction at the Siena Hotel on South Lake Street. We are also inviting folks to come to PLAN’s office on Monday June 13th between 2 – 8pm to build amazing art for the next day’s action. Click here for more information on both activities and to RSVP.
March, we sponsored a Water over Gold essay contest to engage students in a conversation around the impacts of irresponsible mining on water and communities in Nevada. Given the severe drought that our state is facing we believe it is important for young folks to get involved and learn how to protect such a precious resource.
Nevada mining companies are using up to 70,000 gallons of water per minute to extract gold and other minerals, and students were very critical about that. They expressed their disappointment in the lack of protection our water has when it comes to extractive industries. High school contest winner Jade Utterback wrote, “Nevada, possessing a warm, dry, desert climate, is already facing serious problems in terms of water accessibility due to the severe drought. We can’t risk polluting our already-limited water resources from mining gold.”
Katie Sitton, a Nevada State College student, was also a winner of the $250 scholarship. We were very pleased with the participation of students and their interest in wanting to get more involved.
We want to thank all the community leaders and teachers that encouraged their students to take part in this contest!
On Friday, May 20, Build Our Center celebrated the 4th Annual Harvey Milk Day! Build Our Center celebrated Harvey Milk, who worked long and hard to build, strengthen, and connect communities.
PLAN was there to celebrate with them and registered people to vote. Harvey Milk, was a visionary civil and human rights leader who became one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. The annual event gave awards to community leaders who represent Harvey Milk’s vision. In addition, there was a pasta sauce competition, and great entertainment. We were so excited to celebrate this special day and the achievements of Harvey Milk with Our Center!
Over the last two months PLAN has been working with community members and organizations to engage the governor’s New Energy Industry Task Force (NEITF). The NEITF was reconvened after a brief hiatus by Governor Sandoval to craft recommendations for clean energy for the 2017 legislative session. PLAN, community, and organization members have worked together in Las Vegas and Reno to meet members of the task force, give public comment, and give presentations for policy. Key to this engagement has been attempts to encourage policy recommendation that will move toward a 100% renewable future that centers low income communities and communities of color. The NEITF was reconvened by Governor Sandoval to craft recommendations for clean energy for the 2017 legislative session.
On May 7th PLAN attended the Sculpture Fest in downtown Reno! The event featured sculptures and other forms of art from artists all over Nevada. PLAN was there to join in the fun while registering people to vote and to let people in the community know who we are. We were so excited to be a part of this festive event in our community.
In the last few weeks PLAN has been canvassing around town and registering voters. In Reno, Las Vegas, and in rural areas PLAN hopes to educate new voters and explain the
importance and impact the voting system can have on our community. If you still haven’t registered click here. Every vote counts and you and your community are worth it!
Excited by all the great things PLAN’s doing in Nevada? Want to know how you can help? Consider giving a donation.
Click here to give a gift.
Special thanks to Ellen Moore, Juseth Giron, Escenthio Marigny, and Erika Castro for their help with this issue of PLAN’s newsletter!