Upcoming Earth Day Events!

Earth Day! Every Day!
Protect Our Rivers, Watershed, Health & Environment

WATER IS LIFE – An Earth Day Discussion and Dinner
6  PM At the MARC
(Moab Arts & Recreation Center, 111 E 100 N, Moab, UT)

An Earth Day discussion with tribal leaders, Elders, and community organizers confronting dirty energy production in the Colorado River Watershed. We will provide a free dinner.

Earth Day Celebration & Parade

11 AM @  at the Multicultural Center (156 N. 100 W.)
Walk with us for protection of the Colorado River Watershed. Rally starts at 11 am featuring Colorado River Indian Tribes and White Mesa Ute Community. We will parade around town shortly after with signs, banners, music, and an accompaniment of giant animal puppets.
Sponsoring Groups: Living Rivers, Uranium Watch, Greenaction, Colorado River Indian Tribes, Indigenous Action, White Mesa Concerned Citizens, La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle, Canyon Country Rising Tide, Peaceful Uprising, Sierra Club Glen Canyon Group


Art in Action!

In March there is an exciting opportunity for creative art in action. We will be constructing beautiful, wearable, giant puppets over the course of four weeks. There are millions of creative fun activist applications for these skills. Come one! Come all! Come even if you can’t make every single workshop.

What: Four Workshop Series on making giant puppets
When: Monday Evenings from 5:00-8:00
     March 9, 16, 23, 30
Where: Third Space Moab (225 S 400 E) The room behind the barbershop, around the side.
This art workshop is FREE! It is sponsored by CHEEAP Art.


Current Oil and Gas Lease in Grand and San Juan Counties

GrandCo_CurrentOandGLeases 10-8-14
41.7% of public lands in Grand Co (BLM, USFS and SITLA) are currently leased for O&G development
86% of SITLA lands in Grand Co. are currently leased for O&G
32.6% of BLM/USFS lands are currently leased for O&G development [note that BLM administers O&G leasing on Forest Service land)


From the Banks to the Bulldozers: Together and Everywhere We Rise Up For Climate Justice


Utah Tar Sands Resistance Shows Solidarity with Flood Wall Street and the People’s Climate March

This past weekend, people from various parts of Eastern Utah who are organizing to stop tar sands and oilshale development in the region came together to demonstrate their solidarity with Flood Wall Street and the People’s Climate March in New York City. The group, consisting of Uintah Basin oilfield residents, Moab community members living downstream from the proposed tar sands mine, and a handful of other folks from Utah and Colorado, marched to the site of the first commercial tar sands mine in the US, located at PR Spring on the Tavaputs Plateau. As the international movement for climate justice continues to grow, and as hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets to challenge the logic of unchecked industrial development and fossil fuels extraction, people on the front lines, like those in Eastern Utah, are strategizing, networking, and taking bold direct actions to defend their communities from the profit-driven belligerence of the oil and gas industry.

Get involved this fall!

Film Screening: Our Canyonlands
Friday Sept. 12th
8:30 pm at Star Hall (159 E. Center St. Moab)


Join us for a reading on wilderness by Terry Tempest Williams and a special film screening of Our Canyonlands, a film by Justin Clifton in partnership with the Grand Canyon Trust, to be followed by a panel discussion with GCT Executive Director Bill Hedden, former Canyonlands National Park Superintendent Walt Dabney, and our own Emily Stock of Canyon Country Rising Tide.

Watch the trailer! Invite friends to the event!

County to hold “Public Forum” on Seven County Infrastructure Coalition
Wednesday, Sept. 17th
6:00 pm at the Grand Center (182 N. 500 W. Moab)

From the Moab Sun News:
Grand County will conduct a public forum on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Main Hall of the Grand Center, 182 N. 500 West concerning the “Interlocal Cooperation Agreement Establishing the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition.”

The purpose of the forum, according to the county, is to share information and answer questions regarding the coalition and to more fully discuss the short- and long-term advantages and disadvantages of the county’s potential membership. read more

Film Screening: Last Rush for the Wild West – Tar Sands, Oil Shale, and the American Frontier
Friday, Sept. 19th
7:30 at Star Hall (159 E. Center St. Moab)whiteguysonmine

Join us at the International Film Festival in Moab for the debut of this new film. The film exposes how impending tar sands and oil shale mining would destroy massive landscapes in Utah and put the already imperiled Colorado River Watershed at risk. It would jeopardize drinking water quality and quantity for thirty-six million people downstream. It would increase air pollution in Salt Lake City, where air quality is already the worst in the Nation. Get tickets and see the trailer here.


Fall Campout in the Bookcliffs
Saturday and Sunday, the 20th & 21st

Join CCRT, Utah Tar Sands Resistance, and folks from Vernal and Grand Junction for a weekend of stories, camping, and connecting with the land near the active tar sands mine in the Book Cliffs.    This will be a time for folks from the Uintah Basin, Moab, Grand Junction, and other surrounding areas to meet, visit the land, and share stories about regional struggles.

Fall-CampoutThere will be fireside chats featuring stories about important regional movements such as the nuclear test site protests and past efforts to halt tar sands mining on the Colorado Plateau. We’ll also have bird watching, animal tracking, and plant identification walks as we get to know the land better, and we’ll talk about the indigenous history of the Tavaputs Plateau.

The trip up there takes about three hours. Dinners provided. Email us to see about car pooling and to get directions to the camp site.

National Environmental Groups Stand With 21 Arrested Utah Land Defenders

In July, twenty-one people were arrested while engaging in peaceful civil disobedience in protest of a controversial proposed tar sands mine in northeastern Utah, which would threaten local land and water, as well as contributing to the global climate crisis. National environmental organizations expressed their solidarity with the protesters. The protest was the culmination of a week long Climate Justice Summer Action Camp organized by students and young people from around the country (Utah included!).

“This could be the first large-scale tar sands strip mining in the Unites States, and this filthy industry threatens our air, water and wildlife,” said Valerie Love, No Tar Sands Campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity, who was one of the 21 arrested at the site.  “We staged our protest on behalf of the millions of people who will be affected by this dirty fossil fuel mining. Over 40 million people and many wildlife species depend on this watershed. We need to say no to tar sands mining.”

SONY DSCRainforest Action Network stands in solidarity with the Utah anti-tar sands protestors whose commitment to protecting our air, water and climate—at the expense of their own freedom—is inspiring,” said Lindsey Allen, Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network. “Our movement is already working hard to prevent the Keystone XL from delivering tar sands oil across our borders; we can’t allow the practice itself to be imported to our cherished wild places. We applaud the local Utah campaigners for fighting to stop the first-ever tar sands mine in the United States.”

“Tar sands are the dirtiest fuel on the planet. By shining a spotlight on these dangerous projects, protestors in Utah are doing the world a service–they deserve our support, not jail time. If the government won’t act to keep tar sands in the ground, then the people will. The power of nonviolent direct action has helped block tar sands pipelines and mines from Nebraska to Maine to Alberta. This resistance is strategic, it’s effective, and it’s ultimately going to carry the day,” said May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the brave people in Utah who are risking themselves to protect us all,” said Luísa Abbott Galvão, of Friends of the Earth. “We’ve seen from Canada that tar sands production is incompatible with environmental sustainability, land rights, and the public health.”

PR Spring Test pit on bottom with newly cleared area for mining above. Photo courtesy of Chris Baird

PR Spring Test pit on bottom with newly cleared area for mining above. Photo courtesy of Chris Baird

“Mining tar sands in Utah would be disastrous for local communities and the water, and would be a major setback for the country’s efforts to stop climate change,” said Kendall Mackey, National Tar Sands Organizer for Energy Action Coalition. “Youth activists across the country stand with those opposing tar sands mining in Utah and stand ready to use our political and financial power to stop it.”

“Tar sands is the dirtiest source of oil on the planet.  We’ve seen the destruction being caused by tar sands everywhere–from the strip mines in Canada to the ruptured pipelines that dump tar sands crude into American waterways and neighborhoods,” said Marion Klaus, a Sierra Club volunteer leader who lives in Utah. “The Sierra Club stands with citizens everywhere who are fighting dirty fossil fuels and getting to work creating the clean energy prosperity this country needs.”

“The Utah 21 are not alone.  These brave and principled nonviolent activists are only the most recent to take their turns on the front lines against extreme energy extraction and for a safe climate and clean energy future. Many have preceded them and more will surely follow.  Our movement is already winning as we have effectively limited tar sands production by blocking its export out of North America.  The oil industry and the Obama and Harper governments should expect more protests, marches, and civil disobedience until energy policy is brought in line with what climate science demands – anything less is climate denial which we, and activists around the country, will not tolerate” said Steve Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International.

“Greenpeace stands in solidarity with the brave activists who have put their freedom on the line to prevent the construction of the first-ever US tar sands mine. We can’t hope to solve the climate crisis if we continue to extract and burn the dirtiest fuels on the planet. In the face of devastating droughts, floods, and fires, non-violent direct action is a necessary tool to confront injustices where governments and corporations have failed to act,” said Gabriel Wisniewski of Greenpeace.



Request for Sheepherders and Human Rights Observers on Black Mesa

unnamedFor four decades these communities have fought to stop the U.S government and Peabody Energy Company’s exploitation of their homelands and communities. Today families remain, steadfastly resisting the mine, colonialism, and forced relocation. Families’ resistance to forced relocation puts them on the front lines of the struggle against resource colonialism in the form of large-scale coal mining.

In the face of colonial laws that undermine sovereign economies and relocation laws that seek to prevent younger generations from living with their parents and grandparents, elders request additional support. You are being invited to the resistance communities’ lands and homes, to assist in daily chores tending livestock and the homesite, and to act as a human rights observer. In this last month, families have gotten letters and visits from government authorities threatening livestock impoundments and herd reductions. As livestock are at the center of traditional life and economy, people are asking for support in maintaining their herds. Your presence as a human rights observer can help deter impoundments. While extended family provides the most consistent and crucial support for their elders, outside supporters are asked to herd sheep so families can more easily go to meetings, medical appointments, organize, weave, visit family…

Come for several weeks, to a month, or longer if you can. Support is appreciated all year round and especially wanted right now in the face of impoundments.

By choosing to offer direct on-land support, you honor not only these elders, but the dedication of their extended families, and the continued legacy of resistance.

Community members are specifically requesting local Dineh youth’s involvement. BMIS will work to prioritize local youth’s participation by providing travel stipends and supplies. Please consider donating to support this work.

Read about the BMIS collective here.  BMIS can assist you in the essential process of being self-sufficient on the land. We are happy to speak with you over the phone or email and we offer important online resources like the Cultural Sensitivity & Preparedness Guidebook, as well as a wealth of archives documenting the resistance, all found on our website. We ask volunteers to read the guidebook and register with BMIS to ensure the safety of supporters and as well as families.

People’s Climate March and People’s Climate Justice Summit

New York City – September 17th – 24th

On September 23rd, political and corporate leaders are meeting at the United Nations in New York City for the Climate Summit 2014. This summit represents yet another step towards the corporate takeover of the UN climate negotiations, and the privatization of land, water and air resources under the guise of a global climate compact.

OPC-frontpage_ittakesroots-600x600From Mesa to Mountaintop, from Hood to Holler – join us as we meet the scale and urgency of the crisis by standing in solidarity with all frontlines of resistance and resilience around the world, and taking non-violent direct action against the corporations driving the extractive economy. We call on our allies to:

  • Join CCRT, Rising Tide North America, and the Climate Justice Alliance in the streets of NYC for a week of creative non-violent actions for Climate Justice
  • Organize a delegation to join the People’s Climate March & People’s Climate Justice Summit in NYC
  • Organize a creative action in your home community that highlights local solutions to climate change

Our demands of local, national and international decision-makers are simple: Support us in building Just Transition pathways away from the “dig, burn, dump” economy, and towards “local, living economies” where communities and workers are in charge! Join us in solidarity – in the streets of New York City, in your own community, and around the world!

Summer Happenings

Permanent Protest Vigil at Tar Sands Mine


In May,  tar sands resisters new and old gathered in the Book Cliffs of so-called Eastern Utah, at PR Springs, site of one of the first proposed tar sands mine in the United States. This gathering marked nearly three years of observation, law suits, and direct action against the project, and signaled the beginning of a permanent protest vigil inside the boundaries of public lands leased for strip mining.

This permanent protest vigil provides interested people with an opportunity to tour an area slated for destruction and to participate in an experiential “field school” exploring topics such as direct action planning, consensus decision making, ecology, and public land management.

If you have a couple free days this summer, consider coming up for one of the themed campouts or contact us (canyoncountryrisingtide@gmail.com) to find out how to find the campers any time.

People at the  one of the sites of extraction for tar sands in Utah, PR Spring.

People at the one of the sites of extraction for tar sands in Utah, PR Spring.

Family Campout at PR Spring

June 21-22 Solstice Weekend

Join us for an intergenerational campout, bringing together families to protect future generations from the Utah tar sands.

This is a unique opportunity to camp out in the scenic Book Cliffs of Eastern Utah with your family and friends and a group of people dedicated to climate justice.

Fun and informative activities will be planned throughout the weekend for adults and children of various ages.


Family Campout 2013 Photo Credit: Steve Liptay

Family Campout 2013 Photo Credit: Steve Liptay

Last year a group of families converged at PR Springs, site of the first proposed tar sands mine in the United States. While there, everyone from a 2-year-old, pre-teens, and Grandparents spent time exploring the land with local organizers, hiking, bird watching, water-testing, and, most importantly, learning about US Oil Sands’ project, and witnessing the devastation already being wrought by their 9-acre test site.

The School & Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), the State of Utah, and US Oil Sands would have us believe that the tar sands & oil shale projects moving forward in Eastern Utah are all for the benefit of the children. For, they would say, isn’t all the money from the Trust Lands being leased for extreme fossil fuel development going towards education? No. SITLA’s annual contribution to education accounts for less than 2 percent of the state’s $3 billion-plus education budget. With every parcel of stolen land leased for development and extraction, and every acre sacrificed, the more the land is devastated, the water put at risk and polluted, and the air filled with dust and toxins, the future of our children, and of future generations, becomes more and more bleak.

The short term gains from destroying the Book Cliffs, and turning Colorado Plateau into a sacrifice zone, is not worth the future of our children. Come see what’s at risk. Come take a stand.


Summer for Climate Justice Action Camp

July 15-22 on the Tavaputs Plateau

This July, students and other young people throughout the Western region of the U.S. will be converging to halt one of the first tar sands extraction operation in the U.S., located in Utah, and we want you to be one of them!  During the week, you will learn first-hand what’s at stake with tar sands development, cultivate a deeper analysis of existing power structures, and discover how you can be a catalyst in transitioning our energy system to a just and stable reality. The camp will culminate in direct action, and serve as a galvanizing platform for students and young people to build networks and leave equipped to take principled and concerted action on their campuses and in their communities.

Mass action shutting down preliminary construction at PR Spring in 2013. Photo Credit: Emily Wilson

Mass action shutting down preliminary construction at PR Spring in 2013. Photo Credit: Emily Wilson

Camp curriculum will be taught by experienced organizers from the Western region, primarily from grassroots organizations, Peaceful Uprising, Utah Tar Sands Resistance, and CanyonCountry RisingTide. The camp curriculum and structure will honor a climate justice framework, viewing the climate crisis as the most widespread exacerbation of already-existing systems of exploitation, emphasizing the need to dismantle such systems, and delving into ways to do that.

For more information, visit www.summerforclimatejustice.org. You must apply to attend.

Questions? Email summerforclimatejustice@gmail.com

If you’re interested in volunteering to help make this event possible please contact Sarah at Canyoncountryrisingtide@gmail.com. We will need folks interested in participating in kitchen duties, logistics, travel coordination, food shopping, and set up.

Please consider donating (money or time) to us to help make these events possible! Check out our calendar for other upcoming events.

Citizen’s Meeting on Bishop Land Bill Process

The Canyonlands Watershed Council will be hosting a citizens meeting next Monday, May 5th, at the MARC concerning the County’s alternatives proposed for the Bishop lands bill process.

6:00 PM


The purpose of the meeting is to provide facts from an objective level on the potential effects of the proposals.

I will do my best NOT cater the information for either side of the political spectrum, but to present the facts and ask people to come to their own conclusions. Come, especially if you’re on on the fence. The information provided will be balanced and rational.

There is a tremendous amount of misinformation and hype going around from both liberals and conservatives alike. This meeting aims at cutting through all that.

You’ll have 2 days to draft and deliver letters to the Council after this meeting.

We hope to see you there.


Chris Baird
Executive Director

Canyonlands Watershed Council

Film Screening Tomorrow!


Spring Update

Science CampoutP4111094

The April Science Campout was a resounding success. We found a new spring in the area, visited the ranch at the base of the strip mine, and were presented with the new study on ground water by a team of scientist from the University of Utah that will hopefully help in legislation to protect the ground water in that area for the Ranchers and river runners who rely on it.

Public Hearing on County’s Alternatives to the Bishop Process

Thanks to the hundreds of people who showed up and to those of you who spoke to encourage the County Council to adopt a stronger alternative for protection of this area. The council will be accepting letters on the subject until May 2nd.

If you haven’t already done so, please send a letter to:cartoonmap

Grand County Council
125 E Center Street
Moab, UT 84532

Also send a copy of your letter to:
Fred Ferguson
Legislative Director, Rep. Rob Bishop
123 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Consider mentioning including protection of Forest Service wilderness (our aquifer), excluding the Book Cliffs highway connecting the tar sands mine to I-70 and a potential refinery in Green River, increasing the amount of wilderness protected in all the alternatives, and taking out the Antiquities Act exemption. Thanks!

Comments accepted on
A new oil refinery in Green River

When: Until May 2nd
Utah Division of Air Quality

Recently conservation groups appealed the state of
Utah’s approval of Emery Refining’s planned facility near Green River because it risked significant air pollution and violations of environmental law.
In response to the appeal, Emery redesigned the facility, and on March 25, 2014, the state issued a new “Intent to Approve.” The state is now seeking public input in writing by May 2nd, and also conducting a public hearing in Green River on April 30th. Your voice is needed now!

Emery Refining’s redesign, Utah’s Division of Air Quality’s analysis, and the state’s quick Intent to Approve combine to
cause us concern:

– The state is allowing Emery to build their newly designed refinery under the old, flawed permit. In effect, they’re
allowing Emery to construct a facility before environmental reviews are complete, and before final permitting;

– The state has not completed models of the facility’s hazardous air pollution and its environmental and human health impact;

– Based on independent expert review, the state’s initial impact models underestimate the refinery’s greenhouse gas emissions.

This new plan comes as Grand County officials are promoting an oil transportation corridor through Sego Canyon that would connect Green River to the oil, oil shale and tar sands deposits atop the Book Cliffs. Increasingly, the refinery appears to be part of a bigger scheme to industrialize Utah’s wildlands for high-carbon fossil fuel extraction.

Please take a moment to write the state and express your views about their refinery plans. And if you’re local, please consider speaking at the public hearing too:

Remember that the state’s deadline for public comment is May 2,
2014. You can send a letter to:

Alan D. Humpherys, Manager
New Source Review Section
Utah Division of Air Quality
P.O. Box 144820 * Salt Lake City, UT 84114- 4820

**The information on the hearing is from Tim Wagner at the Sierra Club

The PR Spring Tar Sands mine as of April 2014.

The PR Spring Tar Sands mine as of April 2014.







Public Hearing on Grand County’s proposals for the Bishop Process

Wednesday April 23rd
6:00 PM at the Grand Center (182 N. 500 W.)BookCliffTarSandsOilShale

Now is the time to have your voice heard! It’s very important that we all show up to this meeting to tell the County Council that none of their alternatives is good enough. It looks like the Council is catering to industry at the expense of residents health, well being, and against our wishes. Let’s show them who they are supposed to be representing!

In all three of the County’s proposal is an area set aside to build a highway through the Book Cliffs. Exercising our power as a county to stop this “Hydrocarbon Highway” from connecting tar sands mines to a refinery in Green River is crucial. This is our last legal opportunity to intervene in the extraction of the world’s dirtiest fuel, tar sands.

SUWA points out:
Unfortunately, even the best alternative (Alternative #3) proposed by the Working Committee would roll back environmental protection in Grand County.

Protects just over half (58%, or 484,446 acres) of the proposed wilderness in Grand County — and then riddles that “protected wilderness” with ORV routes.
Would punch a hole through the heart of the Book Cliffs — one of the largest remaining roadless areas in the lower 48 states — to build a “Hydrocarbon Highway” for fossil fuels extraction.

Leaves open to oil and gas drilling the entire viewshed east of Arches National Park, including the world-famous view from Delicate Arch, and allows oil and gas drilling and potash mining on the rim of Labyrinth Canyon (upstream from Spring Canyon).

Supports continued off-road vehicle abuse and offers zero concessions on ORV routes designated in the Bush-era BLM travel plan.

Fails to protect Moab’s watershed.

Prohibits the use of the Antiquities Act in Grand County — the same act that was used by three different presidents to protect what is now Arches National Park.

Alternatives 1 & 2 are even worse.