Blog Archives

July 23-29 Direct Action Training Camp



*July 24-29: A Direct action training camp in southern Utah (exact location TBA)

Other affiliated events:

*July 19-21: Downstream Community Leadership Training in Moab, Utah (sponsored by Before it Starts). Find out more at

*July 18-20: Rising Tide National Gathering (location TBA). Find out more at

As the prospect of tar sandsoil shale, and other forms of extreme energy development threatens to wreak permanent havok on the health and wellbeing of Utah’s people and environment, grassroots organizations and community members from across the region are organizing to fight back.

Large energy corporations from out of state are flocking to Utah in an attempt to convert our public lands into a vast testing ground for extremely high risk extraction technologies like tar sands and oil shale mining. The Canadian petroleum corporation US Oil Sands, Inc is targeting the remote state lands of eastern Utah to be the first tar sands mining project in the USA. If companies like US Oil Sands can prove that these types of dirty extraction operations are economically viable in Utah, then more tar sands and oil shale projects will spring up across the region. Conventional political and regulatory avenues for public opposition have been nearly exhausted, and the proposed mine at PR Spring, north of Moab, has been given the green-light from the state to begin commercial operations, it is now clear that this project can only be stopped by organizing and taking direct action together as impacted communities.

Please join us late this July for a week of trainings, strategizing, and action to continue building the collective grassroots power we need to fight back against the corporate take-over of our public lands, our diminishing water resources, and our common wellbeing.

Moab Residents Rally In Support of Greater Canyonlands National Monument

Nearly 60 Moab locals rallied to show their support for the creation of a Greater Canyonlands National Monument on Friday, March 29th.

The event was organized to counter a nearby rally held by the Sagebrush Coalition, who oppose the protection of Greater Canyonlands.

Moab residents march in support of a Greater Canyonlands National Monument during Moab’s annual Easter Jeep Safari, Friday, March 29, 2013. Photo credit: Logan Hansen

The nearly 60 residents gathered at Rotary Park on Mill Creek Drive. Carrying homemade signs with slogans like “Locals for the Monument,” “Camping and Grilling, Not Mining and Drilling,” and “Jeeps? Sure. Tarsands? No!” the residents then marched along the sidewalk on Mill Creek Drive to the location of the Sagebrush rally, which was held on private property near Dave’s Corner Market, about four blocks away.

Approximately eight people were present at the anti-monument rally.

“We’re not here to disrupt their event. We’re here to make it clear there are many locals who support protecting Greater Canyonlands,” said Emily Stock, a Castle Valley native who helped organize the counter-rally.

Greater Canyonlands is facing increasing pressures from oil and gas drilling, potash mining, and tar sands strip mining. A monument designation would protect the region from such extractive industries while preserving recreational access.

Sage Brush Coalition Protest against the Greater Canyonlands Monument

“You’d still be able to jeep and recreate in a Greater Canyonlands National Monument,” Stock said, addressing one of the primary concerns voiced by opponents of monument protection. “Our main concern is unwanted energy development in these areas, not limiting the public’s access.”

The event was peaceful. The 60 marchers cheered as passing drivers honked their horns in a show of support. After a time, the marchers crossed the street and  marched the four blocks back to Rotary Park.

“Today’s rally was a tremendous success for those of us who grew up here and want to keep Greater Canyonlands the way it’s been — unspoiled,” said Stock.



Front-line community stages stunning banner drop in Canyon Country

Today, activists from Grand County, Utah dropped a banner from a large boulder along the route of a popular annual half-marathon. This direct action is in concert with a” week of action against tar sands profiteers”, called for by Tar Sands Blockade.


This banner was posted along the Half Marathon Race Route. Roughly 5,000 people ran by it, thought about it, then hopefully thought about it for another 5 miles while they ran through gorgeous canyon country. The road will open for public traffic by Saturday afternoon. The banner remains in place for now.


“The proposed strip mining, processing, shipping, and refining of tarsands in Utah threatens the wild character of this landscape that we love. It would pollute our air, water, and further contribute to catastrophic climate change. I for one am not about to let one of the most destructive industrial processes on earth come to Grand County without a fight,” one activist said.

Come to a meeting, spread the word, hang a banner, plan a direct action.
Check out to get involved.  Be our friends (before it starts and canyon country rising tide) on facecrack and they even have a twitter!

Using Tarsands produces 2-4 more times carbon dioxide than conventional oil.

The mining and processing of Tarsands requires as much or more energy as it produces in the end. This extra energy input comes from either fracked natural gas or nuclear power- both of which we also oppose.

Tar sands mining in Canada is the largest and most destructive industrial project in the history of our planet.  The U.S.A. could soon become another home for this kind of mining. The most immediate threat comes from U.S. Oil Sands, Inc, which plans to begin operations this year in an area just 60 miles from where the banner drop (pictured below) took place.  [Read the details about US Oil Sands’ operation]