Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:49 PM
Liberty Belle (6,768 posts)
Last edited Sat Apr 28, 2012, 02:36 AM - Edit history (1)
April 26, 2012 (Ocotillo) – A former firefighter who has parachuted into raging wildfires, Viejas Community Relations Director Charlie Brown (photo, left) has no shortage of courage. But he choked back tears as he spoke about what Ocotillo and its ancient geoglyphs mean to him and other tribes that have long considered the site sacred.
Brown has heard stories from his grandfather, who lived to be 109, about Ocotillo--where mountains are named in tribal creation stories. He has taken his own son there to learn about his heritage. One giant geoglyph is registered on the National Registry of Historic Places. Tribes across the southwest convene here for sacred ceremonies.
But soon, Brown fears, the sound of turbines atop his ancestors’ graves will “be like beating on somebody’s soul…sacrificing something that’s been there for 10,000 years.” . Despite the pleas of Native Americans, area residents and enviornmentalists seeking to stop the Ocotillo Express wind project, Imperial Valley Supervisors approved it by a 4-1 vote late yesterday after a two-day hearing.
Native Americans have long bourne the brunt of broken promises by the federal government and now that sad legacy continues. Viejas tribal council member Raymond “Bear” Cuero stated that violations of NEPA, CEQA, SB 38 and other laws have occurred. Environmentalists have attested that numerous state and federal designations to protect public lands and this fragile desert ecosystem specifically have also been trampled and ignored by federal, state and county officials in their haste to fast-track the industrial energy project touted as "renewable."
Charlie Brown is my friend and a very good and decent man. This made me cry to witness - Supervisors voted 4-1 to approve this project, which the BLM already approved while ignoring every law that is supposed to protect Native AMericans. They sold out Native American rights, preservation of public lands, and safety of residents for pure greed. Some will have turbines on 3 sides of their homes, close enough to cause health issues from infrasound and ground currents. (At a wind farm near me, a tribal hall and church has ground currents measured at 1,000 times normal, and people are sick. The same wind developer built that one and has done nothing to make things right.)
This is not "green." It is immoral. Haven't our Native Americans suffered enough broken promises without this devastation? What can be done to help these people now--they feel abandoned by our President. They have written to him, gone to Washington, and he has not answered.
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