For Immediate Release: July 8th, 2002
Chavez, Water Information Network 505-255-4072
Pablo Padilla, Pueblo of Zuni 505-782-7032
More Information: Zuni
Salt Lake Coalition
PUEBLO GOVERNORS AND ALLIES UNITE TO STOP
SRP'S FENCE LAKE COAL STRIP MINE
Sacred Zuni Salt Lake Under Threat
Albuquerque, NM-- Pueblo leaders, Intertribal allies, and the Zuni Salt
Lake Coalition will hold a press conference on Tuesday, July 16th at 11:00
am MDT at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (2401 12th St. NW) to announce
broader opposition to the proposed Fence Lake Coal Strip mine proposed
by Arizona-based Salt River Project. According to Zuni tribal officials
and religious leaders, the coal strip mine will destroy the sacred Zuni
Salt Lake and surrounding Sanctuary Zone.
The Department of the Interior recently approved the controversial mine
that Zuni officials say violates the trust obligations of the U.S. government
to protect tribal sacred sites. After the press conference, tribal leaders
will travel to Washington, DC to testify before the U.S. Senate Indian
Affairs Committee. According to Zuni Governor Malcolm Bowekaty, "The
purpose of our testimony in front of the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee
is to highlight the inconsistencies and failed processes of the Federal
Government to protect sacred places such as Zuni Salt Lake."
Zuni Salt Lake is not only important to the Zuni Tribe,
it is a central religious and cultural site to most southwest tribes.
Governor Vincent Lujan Sr. of Taos stated that in order to protect the
Sacred Taos Blue Lake, the tribe engaged in a 20-year successful struggle
that was ultimately recognized and mandated for protection by then President
Governor Bowekaty and the Zuni Salt Lake Coalition will reveal the failures
of Gail Norton and the Department of Interior in carrying out their trust
responsibility to the tribes and the protection of their sacred sites.
Because sacred sites across the country are under threat, the Zuni governor
will join other tribal leaders in a national effort to push for true protection
of sacred sites like Zuni Salt Lake.
The Zuni Salt Lake Coalition brings together diverse
groups who seek environmental justice with the Zuni tribe. Coalition members
include these grassroots and environmental group: The Center for Biological
Diversity, the Citizens Coal Council, Sierra Club and the Water Information
What: Zuni Salt Lake Coalition Press Conference
Who: Zuni Governor Malcolm Bowekaty, Taos Governor Vincent Lujan Sr.,
Zuni Religious Leaders, Tribal runners, and members of the Zuni Salt Lake
When: 11am MST, Tuesday July 16th
Where: Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NW, Albuquerque, NM
Press conference will include excellent photo opportunities
and refreshments will be provided.
Other members of the Zuni Salt Lake Coalition can be
Carolyn Johnson or Andrew Taylor at Citizen's Coal
Bryn Jones at the Center for Biological Diversity, 520-320-3957
Andy Bessler at Sierra Club 928-774-6103 or 928-380-7808
releases. . .