Category Archives: Take Action

Forest Service Extends Comment Period


The U.S. Forest Service has announced that it will extend the comment period to receive input from the public on the agency’s proposed rule to amend environmental review procedures of projects on Forest Service lands. The new comment deadline is Monday August 26, 2019. The previous comment deadline had been Monday, August 12.

The proposed rule change would effectively eliminate for most projects the opportunity for public input.  The Forest Service is presenting the new rules as “simplifying” their processes, but what it really means is that the Forest Service could do what it wants when it wants, without public oversight or input.

Additional background is in our August 8 post, Urgent Appeal from the Outdoor Alliance.

Please use the Outdoor Alliance Web page and call to action at ourforestsourvoice.org to submit your comments and let your voice be heard!

Urgent Appeal from the Outdoor Alliance


The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to eliminate virtually all public comment on how they manage OUR national forests. This could serve as precedent for other federal agencies and effectively gut the National Environmental Policy Act. We have until August 12 to tell them this is not acceptable. Please go to the Outdoor Alliance’s urgent call to action at ourforestsourvoice.org and let your voice be heard.

Writing in a New York Times opinion piece on August 7, 2019, Sam Evans of the Southern Environmental Law Center says, “The United States Forest Service’s most important job is balancing the many needs and uses of the 193 million acres of public land it manages. But the Trump administration is preparing to abandon the process that makes it possible, eliminating public participation from the overwhelming majority of decisions affecting our national forests. If the Forest Service has its way, visitors won’t know what’s coming until logging trucks show up at their favorite trailheads or a path for a gas pipeline is cleared below a scenic vista. …. Far too often, the Forest Service proposes logging in rare old-growth forests, near sensitive streams, or on steep, fragile slopes. Or it proposes building new roads or permitting pipelines in undeveloped backcountry areas. Under current law, new roads and all but the smallest and least consequential timber sales require, at a minimum, advance public notice and the opportunity for the public to comment and suggest improvements. Most of the time, bad projects are relocated or improved because of public input.”

If this proposal goes through, new clear-cutting and logging projects up to 6.6 square miles in size, pipelines, and massive road-building projects could proceed in the dark – without the input of neighboring landowners, without expert scientific input, and without the input of people who love to hike, fish, hunt, ride horses, paddle and bike throughout the entire 193 million acres of national forests.

Say NO today!

Swarm the Mountain: A Weekend of Action for Yellow Finch

Swarm the Mountain: A Weekend of Action for Yellow Finch. Aug 1 at 6 PM – Aug 4 at 6 PM, 10303 Russwood Rd, Bent Mountain, VA 24059-2321. Hosted by Preserve Floyd and 11 others.

Swarm the Mountain events in Bent Mountain are on the Mountain Valley Pipeline route and close to the ongoing tree sits.

THURSDAY August 1, 2019
6-9 PM: Dance Party for the Rusty Patched Bumblebee, Lobo Marino, Poetry Jam and more! Wear yellow and black and your dancing shoes. Flag and banner making, potluck offerings welcome.

FRIDAY August 2, 2019
10 AM: Flower March for Yellow Finch. Bring flowers and love notes for the tree people! Wear yellow and black. Starting point tba.
5 PM: Flyer the Floyd Jamboree! Wear yellow and black and swarm the streets with flyers about our amazing People’s Pizza Party.

SATURDAY August 3, 2019
People’s Pizza Party: A Fundraiser for Finch!
If you have farm fresh veggies, bring them and add them to your wood-fired pizza!
5-10 PM: Open Mic and dance party jam; bring your instruments and celebrate!

SUNDAY August 4, 2019
10 AM-2 PM: Solidarity at the Sits: Visit Yellow Finch and support the sitters: shuttle service
2-5 PM: Citizen Voices Radio Show. Story sharing from the MVP grassroots with the Richmond Resistance. Tell your MVP resistance story on the radio!
5-6 PM: Water blessing, closing ceremony.

Come Camp with us!!
-One night or many nights!
-Water available on site
-Leave no trace! Pack it in/ pack it out
– Bring a plate, cup and Utensils

All of these events are Rain or shine. The land that is hosting the events has a Barn where we can gather in a covered area if needed.

Questions? Feel free to ask!

Do I have to come to all of the events?
-No, You come to whatever inspires you.

What if I have an idea for a support event?
– Amazing! please share with others and see if you can get a group together to manifest your dreams.

Does this cost money?
-No, but if you would like to donate, I’m sure we can find a good use for extra money.

Is this taking place at the sits?
– No, Camping and events will take place on private land in Bent mountain (the address listed in the event location tab)
There will be optional visits to the sits throughout the weekend.

What should I wear?
– make sure you are prepared for the weather, whatever it may be. Wear Yellow and Black if you can. We will have stencils for printing on extra items of clothing!

How else can I support?
– Share our social media posts
– Bring some food to share
– Make some art
– There are so many different ways to support, get creative.

See https://www.facebook.com/events/698334687300548/

Legal Observer Training

Attorney Kai Memmer, a volunteer for the Southwest Virginia Chapter of the National Lawyer’s Guild, will train attendees to become Legal Observers. Legal Observers are needed immediately in the Elliston VA area and other areas along the Mountain Valley Pipeline route to monitor and document interactions between police and protesters. The presence of Legal Observers serves to de-escalate tensions on both sides, and is a vital, neutral information gathering tool.

Volunteers are needed for any amount of time. Information on the National Lawyer’s Guild and the Legal Observer program: https://www.nlg.org/our-work/

Monday, Aug. 5 at 6pm at Rockfish Valley Community Center, 190 Rockfish School Ln, Afton 22920.

Questions? drkinva@yahoo.com

Deadline July 27 – Submit Comments

Deadline July 27, 2019: Submit your comment to the Army Corps of Engineers to stop fracked-gas pipelines from blasting through West Virginia rivers.

When West Virginia regulators initially considered the Clean Water Act permits needed for the Atlantic Coast (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) in 2017, they decided to place three strong but reasonable requirements on pipeline companies, above what the Army Corps required, in order to protect the state’s valuable water resources. These reasonable measures would have prevented pipeline construction from impeding the movement of fish and would have limited pipeline construction across major rivers like the Gauley, Elk, and Greenbrier to 72 hours. They would also make large diameter pipelines like ACP and MVP ineligible for the one-size-fits-all review process, requiring them to undergo an individual review process.

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network argued — and the court agreed — that MVP had no plans to comply with West Virginia’s 72-hour time limit when crossing major rivers, and that this failure meant that the entire permit, not just as it applied to specific crossings, was defective. After this decisive court decision rejecting MVP’s permit, the Army Corps voluntarily threw out its permit for the ACP too.

But now the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is trying to rewrite its own rules and remove the environmentally protective conditions they placed on projects like the ACP and MVP.

The Army Corps of Engineers is asking for the public’s opinion on whether it should accept attempts by West Virginia regulators to modify the conditions they put in place to protect water quality. This request places the Corps in an untenable position, asking the Corps to commit an unlawful act and to be drawn once more into a time-consuming and expensive conflict over the proper regulation of the two proposed fracked-gas pipelines.

The Corps is only accepting comments until Saturday, July 27, 2019. Time is running out. Write to the Corps TODAY to ask them to SAY NO to West Virginia’s illegal request.

CLICK HERE to use Chesapeake Climate Action Committee’s email letter, but please be sure to customize the email with your county and state and include any other concerns you may have.