We were shocked to see that our free speech banners we put up last week were stolen from the public right of way in front of the nasty tar factory being constructed at PR Springs Utah. The banner “No pipelines! No Stripmines! Utah Land Defenders support Standing Rock and Red Warrior Camp was stolen along with “stripmines Trash Everything”
In an effort to keep up the fight and our spirits we put up more banners.
Saturday September 24th at PR Springs Utah
A new banner was placed at Children’s Legacy Overlook near the southern edge of the freshly stripped forest known affectionately as the “Children’s Legacy Camp” UTSR decided to move our vigil to this overlook near the road as the weather is changing and it is preferable to have a more sunny location. Around 5pm on saturday about 1 hour after we arrived and began to set up our tents an unmarked vehicle pulled in (which I had seen on the ridge parked, where you can look at our camp in PR Canyon with binoculars, several times since Friday afternoon) and identifying one of us by name said this nonsense:
“Your XXX right?” You can’t be here I know that you know that this is trust lands because you have been arrested here before.”
UTSR: “Who are You?”
The man said “I am Jason Christensen, I am an investigator for the Uintah county prosecutor”
UTSR: “So why are you talking to us?”
Jason: “I am a peace officer, I have no authority in Grand County but I am doing my personal duty.”
UTSR: “Personal duty? What is a personal duty?”
Jason; “you don’t have personal time?”
UTSR: “your up here on your personal time?”
Jason: “I’m not going to argue with you I’m calling the Grand County Sheriff!”
He does I listen (LOL) we are not actually trespassing.
Jason “i’ve got pictures of you”
He drives to the county line 500 feet away and parks where he can watch us. A fully camo dressed man with a covered face drives by on a 4 wheeler pulls over and says “whats going on?” we say “we are protesting the strip mine” and he says “did we drive there?” “No we are on bikes!” he says but did you drive here?” we say “do you see a car?” There is none LOL!!! This makes him mad. He leaves and goes to hang out with Jason. I deem him a “Cop Sucker”
We gather up wood, make a big fire and enjoy an amazing sunset across the stripped land. Another unmarked police vehicle drives by from the Uintah county side and takes more pics with a long lens. He turns around after awhile and comes back towards us he swerves and covers his face to avoid being photographed by us.
No one ever shows up from Grand County. We make sure to stay up late and flash our lights on the mine pit so the Uintah co cops have something to do. They keep watch till well after dark.
On Sunday morning , a bike ride over to the Pig Pen ( a fenced in trailer for the cops to sleep in, Uintah county built onto the side of the US Oil Sands tar processing plant fence line), reveals that the Uintah Cops have gone home to Vernal. The new banner and protest camp can be seen from Seep Ridge Road and many folks drive by who are here hunting and recreating in this remote wilderness.
Many tears have been shed over the loss of Children’s Legacy Camp and its thriving ecosystem. We will continue to witness and grieve for every leaf of every tree, every single fly, spider, mouse and bear and everything in between we will speak of them, and think of them and honor them, as the precious beings that we know they are. Our banners and protest continue to exist.
Utah Tar Sands Resistance and other Utah Land Defenders painted and placed a banner near the gate to the tar sands processing plant at PR Springs Utah, in the remote Book Cliffs, on the Ute’s Uncompahgre Reservation.
We say NO Pipelines! NO Stripmines! in North Dakota, or Utah! in solidarity with all of the brave persons and other beings who are on the front lines at the Sacred Stone Camp, Red Warrior Camp, and Oceti Sakowin Camp in so called North Dakota.
We respect and admire the call to protect the water at Standing Rock.
We call on others to take action and protect the water where ever you live.
Read more about Standing Rock:
Update from the Vigil at PR Springs
We began hearing the horrible sounds of earth scraping and grinding at the site of our beloved Children’s Legacy camp on Aug 8th . On further investigation we can see from the road a new piece of equipment moving and scraping at the exposed tar layer. US Oil Sands has begun doing earth moving and strip mine activities in Grand County Utah, where debris is entering the air stream and insufficient erosion controls allow water to move off the site and into Main Canyon. There is very frequently strong winds on seep ridge and dust is spreading all day. Water trucks are being used very rarely.
US Oil Sands (USOS) is today scraping tar at the Children’s Legacy camp site. We expect USOS intends to mix this tar with solvents in big tanks and dump the waste in unlined pits in Uintah and Grand counties. The tar processing site is within the Ute Uncompagre Indian Reservation. USEPA is the air and water pollution control authority within the reservation boundaries. No permit has been issued. US Oil Sands is threatening immediate and uncontrolled pollution within Indian country.
Phone USEPA today:
Matthew M. Langenfeld
Tribal Air Coordinator U.S. EPA Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202-1129
Ms. Claudia Smith
Air Program U.S. EPA Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202-1129
Let the EPA know that this environmental injustice cannot continue un-addressed
“Tar sands create unacceptable toxic waste and air pollution.
For this to occur without permits is wrong.”
Us Oil Sands has stated that :
“The Company is in the pre-production stage, anticipating the commencement of bitumen production and sales in Q4 2016.”
HMM! Well they do want to be able to run the big machines and try to demonstrate some actual production so they can sell the whole unprofitable project.
or get more investors. Public records show they are all most out of money and cannot continue without more money and state funded subsidies. Now is the time to UP the pressure on US Oil Sands.
PR Springs Utah is a magical place with abundant water and life.
The state of Utah has declared the area to be without water and appropriate
for stripmining for tar. Facts are: US Oil Sands (a canadian corp!) & the State
of Utah are lying about the existence of water at PR Springs.
Come to PR SPring and “Witness the Waters”.
SEE –> ELK at PR Springs —>
These Elk come to DRINK @ PR Springs after dusk
A little water, a little Milk. Both so FRESH.
And most amazing —> SEE –> ELK at PR Springs DANCE —>
Two female Elk appear to preform a ‘Patty Cake’ dance right in the pool of ground water at what we call the Triangle Spring here at PR Springs.
THE BAD NEWS
Utah’s governor Dirty Herbert and his minions here in Utah at SITLA have leased this very spot for tarsand STRIPMINING for $1 per acre –> per year. This situation demands active resistance. Join the Resistance. Utah Tar Sands Resistance. www.tarsandsresist.org
Join UTSR’s celebration of water and the protest of Utah’s corrupt ‘Dirty Herbert’, who is growing fat by selling our children’s legacy to foreign croney capitalists.
See info about this upcoming event HERE:
Some content Originally posted on Canyon Country Rising tide
June 11, 2016 3:45PM
Seepridge Road, Uintah County, UT – Ten participants of Utah Tar Sands Resistance’s 4th annual family camp out on the Tavaputs Plateau have been arrested after completing biodiversity studies close to the country’s first tar sands strip-mine. A group of children and adults walked to the wooded area next to the Children’s Legacy camp site to count plants and identify different species, in an area that several members of the group had camped at freely in previous years.
Upon returning to their vehicles they were met by Ronald Barton, Special Agent for the Utah Attorney General’s office who told everyone they could not leave stating he was detaining the group for trespassing on state trust lands. and even threatened parents with reckless child endangerment. He also instructed a news reporter who had wanted to follow the group that she would be arrested if she attempted to do so.
Near Children’s Legacy camp site, a Canadian company, US Oil Sands is hoping to extract tar sands. They are leasing SITLA land (which is public land).
Shea Wickelson, who led the biodiversity lesson, is a science teacher in Salt Lake City: “I have been camping here with my family for the past four years. Last year, we took some biodiversity data with my son and others. This year we wanted to see how the mining expansion has impacted the area and take new data. We were surprised to see the area so razed because we had read that US Oil Sands was ending development, but it looks like a significant expansion to us. I am disappointed to find out that my family and I are no longer allowed to be on the public land that we have been visiting for the past four years.”
Natascha Deininger of Wasatch Rising Tide: “It’s ironic that local law enforcement is so concerned with protecting industry interests, when the land in question is actually public, and was ultimately stolen from the first nations of this area. It is outrageous that a science teacher is being detained for teaching kids about biodiversity on public land, while US Oil Sands is destroying hopes of a livable future.”
Raphael Cordray of Utah Tar Sands Resistance: “We have a responsibility to the public to document and witness the damage to the area. We are investigating a crime scene and making records of what is happening here, as the decision makers and regulators are ignoring the real concerns about this project.”
for another account of these events see:
I submitted this complaint to the following agencies yesterday afternoon.
Utah Division of Air Quality, Utah Division of Water Quality, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, and Utah DOGM Minerals Regulatory Program.
I will post an update when I get some responses.
This letter is a formal complaint and request for action by Raphael Cordray, personally, and behalf, Utah tar Sands Resistance (UTSR).
This complaint alleges that MCW Energy is operating a tar sands processing plant near Vernal in violation of State and Federal environmental laws and regulations. MCW Energy is performing unlawful activity by building and operating a tar processing facility without environmental permits.
My search of public records reveals that no current permits are existing as required by law and for public safety. This Tar Processing facility is adjacent a residential area putting homes and families at risk.
MCW has no Air pollution control permit.
MCW has no Storm Water discharge permit
MCW has no NPDES Process Water discharge permit
MCW has no permit for RCRA Waste Streams yet appears to create RCRA waste streams
There are chemicals and processes on site that require permitting and regulation yet the MCW facilities and tar processing operations are currently unpermitted and unregulated.
MCW stands to gain a huge financial benefit from this illegal activity by placing human health and the environment at risk. MCW is defrauding investors by making numerous false claims on their website.
MCW has used public leaders including, Kevin Van Tassel and Governor Herbert to create an illusion of legitimacy for this illegal project.
I am aware that a Right Of Entry (ROE) permit 6166 was issued to MCW on February 2nd by SITLA. I also reviewed the related “Final Agency Action” letter from Kevin Carter of SITLA to MCW dated Nov. 17 2015.
I am concerned about the content of the ROE. The ROE claims to authorize the dumping of process water by MCW tar processing facility in unlined pits on the site. Where is the public process and proper environmental impact research in an ROE? A tar sands factory needs more than an ROE to operate yet state of Utah records indicate that MCW has been operating illegally on this site for years.
The ROE permit 6166 states:
“SITLA authorizes and approves Permittee’s use, storage and disposal of Produced Water on the Permitted Property.”
SITLA does not regulate produced water. How & Why are they “authorizing” it?
We request that you take immediate action and close this illegal operation. We demand that the environmental impacts to our air, water and the land from this toxic experiment be disclosed and addressed. We formally request that ALL relevant laws and rules be effectively applied and enforced to this project.
Please contact me if you need any further information.
I look forward to your responses.
Raphael Cordray, personally and for,
Utah Tar Sands Resistance
PR Springs mine may NEVER open.
Utah Tar Sands Resistance is hopeful about the real impact of the recent announcement by US Oil Sands of the scale down of their plans for tar sands strip mining at PR Springs Utah. All beings will continue to gain from the existence of this remote ecosystem and the preservation of this historic source of spring water.
news links about USOS slow down:
This newly-released short film lets you see for yourself the incredible beauty of the East Tavaputs Plateau, slated for tar sands strip mining. Get up close to the natural wonders hiding throughout this enchanting land, and ask yourself what you would do to defend it.
On the East Tavaputs Plateau of so-called Utah, which is Uintah Ute territory, US Oil Sands is trying to start up the first massive strip mine to produce fuel from tar sands in the U.S. Meanwhile, grassroots groups like Utah Tar Sands Resistance, Peaceful Uprising, and Canyon Country Rising Tide are battling to defend this lush and diverse land.
Witness the amazing beings and ecosystems fighting for life alongside incredible destruction. While they don’t get the attention of Canyonlands or the San Raphael, these places are near and dear to us and many other folks in Utah. From the sandstone cliffs of Main Canyon with their hidden bat caves, to the sweeping vistas of the Book Cliffs, this land deserves protection as much as any national park. And as part of the headwaters of the Colorado River as well as a massive source of carbon, our future is intertwined with its own.
From the looks of it, no one’s going to be processing bitumen on the Tavaputs Plateau this year.
US Oil Sands has promised investors they’d achieve commercial production by the final quarter of 2015.
Let’s take a look at what’s happening out there.
Though there’s personnel on the production site, it seems impossible to run graders and other machinery in all this muck.
The entrance to Children’s Legacy Camp (the area they’ve been clearcutting and grading) is a slushpile.
The processing site has a nice layer of snow on the ground. There’s been no paving work so far, meaning it’s awfully hard to run machines over this slushy ground too. Paving site roads (a goal outlined in the mine plan) sure seemed like one of the crucial stepping stones to building capacity to work all winter and achieve commercial production.
Seems like a whole lot of investor dollars being spent on worker salaries, with the potential for very minimal results.
If seeing all this destruction moves you, now is the time to jump in! Together we can win this fight.