FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Flagstaff, AZ – At approximately 1:30am on Thursday, August 23, 2012, James Kennedy, had to perform an emergency descent on his back-up rappel line to avoid being struck by lightning. “I awoke to lightning striking all around me. Immediately lightning struck so closely I was blinded and could not hear for several seconds after each strike,” stated James after
“Safety for both James and the ground crew was a concern since the first day” said Ariana Sauer, a volunteer with ProtectThePeaks.org and an on the ground supporter of the tree-sit. “Although the Flagstaff Police Department made each night more difficult by raiding the surrounding area on Tuesday night and by cutting off contact between us and James, we stayed committed to his safety and ensuring that the message for clean water and clean snow was heard.”
“Having to come down tonight only makes my resolve to continue working for clean water and healthy communities that much stronger. I encourage everyone to take direct action in safe and creative ways so our voices continue to be heard,” stated James. “This is not a struggle we can afford to lose. With all the current research on the dangers of treated sewage effluent, we cannot continue to allow the city to experiment on our children.”
“The City of Flagstaff needs to understand that our water and our communities are not for sale,” stated Xander Vautrin@, on the ground supporter of the tree-sit. “We will continue to build off the momentum from the tree-sit to pressure our public officials both locally and nationally to protect our water from private corporate interest for our children, our environment and our future.”
The tree-sit was initiated on Monday morning to block construction of a pipeline that would transport 180 million gallons of sewage effluent from the City of Flagstaff to Arizona Snowbowl for snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks. Arizona Snowbowl would be the only ski area in the world to use 100% wastewater for snowmaking. The treated sewage effluent has been proven to contain pharmaceuticals, hormones and antibiotic resistant bacteria.
The San Francisco Peaks are considered an ecological island and held sacred by more than 13 Indigenous Nations.
We invite those of you who believe in the safety and health of our children, the sanctity of our environment, and the protection of public water to demand that:
– The City of Flagstaff rescind the wastewater contract with Snowbowl!
– An immediate moratorium on the City of Flagstaff’s use of treated sewage effluent in public spaces where any person may come in contact with reclaimed wastewater, until new research and technology is available to mitigate long-term environmental & community health risks.
-The use of public water in this desert climate of Flagstaff with only a projected 25-38 years of water left for people’s consumption, should be cleaned and used for people to drink, not for a private corporation to make a profit.
-President Obama fulfill campaign promises to protect human rights and sacred sites.
More info: http://protectthepeaks.org/
Note to Editor & Reporter:
• Interview with James Kennedy, NAU student and tree-sitter, available upon request.
• High resolution video and photos available.
— Protect People – Clean Water, Clean Snow! –