Here are some pictures of our (Peaceful Uprising, Utah Tar Sands Resistance, 1st Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City) Family Camp Out at PR Springs, site of what will (hopefully NOT) be the first tar sands mine in the U.S. I apologize for the delay, but this is a very remote area on the Tavaputs Plateau above the Book Cliffs in Eastern Utah. This even actually took place in the late afternoon of June 22, 2013.

We talked with the young people extensively about wounds to the earth, and how the advance of this mine will be of the worst kind of wound potentially leading to contamination of the water in the Green and Colorado River, absolute destruction of the land (this is to be an open pit mine), destruction of wildlife habitat, release of toxins into the air, etc. The young people came up with the design and executed it all on their own. We only stepped in to stop them from picking too many wild flowers. We had about 10 youth with us ranging in age from 1 year to about 15 years. The design is a heart with a circle in the middle representing the earth (the sticks say EARTH) to show that they love the earth and feel for the wound it is experiencing here. 

You can see the “test pit” in the background of the picture. Even though this is a high (8000 ft), dry, rocky plateau, it is teeming with life. We harvested pine nuts from Colorado Pinyon just adjacent to the site pictured. The slopes are full of silver sage, Aspen groves, Gambel’s oak, to name just a few. This is prime elk hunting territory and we shared the nearby spring with beef cattle that ranchers have brought to this high country for summer grazing.

We thank you for inspiring this event—it makes visiting this test pit much more meaningful for all of us. 

Photo by Max Wilbert