Utah Student Delays Last Minute Bush Land Grab to Protect our Liveable Future

Posted on December 23, 2008


Photo by: http://www.philarmitage.net



December 2008

Tim DeChristopher, a University of Utah student and environmental activist, disrupted Friday’s auction of Utah’s pristine wilderness to oil and gas companies.

“I decided I could be much more effective by an act of civil disobedience,” he said during an impromptu street side news conference during an afternoon blizzard. “There comes a time to take a stand.”

Video and Transcript here: http://www.democracynow.org/2008/12/22/posing_as_a_bidder_utah_student
FROM —http://www.democracynow.org/2008/12/22/stream on democracy
The Bureau of Land Management held a controversial auction Friday to sell oil and gas drilling rights to nearly 150,000 acres of wilderness in southern Utah. The sale had been strongly opposed by many environmental groups. Stephen Bloch of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance said, “This is the fire sale, the Bush administration’s last great gift to the oil and gas industry.”
Photos of the land are here: http://www.suwa.org/site/PhotoAlbumUser?AlbumID=6959&view=UserAlbum

Because of what DeChristopher did the lease bids he won (22,000 acres) will not be finalized for 30 days so a judge can review them.

27 year old Tim DeChristopher bid and won 22,000 acres. He did not have the money to really buy the land but was successful in raising the cost for the land for the oil companies and now because of his actions the final sale of the acreage he did win the bids for will be delayed for a month and by then the Bush admin. will be out.

He said, “This kind of injustice demanded a higher level of disruption.”
When he got inside the building for the land auction. He realized any kind of speech there would not have been effective.
He built up the courage and started bidding and driving up the prices for the oil companies trying to buy the land. He started winning bids. He bought 22,000 acres of land that is right around Arches National Park and in Labyrinth Canyon and Mineral Point. The auction was stopped and federal agents removed him. They took him into custody for a few hours.
He was clear with the police why he was doing it. Charges will be filed today.
The environmental movement has not been effective and he thought it was necessary to take more drastic measures.

Bush Administration was rushing through this auction before they were out.
The initial announcement of land for sale included pieces of property that people lived on that they didn’t even have rights to sell off. They rushed through the process. Did not do adequate environmental impact surveys. There was a battle with the National park s service. They did not make sure all the bidders were bonded and this is why  he was able to get in.


Tim DeChristopher, “When you stand up for what is right you never stand alone.”

The land DeChristpher “purchased” for 1.8 million dollars will be held back from sale for a month.
People of America may need to stand up and re-buy the land that is already theirs.

He upped the price of all the land parcels. The land that he didn’t win the bids on, purchased by Oil Companies, can be given back the public if they (the oil companies) decided that the price they paid was too high.

DeChristopher, “Gonna take some  major changes in order to have a liveable future, if some people have to go to jail to make that happen then that’s what will have to happen.”


————–FROM Robert Redford
There is no place like these lands. These lands are ours. They are part of our legacy. They are not Bush and Cheneys. The balance of beauty of nature is awesome in these lands. There is disception.
This is an heirloom. These are public lands.
The BLM is suppossed to protect these lands.
They’ve been trashing the environment ever since they came in.
Stop it.
It’s not going to provide any new energy,. It’s going to pollute.
It’s going to take something away from our children.

WE should not allow this to happen. It’s criminal.


Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

Congress asks President-Elect Obama to Cancel Energy Leases
FROM —http://www.suwa.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7091
On Friday, more than 110,000 acres of sensitive public lands in Utah, 60,000 of which is proposed for wilderness designation in Congress through America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, were auctioned off for energy development. Many of these lands are in close proximity to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Dinosaur National Monument, while other parcels will negatively impact the unmatched wild nature of Desolation Canyon on the Green River, the remote Book Cliffs, as well as the world’s largest outdoor art gallery, the archaeological treasure trove of Nine Mile Canyon. These federal public lands were all made available to energy development in November when the Bush administration finalized new land-use management plans for the affected areas.

“The millions of Americans who visit Utah’s beautiful public lands, and even those who have not visited, understand the importance of preserving our natural heritage. Unfortunately, the outgoing Administration is prepared to leave a legacy that ensures the gradual destruction of that heritage. The Obama-Biden Administration will have the opportunity to create a new direction for wild Western lands, and should act to preserve these lands,” Rep. Rush Holt said.

Determining the Fate of 11 Million Acres of Public Land in Utah


America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act
*Find out if your Representatives are Cosponsors of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act
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