“Seeds of Resistance” Activity Coming to VA & WV, June 6, 7 & 8

by Duane Nichols on May 28, 2016

Sacred Corn Harvest Celebration in 2015

Cowboy & Indian Alliance to Plant “Seeds of Resistance” Ponca Corn on Land in Paths of Atlantic Coast & Mountain Valley Fracked Gas Pipelines

Press Release from April Keating, Mountain Lakes Preservation Association, May 25, 2016

RE: ACP & MVP Natural Gas Pipelines. [Large-diameter, high-pressure, long-distance, eminent –domain,  national-forests, public-risks, explosion-hazards & water pollution.]

WHAT: Public Gatherings of Concern.         WHEN: June 6 to June 8 (near Weston),

WHERE: Stuarts Draft VA (10am) — Wingina, VA (3pm) (Monday, June 6th) — Boones Mill, VA (9am) — Lafayette, VA (3pm) (Tuesday, June 7th) — Union, WV (9am) (Wednesday, June 8th) — Weston, WV (4pm). (Wednesday, June 8th)

The people who helped to bring an end to the Keystone XL, Bold Nebraska, are coming to West Virginia to stand in solidarity with local landowners affected by the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines. They will be planting “sacred corn” seeds along the route of the two pipelines. Between June 6 and 8, the group will stop at 4 locations in Virginia and 2 in West Virginia.

Jane Kleeb, organizer from Nebraska, and Mekasi Camp, a native of the Ponca tribe of Oklahoma, are making the journey down to support those in West Virginia who stand against the proposed pipeline projects. “We’re going to stand together with the cowboys—the ranchers and farmers,” said Mekasi Horinek Camp. “Together our families will plant sacred Ponca corn as seeds of resistance to these risky fracked gas pipelines. As the corn grows it will stand strong for us, to help us protect and keep Mother Earth safe for our children. We stand with the pipeline fighters.”

“Actions, like planting the Ponca corn, show the strength and commitment of people standing up to Big Gas and their reckless pipelines,” said Jane Kleeb, Bold Alliance President. “Using eminent domain for private gain is something the Cowboy and Indian Alliance stands against. We plan on using actions, prayer and all legal tools available to stop these risky pipelines.”

“We are looking at 6 new, high-pressure, large-diameter gas pipelines running through West Virginia. Not only are they not needed, but they are going to prove disaster for the region’s water, air, soil, and economy,” says April Keating of Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance. “We are already seeing landowner rights trampled, property values threatened, and a general disregard for the rights and health of human beings. Methane leakage is contributing hugely to global warming. If these pipelines go in, we will be locked into the same approach we’ve been suffering from for over a century.”

The gathering is to be hosted at the homestead of Tom and Becky Berlin, of Lewis County. Their farm is threatened by the ACP, but the MVP is only a few miles to the west of them. The 36” Stonewall-Momentum line, a much less heavily regulated gas line, was recently buried only a few hundred feet from their front door, and 25 feet from their property line. Construction from this intrastate line has already disturbed their peace of mind and their property values.

Tom is a retired environmental science professor and forester, his wife Becky a retired health professional. They have been actively engaged in protecting and stewarding the environment since the late 1960s. Tom says of the project, “We are supporting this planting project as a statement of solidarity with our brothers and sisters throughout the nation and world who are fighting against a system that is based on continuous and accelerating extraction of the wealth of the Earth to the detriment of local individuals, communities, and ecosystems, and the benefit of a few powerful and wealthy.”

Parking will be available near or adjacent to Tom Berlin’s 100-acre farm at 1833 Left Millstone Rd., Weston, WV 26452. Email apkeating@hotmail.com for directions.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sacred Corn Planting May 28, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Media Advisory: Cowboy & Indian Alliance to Plant “Seeds of Resistance” Ponca Corn in Paths of Atlantic Coast & Mountain Valley Fracked Gas Pipelines


Contact: Jane Kleeb, Bold Alliance, 402-705-3622, jane@boldnebraska.org
Lorne Stockman, Oil Change International, 540-679-1097, lorne@priceofoil.org
Staunton, Virginia — In a series of events from June 6-8, the “Cowboy and Indian Alliance” that defeated the Keystone XL pipeline will travel to meet landowners and Tribal Nations in Virginia and West Virginia and plant “Seeds of Resistance” of Ponca Sacred Corn on land that lies in the paths of the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley fracked gas pipelines.
At each event, members of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance will plant the seeds, meet with local landowners, and discuss lessons learned from the Keystone XL fight and winning strategies to fight these dangerous pipelines.
All events will be open to press, and speakers will be available for interviews.
WHAT: Planting of “Seeds of Resistance” Ponca sacred corn on land in paths of proposed ACP & MVP fracked gas pipelines
WHO: Mekasi Horinek Camp, Ponca Nation member; Bold Oklahoma Coordinator; son of Casey Camp-Horinek, a long-time Native rights activist and environmentalist

Art Tanderup, a Nebraska farmer whose land was on the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and the historic Ponca Trail of Tears, where the first “Seeds of Resistance” were planted in 2014.

Jane Kleeb, Bold Alliance President
Lorne Stockman, Oil Change International Research Director
WHEN: June 6 – June 8
Monday, June 6 at 10am: Home of Virginia Davis and Kenneth Harris – 2964 Stuarts Draft Hwy., Stuarts Draft, VA, 24477

Monday, June 6 at 3pm: Home of Samuel Woodson, Sr. – 2936 James River Rd., Wingina, VA, 24599

Tuesday, June 7 at 9am: Home of Anne and Steve Bernard – 7879 Grassy Hill Road, Boones Mill, VA, 24065

Tuesday, June 7 at 3pm: Jim Law’s Farm – 6175 Yellow Finch Rd., Lafayette, VA, 24087

Wednesday, June 8 at 9am: Blue Roamin Farm, US 219, near Union, WV, 24983

Wednesday, June 8 at 4pm: Home of Tom Berlin, 1833 Left Millstone Rd., Weston, WV, 26452

For more background and event details, visit http://boldnebraska.org/seeds


Dan Tenney June 1, 2016 at 8:10 am

If you all want to try to stop the pipeline, then park your tractors and trucks and cars, turn off your lights and everything that runs on electric take all your personal items and through them away all your crops will die and your cattle will die off due to no medicien to keep the helthy you will have no way to get your crops to market no roads to travel on no water to drink air quality will go down hill due to everyone burning wood to keep warm you will not be able to cut hay because you will have no fuel to run tractors or equipment, this is just a start i can keep going. THINK BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH!!!
You don’t think about this stuff, everything we need to live and breath is hauled on trucks and trains and tractors and trailers are running on natural gas more and more every day. think about the elder they will all die off with out natural gas to heat and will not have anything to eat or any way to keep them alive without electric to keep there breathing machines running.
you corn people stay home and anybody that helps you in our local area can go with you to, you are not wanted go live in a desert !!!!!!


David Sligh June 1, 2016 at 5:44 pm


Posted on June 1, 2016 by David Sligh of DPMC

Thousands of Virginians are concerned about the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines. There is vigorous discussion and debate — the kind of open, public conversation that should surround proposals affecting the lives of so many people.

But there’s a problem with this conversation. Officials in Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration are not communicating freely about the government’s activities related to the pipelines. They seem uninterested in hearing what citizens have to say.

Sadly, the governor set this pattern but he can reverse course. The Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition (DPMC) calls on McAuliffe to order the formation of a Citizen’s Advisory Panel to study and make recommendations on state government’s regulatory review of the proposals.

We trust others will join in this call.

In December 2013, the VCU Capital News Service reported that Governor-elect McAuliffe pledged to push for greater transparency in state government, saying “Virginians should never have to question who their leaders are putting first.” McAuliffe also reportedly said he “would be inclined” to “issue an executive order” to waive fees citizens and reporters pay to see state records under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Regarding these pipelines, however, McAuliffe and his officials have taken a different approach. The governor ordered state agencies to filter all public statements about the pipelines through his office (“Governor will review pipelines comment,” Roanoke Times, November 3, 2015).

This seemed a bad omen for open communication and prompted DPMC, a group of citizens opposed to the pipelines, to request copies of documents sent between the governor’s office, state agencies and pipeline companies.

Carlos Hopkins, the governor’s counsel, set a charge of $516 for 10 hours of staff time to produce these records. We noted that this equaled an hourly rate of $51.60; a yearly salary of $107,328. We paid the fee but pointed out that such charges would certainly prohibit most citizens from obtaining government information. Hopkins promised to send the records but failed to meet the legal deadline under FOIA. Finally, we wrote Hopkins that “the Governor’s Office is now in violation of … FOIA” and, lo and behold, the records came to us about two hours later. We’d assumed the governor’s counsel would need no reminder to obey the law.

Later, after receiving hints that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) may forego detailed analyses of the pipeline proposals and possible impacts to Virginia’s waters, DPMC asked for records justifying that approach. After three weeks and no response from DEQ Director David Paylor and Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources Angela Navarro, we asked whether our letter had been received. The officials verified that it had but did not offer to provide the materials requested.

This time DPMC prepared a petition for a Writ for Mandamus for filing in state circuit court, requesting officials be ordered to obey the law. We gave Paylor and Navarro advance notice, as the law provides. We finally received the records without going to court but why must the public fight for access to what belongs to them?

Records from the governor’s office reveal the administration’s attitude on the public’s right to know what its government is doing. Thomas Smith, of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), reported to Deputy Secretary Navarro on July 15, 2015 on a discussion of ACP between DCR and other agencies. Smith wrote “[w]e did not take notes as everything we write down, email etc. has to be compiled and provided in the FOIA requests we get every three months — so it is all about keeping our costs down.” It is disgraceful for public servants to actively avoid having to disclose information to the public.

Finally, state records show that when local government bodies asked the governor to see that DEQ perform full reviews of MVP construction plans to protect their waters, their views were given little respect. Craig, Franklin, Montgomery and Roanoke Counties and the Town of Boones Mill all adopted resolutions seeking the governor’s help. Instead, McAuliffe’s office and Deputy Secretary Navarro apparently shunted those documents to the “No Response Needed” pile. Are submittals from Dominion or Equitrans given the same treatment?

Governor McAuliffe: Live up to the principles you’ve espoused. Make the people partners in this process. Show us all the respect we deserve. We think we speak for local governments along both pipeline routes, businesses and community groups, families and property owners when we insist this request be deemed “response needed.”

The above commentary was published as an op-ed in the Roanoke Times titled: “McAuliffe stifles discussion of pipelines“

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