Pit River Tribe rallies supporters to protect sacred Medicine Lake

Supporters rally in front of the federal courthouse in San Francisco, California, on March 12. Photo by Becky White / Protect Medicine Lake

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments last week in a long-running dispute over a sacred site in northern California.

The Pit River Tribe and environmental groups are trying to protect Medicine Lake from a geothermal energy plant proposed by Calpine Corporation. The Bureau of Land Management extended the company's leases for 40 years without considering the potential damage to the sacred site, known for its healing qualities.

Indianz.Com SoundCloud: Pit River Tribe v. BLM

The BLM won the latest round of litigation, prompting the appeal to the 9th Circuit. The hearing last week marked the third time the case has been before the court in the last 10 years.

YouTube: Pit River Tribe v. BLM

The tribe and its supporters, however, remain optimistic that they will prevail. A prayer and march took place before the hearing in San Francisco last Thursday.

“Medicine Lake is a sacred place and it needs to be protected at all costs," Chairman Mickey Gemmill said in a press release. "We’re trying to preserve our culture and Medicine Lake is part of the beginning of our people."

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Pit River Tribe Rallies to Protect Medicine Lake (Counterpunch 3/17)

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