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An environmental activist in Utah just saved nearly 23,000 acres of land from being auctioned off to the Oil and Gas companies, at a potential cost of his freedom, check it out below the fold.

The original story is available at:

and here's a few of the details

Tim DeChristopher, 27, faces possible federal charges after winning bids totaling about $1.8 million on more than 10 lease parcels that he admits he has neither the intention nor the money to buy -- and he's not sorry.

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

He may or may not have had help.

Plainclothes Salt Lake City police officers were in the room during the auction, the last to be held under the Bush administration. BLM spokeswoman Mary Wilson said the agency requested law-enforcement help due to perceived threats over the hotly disputed sale.

Another man also was detained and questioned about the possibility that he and DeChristopher had committed federal offenses by trying to impede the bidding process, BLM officials said. That man registered as Kent Boardman, of Salt Lake City,

And here's where it goes from just a symbolic last stand into potentially making a difference

After the auction, Kent Hoffman, the BLM's state deputy director for lands and minerals, announced there had been a bogus bidder. But the false bidder was "on the hook to pay," Hoffman said.

"Good," said a woman in the auction room. "Make them pay."

Hoffman said successful bidders who believed their offers had been run up illegally due could withdraw their bids.

BLM official Terry Catlin said the agency didn't want to reopen the bidding on the parcels DeChristopher snagged unless all interested parties were able to compete for the leases. That means the parcels won't be available again until at least February -- after Obama takes office -- during the next scheduled auction.

DeChristopher, who acknowledged upping other bids by about $500,000, said he would be willing to go to jail to defend his generation's prospects in light of global climate disruption and other environmental threats.

"If that's what it takes," he said.

Bolded part in this last bit is mine.
This guy walked into a room and with a bidding panel may have put a hold on at least some of the fire sale of our national treasures.

according to this Google news blurb, supporters are trying to raise the money to pay for the land (at least long enough to keep DeChristopher out of jail), no info on where to donate yet, but I'll update if I find it.

Let's hear it for Tim DeChristopher, for making a stand.

Originally posted to A Bleeding God on Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 11:05 PM PST.

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