I just got an email from my dear friend Malinda Chouinard, announcing that Patagonia is going to support Tim deChristopher with a $25,000 donation to his legal fund. In her email, she asks that we all do whatever we can to help this heroic guy who wanted to save some wild lands from the Bush administration's giveaway to mineral development companies. I don't have a penny to give myself, but with her permission I'm posting her email here. I think it's always great news when corporations do the right thing, and I am sure the donation will help Mr. DeChristopher's cause.
To quote Malinda's email:
Regarding Tim deChristopher, let me quote: ".......We do this not only on behalf of Tim but because, as former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt said recently, "The Congress, led by the House of Representatives, has declared war on our land, water and natural resources."
Make no mistake about it: The federal government was treading very close to breaking the law in putting up those lands for auction. Tim DeChristopher caught them at their game.
Most of the leases Tim bid on - many of them near national parks or monuments, including Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Dinosaur National Monument and Nine Mile Canyon - were deferred or taken off the table by federal land managers in the Obama administration.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar characterized this type of gas and oil leasing by the Bush administration as a "headlong rush." The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), a group that Patagonia also supports, challenged the same BLM auction in federal district court, and in January 2009, a federal judge in Washington ruled in SUWA's favor.
When Tim disrupted the auction, he did so in the fine tradition of nonviolent civil disobedience that changed so many unjust laws in this country's past. His action rests on the long legacy of environmentalism in the United States.
Until this country puts the environment first on its list of priorities, we will all have to sacrifice our time, our talent and our treasure on behalf of wildness.
Today, Tim DeChristopher makes his sacrifice. Tomorrow, it will be our turn. "The arc of the universe is long," said the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. "but it bends towards justice."
Patagonia will give $25,000 to Tim's legal fund. We ask that others donate what they can. Patagonia encourages you to support environmental groups who work on behalf of public lands.
To find out more about the organization Tim founded go to:www.peacefuluprising.org
Some recent history on this story....
Tim DeChristopher, Bidder 70, Convicted
Tim DeChristopher Sentenced to Serve Federal Prison Time
To mail them a check:
Tim DeChristopher's Legal Defense Fund
252 South 1300 East, Ste. A
Salt Lake City, Utah 84102