Crowds from Calif., Oregon expected for drought rally Saturday in Mt. Shasta |

Crowds from Calif., Oregon expected for drought rally Saturday in Mt. Shasta

Water and the drought will be the focus of a rally from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Mt. Shasta City Park, 1315 Nixon Road, Mt. Shasta.

The event is expected to draw crowds from California and Oregon at the Headwaters of the Sacramento River — a spot known for the purity and abundance of its waters.

Winnemem Wintu tribe’s Chief and Spiritual Leader Caleen Sisk will be the keynote speaker, followed by a gathering of speakers and entertainers, all addressing water challenges in times of drought. This event is co-sponsored by the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center and the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water.

This event follows a lawsuit filed Aug. 24 by the environmental group “We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review” against Siskiyou County and Crystal Geyser Water Company, whose corporate offices are in Napa County. The group has demanded an Environmental Impact Report for two years; the lawsuit requests Crystal Geyser Water Company meet California Environmental Quality Act standards and requirements.

On Sept. 16, Crystal Geyser, through their PR Firm, Burson-Marsteller, stated it will comply with the EIR process.

However, EIR’s don’t always present the entire picture of the effects of an industry’s environmental impact, event organizers said.

The Mt. Shasta City Park event will shed light on the issues of water bottling overall, plastic waste resulting from bottling, the overall effects and impact on the environment, and the irrationality of bottling water during the time of the worst drought in California’s history.

Sherry Ackerman, PhD a speaker at the event, will reveal why multinational conglomerates head for California and New York in search of water, “blue gold,” at the pristine mountain source. Lucas RossMerz, of Sacramento River Preservation Trust, will address the importance of keeping the water in the river headed south to all those who use it for recreation, residential use and farming. Reverend Amanda Ford, M.A. of the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, will address human rights issues surrounding water.

“We are organizing to stand in solidarity because the source of our water here in Mt. Shasta is threatened by multinational corporate resource extraction and exploitation as are many planetary sources,” Vicki Gold of Water Flows Free and event co-coordinator said. “Single serving plastic water bottling is an idea whose time has clearly passed. Our job is to increase public awareness of the power of the pocketbook.”

Other speakers at the event will be Mauro Oliveira of SOL Communications, Konrad Fisher, Klamath Riverkeeper, Bob McFarland of California Guild (formerly California State Grange), Geneva Omann and Roslyn McCoy of W.A.T.E.R., Elaine Hsiao, PhD. candidate, Matt Isler of Sacred Economics and Phoenix Lawhon Isler of MSBEC.

“The Sierra Nevada and Mount Shasta snowpacks are the lowest in 500 years,” Oliveira said. “Our mission is to protect our water, our watersheds, oceans, all beings and their habitat. This event will inform and educate about the inter-relatedness of all life. The oceans, rivers and all life forms are suffering from plastic pollution and consequent endocrine disruption. We have to change our habits and question every action of polluting industry.”

Entertainers at the event include: Saratone, Diane Patterson, Al Torre, Jenn Rogar, Sawako Ama and Rieko Ivaska with Iroha.

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