Tips for the Walk

We don’t let the weather get the best of us in Seattle. A little planning and a couple of layers let us enjoy the beautiful land we live in, rain or shine. Here are a few tips for what to wear and what to bring when you walk for Oak Flat:

Layer up, with a waterproof layer on the outside. You’ll warm up when you walk, so a heavy coat will likely be too much. A change of socks is a good idea, in case your feet get wet. Wear comfortable shoes so you don’t get blisters.

Bring a backpack. If you don’t need your waterproof layer, you can carry it in your pack. If the weather is rainy, put a plastic bag inside your pack to keep your things dry. If you are coming with a friend, one pack per two people is plenty, then you can take turns carrying your stuff.

Bring your phone. Especially if you can help tweet and post to instagram or facebook along the way, your phone will be a big help to get our message out.

Bring a water bottle.

Bring a sandwich and a snack.

Bring a few dollars and change for bus fare back to where you started the walk and for coffee or lunch at the end if you like.

Bring an umbrella if it looks like rain. We can walk two to an umbrella, and trust me, it is a most welcome accessory if it rains steadily. Besides, how cool would we all look, walking in the rain with all of our umbrellas?

Bring your good spirits and good heart. We will make a terrific team, and I can’t wait to walk with you.



This weekend hundreds will walk and rally to shine light on the occupation at Oak Flat. Apache Stronghold continues to lead the way as thousands pledge their support.

People around the country, and even the world, denounce Resolution Copper’s selfish attempt to destroy sacred Oak Flat. The understanding and sincerity of Oak Flat supporters is heartening and encouraging.

But we have to be careful that we continue to be mindful of the need to spread the word about Oak Flat to larger audiences. The majority of Americans still have never heard of Oak Flat; it is not yet a commonly understood issue in most households across the country.

Together, we can change that.

This weekend is an opportunity to bring what is happening at Oak Flat to a new group of supporters. There will be lots of new photos to share, new opportunities to tell the story of Oak Flat and Apache Stronghold.

Please help spread the word. Let’s see if together we can get #SaveOakFlat to trend on Twitter.

It seems that what makes a topic trend is, in simple terms, we need

  1. a large group of people who
  2. tweet the same hashtag
  3. frequently and at a steady pace
  4. at the same general time

How do we do that? Digital marketing agency Jungle published a blog post about this, which you can read here. The article’s author, Kaye Naylon wrote:

There are two elements to what makes a ‘Trend’ on Twitter: the number of people tweeting at any one time about the same topic and the time of day.


  • Between 12 (midnight) to 6am: approximately 1200 tweets and about 500 users to be considered a Trend
  • Between 6am to 12pm: 1700 tweets and about 733 users
  • Between 12pm to 6 pm: 1500 tweets and about 812 users
  • Between 6pm to 12am: 1900 tweets and about 922 users

Daily Blogger also offers some intriguing insights here.

In short, a lot of us need to be connecting on the same subject during the same time window to get it to trend. Therefore, I can help the San Carlos walkers just by tweeting about it if they post a new photo, and I make sure the tweet includes the text, #SaveOakFlat.

I can also retweet their tweets to give them more longevity and help the message grow.

walk tweet

The other tip for getting these tweets to fire up is to point them at groups that have their own big audience of like-minded people. For example, if I add @SierraClub to my tweet, the Sierra Club has 184,000 followers on Twitter, and they may then decide to share my message with their whole big group. (The Sierra Club is on our side, and they use social media well.)

Who else might you point tweets toward? Think of any political group, environmental group, church, or social justice group whose members might find this interesting.

Let’s see if we can start a big trend this weekend! If you can read this message, you have the technology! Send a tweet or two this Saturday. It’s a free and easy way to help #SaveOakFlat.



3 Ways to Rally for Oak Flat from Home

I know there are a lot of people who would like to walk for Oak Flat but there isn’t an event in their area. You can still play an important role in getting the word out and help Apache Stronghold’s efforts to save this sacred space. Here are three things you can do that will help the effort:

  1. Tweet for Oak Flat. On Sat. Feb. 27, let’s kick #SaveOakFlat to the top of the twittersphere. Post and repost tweets the walkers will be generating on the road. New to twitter? You can access it on your home computer as well as your phone, go to to learn more and sign up.
  2. Post and Repost. Your help with tweets will make a big difference, and you can do the same with Facebook. Send photos and notes from the walk around the world with your Facebook account.
  3. Have a Home Rally on Feb. 27. Think of it as a Social Justice Superbowl Party! Invite you family and friends to get together, make a pot of chili or do a little BBQ, and honor Oak Flat. It’s a chance to explain the issues to someone who maybe hasn’t heard about it yet, and reaffirm your commitment to protect Mother Earth.


Be part of the team, wherever you are!

Sacramento is Walking to Save Oak Flat


Sacramento has joined the fight to save sacred Oak Flat. This the third walk set to take place on Feb. 27 to honor and support the San Carlos Apache walk and occupation of Oak Flat, and the ongoing efforts of Apache Stronghold to save sacred spaces and protect  Mother Earth.

In addition to the original, core walk in Arizona, walks will take place in Seattle, Los Angeles, and now, Sacramento.

The walks, all being organized in grassroots style, show that people across the country not only care about what happens at Oak Flat, but that their conviction is deep, and they are willing to stand up and take action. It shows that many understand the weight of the travesty and consequences of a mine at Oak Flat, and will work hard to stop it.

All supporters are encouraged to walk and show solidarity. Please share the Sacramento event invitation linked here widely. Together we are stronger.

Mayor Surprised by Resolution Copper’s Filter Plant Plans

People living near Oak Flat have a lot to lose – or gain, depending upon how you look at it – as a result of the government giveaway of the southernmost section of the Tonto National Forest. This includes residents of Superior, a small town just a few miles down the road from the sacred Apache site.

To gain? Jobs or preservation of a rare desert perpetual spring. To lose? Jobs or preservation of a rare desert perpetual spring. For a small town that’s  long been wrapped around the bust-or-boom influence of the mining trade, it’s easy to understand how the promises of employment can turn the heads of local residents who would benefit from an influx in job opportunities.

Which is why a phrase in the December minutes of the Superior Town Council is so noteworthy.

Those who follow Oak Flat hear that the promise of jobs held out by Resolution Copper is very compelling to some Superior locals. Resolution Copper pledges thousands of good jobs, but skeptics say the nature of the block cave mining technique slated for the project suggest otherwise, noting that the jobs generated by this practice will rely heavily on employees with advanced degrees.

The Superior Town Council December Minutes reveal what seems to be a switcheroo. Mayor Valenzuela’s staff report explained that a recent meeting with Resolution Copper top execs showed, “. . . a filter plant was going to be built by Resolution near the San Tan valley. Mayor Valenzuela was surprised, he thought all plants would be built here to help with employment.”

Superior Dec minutes

This event brings to mind the old adage, “It’s better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission.” What will residents of Superior be left with if they don’t get the good deal they’re  hoping for and later Resolution Copper begs forgiveness, once they have the profits in their pockets? How willingly will they forgive when every time the wind blows, carcinogenic tailings are aired over the community? And what will it matter once the permanent damage is done?

How about considering building an electronics recycling plant in Superior, rather than blasting a new mine? Copper recycling is just a matter of time anyway, Earth does not grow new copper and supplies are limited. With the enormous amount of electronics Americans now purchase – and then must later discard – there’s a future in copper recycling. Not to mention that investing in this kind of sustainable business is compatible with other job-growing industries, such as tourism.

The Arizona Office of Tourism’s Research and Statistics Department reports that in 2014, the state hosted 40.7 million overnight visitors, up 4.1% YOY, resulting in $20.9 billion in direct spending, up 5.4% YOY. Tourism is on the rise. The rare riparian desert ecosystem and established climbing resources at Oak Flat present an attractive setting for the tourist industry that is compatible with the preservation of Oak Flat and its clean water source.

The decision of which side to support is a big one, with permanent consequences. The Superior Town Council has a lot to grapple with in deciding whether they pledge their support to the intentions and plans of a foreign mining giant, hoping they are not later on the receiving end of those begging forgiveness; or they opt to pursue greener pastures.






Seattle Gears Up on the heels of Tucson’s Success

Yesterday’s Tucson Rally started a string of events in February to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Oak Flat occupation. A big group turned out to share dinner and hear Apache Stronghold leader Wendsler Nosie Sr. speak about progress of the effort to protect the sacred site. Musician Loren Victor provided entertainment for a crowd of about 100. Click here to see photos and videos of the evening’s program.

tucson event

Seattle walkers are excited and inspired by the Tucson kick-off. The event is spreading via social media, and a broad base of supporters from across the Puget Sound region pledge they will attend the Seattle walk on Sat. Feb. 27.

Click this link to join the Seattle walk

Thanks to Tucson’s fair trade print shop, The Gloo Factory, the classic black Save Oak Flat t-shirt is available for sale to the public.

Seattle walkers are eligible for a free t-shirt. Walkers who’d like a shirt are asked to send an email with the subject line, “I want a free Oak Flat t-shirt!” to Shirts will be handed out at the walk, while supplies last.

Show your support, join the walk, bring a friend.

Oak Flat shirt red



Seattle Walk: Route Information

The Feb. 27 Seattle Walk to Save Oak Flat will have two routes which will both end at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle.

Seattle walkers will meet at Red Square on the University of Washington main campus at 10AM. Participants can arrive by bus, find street parking, or park in the University’s Central Plaza Garage on 15th Ave. NE for $10. We will begin our walk toward downtown promptly at 10AM. The walk is about 3.8 miles to downtown.

Bainbridge Islanders and Kitsap County walkers will meet at Ordway Elementary School at 10AM and walk to the ferry terminal. Upon crossing the sound, the walkers will continue on to downtown Seattle. For a shorter walk, meet at the ferry terminal, under the flagpole at 11AM. We will board the 11:30 ferry, and walk to Westlake Park on the Seattle side (a little less than one mile.)

Our destination is Westlake Park, just outside of Westlake Center in downtown Seattle, at the corner of Pine St. and 4th Ave. We will arrive at Westlake Park and hold a Rally at 1PM.

Sign up to join the Seattle or Bainbridge walk by clicking this link.



Wendsler Nosie, Sr. will lead a walk and rally at Oak Flat, in Arizona, on Feb. 26-27.

Zeke Kelly’s New Film about Oak Flat

Filmmaker Zeke Kelly’s been working on a documentary about Resolution Copper’s attempt to mine Oak Flat for about a year. He’s well acquainted with the story, and is dedicated to bringing it to a broad audience.

Zeke has launched a Kickstarter campaign to cover the remaining production costs. Watch the film’s trailer below. Read his biography and details of the project here – Ezekiel Kelly Kickstarter Link  – and give generously, so this story can be well known while we still have a chance to do something about it.

Hey Seattle, Free Oak Flat T-Shirts!

Maybe you’ve seen photos of people wearing this very cool t-shirt:

Oak Flat shirt blue

The first 50 people to sign up for the Seattle/Bainbridge walk AND show up at the walk will get a FREE Oak Flat t-shirt, a $20 value. Available while supplies last.

If you want a shirt, email and enter I WANT AN OAK FLAT SHIRT! in the subject line.

Remember, you must be present at the start of the walk to collect your shirt. Help spread the word to save Oak Flat.

Thanks to Tucson’s Gloo Factory for making these awesome shirts.