The fight to Protect Thacker Pass continues, as mine construction has not yet begun and we have been successful thus far in paperwrenching, lawsuits, and broad-based public opposition to slow the Thacker Pass lithium mine project. Legal challenges filed by local tribes, environmental groups, and a rancher continue, but we expect a (negative) ruling from Judge Miranda Du in coming months. However, BLM’s recent “discovery” of 5 new cultural sites at Thacker Pass (including the 1865 massacre site, which we informed them of) presents further opportunities for slowing the project.

1. We Continue Intervening in the Government Permitting Process

Our organizers continue to lead opposition to the mine on the legal and administrative front, working with opponents of the mine to force BLM to slow down mine construction. Delays are costing the company money and putting pressure on the process. The longer we can maintain these delays, the better.

2. Building Public Opposition

Delays also give us time to organize. We are taking advantage of these delays to build public opposition and educate people about greenwashing. We are currently in early stages of filming for a Thacker Pass documentary film that a friend of ours is directing. Projects like Thacker Pass will only be stopped by concerted, multi-faceted, and determined strategic resistance. Thus, we are still focusing on building a mass movement of opposition.

3. Fighting the $49,890.13 Government Fine

Will Falk and I are still fighting the threatened BLM fine for “trespass,” aka constructing small latrines for Native American elders participating in ceremonies at Thacker Pass. New documents show that the trespass fine itself is merely $12.40. The remainder of the fine — $49,877.73 — is made up of costs for BLM law enforcement staff time and expenses in conducting surveillance of the protest camp. This accounts to a crude and cruel abuse of process, similar to a city police force spending $50,000 to enforce a $15 parking ticket. Our excellent attorney and friend is fighting this on our behalf, and we have work to do here regarding publicity and reviewing hundreds of documents and body camera videos that have been provided to us. This fight may end up in federal court.


– We need donors to support the fight. We expect costs to continue to accrue, and so donations are most welcome here:

– We need organizers to assist us in the fight. We are looking for additional volunteers to help with any tasks that need to be done on an ongoing basis. Contact us if you can help.

Thank you.

Image: Thacker Pass at midsummer. Photo by Max Wilbert.