Protect Thacker Pass is a grassroots movement to protect Thacker Pass and the McDermitt Caldera in Northern Nevada and Southern Oregon from mining projects like Lithium Nevada Corporation’s Thacker Pass Lithium Mine Project.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
We are in a crisis of climate change, biodiversity and habitat loss. Thacker Pass is critical wildlife habitat for threatened, endangered, and endemic species including the greater sage-grouse, pronghorn, Lahontan cutthroat trout, and golden eagles. Thacker Pass, known as Peehee Mu’huh in Paiute, is sacred to regional Native American tribes.
JOIN THE CAMPAIGN
You can help protect Thacker Pass. You can donate to our campaign, volunteer with us, take direct action, help spread the word, and pressure decision makers.
WHAT WE WANT
The growth of industrial civilization is destroying the last wild habitats on Earth in a mad rush for resource extraction, causing biodiversity to plummet and destabilizing our climate.
Electric cars and grid-storage batteries are no more sustainable than fracked gas or tar sands. True sustainability means that we must use only what the Earth can regenerate, and that use must not degrade the planet.
With every indicator of ecological health heading in the wrong direction, our modern way of life will not last. That is the definition of “unsustainable.” We face a choice at Thacker Pass and around the world: will we sacrifice the planet for temporary material wealth, or will we make a change?
Our goal is to Protect Thacker Pass for the inherent, inalienable value of its land, water, biodiversity, and cultural importance.
- Rescind the Thacker Pass Lithium Mine Project permit.
- Designate the September 12, 1865 Thacker Pass Massacre Site and the Thacker Pass Traditional Cultural District under the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) — DONE!
- Withdraw Thacker Pass and the entire McDermitt Caldera from federal mine leasing.
- Reduce our nation’s dependence on cars as part of an emergency shift to a “degrowth” economic paradigm.
Thacker Pass is worth more as an intact, flourishing ecosystem. We will not stop fighting for Thacker Pass until the land is protected.
We work in solidarity with regional Native American Tribes and traditional people, grassroots environmental organizations, and local communities who are affected by this project. We also stand in solidarity with communities facing off against mining and other extractive industries around the world.
How much land must be sacrificed to feed our addiction to energy?
Earlier this week, Max Wilbert, co-founder of Protect Thacker Pass, visited the site of yet another planned open pit lithium mine that is threatening the Great Basin — this time, in the state of Oregon. This site, about 15 miles north of Thacker Pass, is vital habitat for the Lahontan cutthroat trout, sage grouse, and countless other species — and it would be completely destroyed if the mine is built. Yes, global warming is a crisis, and yes, we must stop burning fossil fuels. But this is not the way forward. This is an addict seeking another hit. The “green” energy economy destroys the planet, same as the old fossil fuel energy economy. This project is another greenwashing lie, just as Max wrote about in “Bright Green Lies.”
In this interview with Will Falk on April 25, 2023 during a direct action to block construction at the Thacker Pass Lithium Mine, Will answered a question about what goes into EVs and lithium mining and why they are so destructive to the natural world.
After trying everything — from lawsuits to pressuring the Bureau of Land Management to begging first-ever native Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to come listen to their concerns — Paiute people were force to engage in direct action.
This action only stopped construction for a day. But it is beginning to stir a much larger resistance to the Thacker Pass lithium mine.
The full-scale destruction of Thacker Pass, Peehee Mu’huh, this sacred and wild place, has begun. This video was submitted to us anonymously two days ago. As you read this, life and biodiversity is being bulldozed and destroyed. Ancient artifacts and the remains of ancestors are being crushed into dust. Water is being poisoned and the once-clean air is being fouled with toxic fumes.
And yet, despair is only for those who see the end beyond all shadow of a doubt. We do not. This fight is not over. There are still court cases ongoing. Residents are rising up. Protesters are gathering. In times of darkness it is most important to look deep into your heart and walk with your head held high.
Never forget, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, that “Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice, and… when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.”
Will Falk and Max Wilbert provide an update and answer audience questions about the fight to Protect Thacker Pass, which has now been ongoing for more than two years. On Thursday, three tribes filed a new lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to protect Thacker Pass. This streamed live on February 19th, 2023.
We are an independent, grassroots collective of people resisting the Thacker Pass lithium mine. We work in solidarity with regional indigenous people. Thacker Pass is sacred land to the Northern Paiute and Western Shoshone, and critical wildlife habitat. We invite all people with good hearts to help us stop the greenwashing.
As readers are aware, I’ve been embroiled in fighting the Thacker Pass lithium mine for the last three years. What you may not know is that the entire region around Thacker Pass, which is known as the McDermitt Caldera, was formed by the Yellowstone Hot Spot 16...
We encourage supporters to submit comments to the BLM at every opportunity regarding all mining-related activities at Thacker Pass and throughout the McDermitt Caldera. However, we also recognize that doing so is unlikely to stop any of the planned mines in this area....
by Christopher Ketcham, for TruthDig Excerpt: When I camped with Wilbert in November 2021, we walked together the old growth sagebrush and high desert bunchgrasses. The nights were cool, the days balmy, the place filled with a feeling of peaceful majesty. Wilbert was...