Partners: Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe, Protect Thacker Pass
Airport Origin : McDermitt
Fly local activists, tribal members and press. Obtain photos and video to create a call to action video that will educate regional communities about what is happening at Thacker Pass and with lithium mining in general – its purpose (primarily to supply the electric car industry) and the environmental and cultural consequences of this mine.
Peehee mm huh (“Rotten Moon”), or Thacker Pass, is a saddle between two mountain ranges in the sagebrush steppe of northern Nevada. A Canadian mining company called Lithium Americas plans to destroy 5,700 acres of Thacker Pass, gouging an open pit one-mile-wide by 2.3 miles long, to extract lithium. If built, it is likely the mine will grow to more than 17,000 acres and operate for more than 100 years. The mine would run 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, using 1.4 billion gallons of water and 4.1 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. The site would also include a chemical plant that processes sulfur (likely sourced from tar sands oil refining) into sulfuric acid to purify the lithium.
Thacker Pass is the sacred ancestral land of the Northern Paiute people who still live nearby, and regularly hunt, fish, gather, and engage in ceremonies in and around Peehee mm huh. Traditional people from the Fort McDermitt Tribe are asking for help in protecting this place and the water that originates in these mountains, for the sake of future generations and wildlife. This mine would destroy critical habitat in Thacker Pass, and could poison groundwater, harm the Sage Grouse, pygmy rabbits, King River Pyrg snails, Golden Eagles, bobcats, badgers, Pronghorn Antelope, and Lahontan cutthroat trout who live here.
Local communities are worried about accidents and toxic chemical spills, the likely depletion and poisoning of groundwater, and significant degradation of air quality. Our partners are working to educate people about the threats posed by this mine, and to prevent these impacts from happening.