Monday, January 13, 2020

Why Piñons, Why Now?

So far our Piñon Pine Tree Project has raised $1,400. towards a preliminary budget of $10,000, the cost of a memorial grove commemorating the 30 Afghan civilian piñon pine nut harvesters assassinated by drone fired by U.S. forces in September 2019.  Contributions have come from New York State, Oregon, Illinois, Colorado, Arizona, and Berkeley, San Francisco, and Petaluma in California.

The grove will be planted in Cactus Springs at  36°34′37″N 115°43′34″W just west of highway 95, about 60 miles northwest of Las Vegas at the southern tip of Western Shoshone land. The project has the backing of the Western Shoshone Council and its representative Chief Johnny Bobb, whom many of us have met during the times we’ve occupied Creech. Sharing the site will be a Western Shoshone Museum whose theme will  be nuclear contamination of Western Shoshone land.

Piñon pine tree
Two of our subscribers have raised important questions. One $100 donor asked why the cost of the project seemed high, another asked why we were planting piñons which normally thrive at elevations of 4,500-6,500 feet in Cactus Springs with a lower elevation of  3,500 feet.. And that’s what links the two questions together. At 3,500 feet, those little piñon saplings need to be irrigated. An artesian well on site is allowed to draw 500 gallons per day. A solar pump will draw well water and distribute it through irrigation lines to the trees. Solar pump and irrigation lines represent a sizeable percentage of the project.

Planting a grove is especially appropriate now. Many of the latest drone victims were under 18, some even young children. The farmer hiring them had gone out of his way to alert the governor of the province that harvesting activity would be happening in Nangahar, a heavily occupied zone. (A U.S. investigation of the crime has been called for.)

Piñon nut bearing cone
If you haven’t already, please send your contribution either by check or money order to 2550 Dana Street, 5-B, Berkeley, CA  94704 payable to the Cecile Pineda Newsletter. You may want to add Piñon Pine Project in the memo line, or just PPP. Even small amounts are welcome. $5 or $10 adds up pretty fast, especially when so many of us are drone resisters and have been for so long. You will receive a letter at your return address acknowledging your contribution.

We intend our memorial to occupy Creech long after we are gone.

Join the Global Day of Protest Saturday, January 25th.

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Support Veterans for Peace war powers resolution to prevent war with Iran at

Read more on Soleimani’s Assassination at

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