Posts Tagged ‘DeChristopher’

Obama administration presses charges against DeChristopher

Written by admin on April 5th, 2009. Posted in Advocacy

Whoa! Did NOT see this coming.

Wall Street Journal reports Tim DeChristoper, aka Bidder 70, the university student who thwarted an oil and gas lease on lands near National Parks in Utah could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Brand Amp introduces activist DeChristopher to outdoor industry

Written by admin on January 19th, 2009. Posted in Advocacy, Land

Well, it’s down to the wire and wasn’t sure it would come together on such short notice but finally have some times nailed down for interviews and chats with media and industry titans at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

Tweetup for Modern Day Monkeywrencher set at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market

Salt Lake City, UT – The nation’s newest poster child for civil disobedience will come face to face with the industry that may be best positioned to appreciate his environmental activism when Tim DeChristopher makes the rounds at this week’s Outdoor Retailer Winter Market at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

DeChristopher’s goal in attending the show is to raise awareness and maybe a few dollars to support a campaign he singlehandedly spearheaded to save the backdrop to two of Utah’s most famous national parks from oil and gas drilling operations. His efforts already have been applauded by the likes of movie star and environmentalist Robert Redford, the Yes Men, and Ken Sleight, aka Seldom Seen Smith, in Edward Abbey’s most famous work of environmental fiction, “The Monkey Wrench Gang.” DeChristopher has appeared on Democracy Now, CBS Evening News and been written about in major newspapers throughout the US and across the oceans from Great Britain to New Zealand.

DeChristopher will meet with top management from some of the leading manufacturers of human -powered outdoor gear who’ve expressed interest in and affinity with his cause. He’ll also conduct media interviews with the likes of Backpacker magazine as well as a radio interview for Wisconsin Public Radio’s syndicated “To the Best of Our Knowledge” and other regional and national outdoor enthusiast publications. A “Tweetup for Tim” is schedule at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Backcountry Village (Booth #35106) in the Salt Palace. The Tweetup, an offline meeting publicized largely via social media microblogging site Twitter, will be a chance for outdoor industry enthusiasts to meet Tim, donate to his cause and listen in on the Backpacker interview.

DeChristopher became the Monkey Wrench Gang’s newest de facto inductee when he bid against oil and gas industry veterans during a US Bureau of Land Mangement lease auction in Moab, Utah last month. Though DeChristopher had neither the means, nor any intention of paying for them, he won leases totaling $1.7 million for 22,500 acres of Utah red rock desert near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Many of the parcels were being contested by environmental groups since they in an area that contain the nation’s greatest density of ancient rock art and other cultural resources. Over this past weekend, a federal judge approved a temporary restraining order on the auction, signaling some chance the environmental groups’ claims may prevail.

A web site raising money for DeChristopher’s leases has brought in $45,000, but the BLM has not yet decided whether to accept the downpayment. Funds raised will also be used to defray legal costs, as DeChristopher is also facing possible fraud charges in federal court which, if the case goes to trial and he’s convicted, could include prison time.

This year’s Outdoor Retailer Winter Market has attracted more than 800 exhibitors representing manufacturers of tents, backpacks, clothing, hardware, Nordic gear and all the accessories folks need to maximize their enjoyment and safety in the outdoors. The trade show, which is not open to the public, runs Jan. 22 – 25.

CBS News covers one man’s bid to save scenic Utah

Written by admin on January 18th, 2009. Posted in Advocacy, Land

View this 2 minute overview of the DeChristopher story on CBS Evening News.


Getting the outdoor industry behind Tim DeChristopher

Written by leehart on January 10th, 2009. Posted in Land

Details are still in the works but I’m letting all my fellow passionate outdoor enthusiasts who will be attending the upcoming Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City know that during the show, they’ll be able to meet and support Tim DeChristopher and his daring effort to stand up to the government to protect scenic landscapes around Arches and Canyonlands National Parks from oil and gas development.

I was struck by the story of Tim DeChristopher from the moment I first learned about his creative act of civil disobedience during a controversial BLM oil and gas lease auction on Dec. 19 in Utah. I started blogging and twittering to draw attention to Tim’s valor and then drive other sympathizers to his main news, info and donation collection website http://www.Bidder70.org which went live around the New Year. Along the way, I learned Tim is the son of a friend of mine here in Salida, CO.

So it was killing me to be in the air today of all days since today was the deadline for Tim and his supporters to present the BLM with a check for $45,000, basically the mandated downpayment on the $1.7 million Tim won by bid for oil and gas rights to 22,500 acres primarily around Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Bids won before oil and gas industry auction veterans became suspicious of the new kid on the block whose bidding was driving the price of the parcels up. The auction was stopped. Tim was ejected and is still uncertain whether and on what grounds the feds may press charges against him. See, Tim’s an economics student at the University of Utah and, like most college kids, didn’t have the personal economic viability to actually pay for any of the bids he won.

Anyway,  I was psyched to open up my inbox tonight to learn that the first hurdle has been cleared. According to Tim, thousands of people donated $10, $20 or whatever they could in otherwise gloomy economic times and collectively raised the necessary $45,000. But Tim’s story is far from over. Despite the specter of public relations suicide if they reject it, the feds are still mulling over whether they will accept Tim’s downpayment. And if they do, it will be no mean feat to raise the remaining $1.25 million needed to complete the lease purchase. It also still remains to be seen if the feds will find the will and the legal means to press charges against Tim, which, if he’s convicted, carry the threat of prison time.

I’m not alone in my support of Tim. The list of media who have interviewed him or covered updates on the story grows daily along with appearance requests. Tim also enjoys the support of folks like these:

Actor Robert Redford, who is also owner of Sundance Resort in Utah, founder of the Sundance Film Festival held each January in Utah and a friend of the environment and Native American rights.

Ken Sleight, friend of the late, outspoken environmental author and essayist Edward Abbey and the man upon whom Seldom Seen Smith in Abbey’s “The Monkey Wrench Gang” is loosely based.

Patrick Shea, the former head of the BLM during the Clinton Administration. Shea, a prominent Utah lawyer, educator and businessman is a Rhodes Scholar with degrees from Oxford and Harvard. He’s leading Tim’s legal defense team.

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Ross “Rocky” Anderson who, while in office championed – among other progressive ideas – green initiatives, a more vibrant city center and hosted the 2002 Olympic Winter Games as well as being an outspoken critic of the current Bush administration. Anderson is a full-time environmental activist.

Hopefully some of these folks will be able to join Tim when he comes to the Salt Palace to share his story with the outdoor industry. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and the details flowing on this blog and via Twitter and other social media outlets so stay tuned for more info and I hope you’ll join me in welcoming and supporting Tim and his cause.

For a comprehensive roundup of news and information about Tim and his courageous act, visit http://www.Bidder70.org (A reference to the number on the bidding paddle Tim was issued at the BLM auction.)

National story hits home, DeChristopher’s mom is a friend

Written by admin on January 6th, 2009. Posted in Advocacy

I found out today that Tim DeChristopher is the son of a friend of mine here in Chaffee County. I wrote a story about it for our local online paper the Salida Citizen and was struck by the heartfelt response from a fellow activist who was at the scene of the now famous BLM lease auction last month. Read the post and comment here: http://bit.ly/suww

Help save Utah scenic lands

Written by admin on January 3rd, 2009. Posted in Advocacy, Biz Buzz, Land

A web site has been set up to collect donations for a legal defense fund as well as to raise money to buy the parcels Tim Christopher bid on at the controversial BLM oil/gas lease sale in Utah shortly before Christmas (and Bush’s exit from office.)

There’s a great info packed website that makes it easy to hop aboard and help this worthy cause. If you’re a mountain biker, hiker, climber, backpacker, off road enthusiast, nature lover, desert lover, flora and fauna lover, national park lover, environmentalist, painter, poet, photographer, river lover, geology lover, naturist :-) or naturalist, sucker for a stunning sunset, lover – or love the thought of – quiet and wild places, support an American’s right to peaceful (and in this case creative) civil disobedience  . . . I urge you to get involved and donate whatever you can. At this writing Tim was just shy of $15,000 on his way to raising the $45,000 needed as downpayment on the lease parcels he bid and won, all of which are near Arches or Canyonlands National Parks outside Moab, UT. To keep the BLM at bay, Tim has to raise the full $45K before the Jan. 9 BLM mandated deadline. At about $2.50 per acre a mere $10 contribution “buys” 4 acres of prime real estate in Utah’s red rock canyon country, keeping it safe from being sullied by unsightly oil and gas equipment and the roads and vehicles needed to mine it.

Whether you contribute or not, if you haven’t been there yet, be sure to move southwest Utah up on your list of must-see destinations. It’ll  help you understand better what all the hubbub is about.