Beyond the Usual, Passive DEI Efforts in Tech

Blog:Pushing Back on Military's Proposed Land Grab of Indigenous People's Sacred Lands, Public Lands & Wildlife Refuge

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Manny Becerra as a child

August 2020

There's been an ongoing push by the military to expand its existing land coverage for additional training over the years—used for such things like bombing practice—and the upcoming fiscal year is no different. The Navy is proposing to extend its Fallon Range Training Complex use coverage by an additional 600,000 acres of public land. In Southern Nevada, the military is seeking to expand its coverage by a whopping 1.1M acres of public land. Let that sink in for a minute.

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Some context

For some context, the proposed expansion near Fallon represents a quadrupling of the size of the existing training complex coverage, from ~232k acres to ~898k acres (~1,400 square miles).

The Sierra Club Toiyabe Chapter, of which I serve on the executive committee for, is organizing to prevent this proposal from occurring. The Toiyabe Chapter is not alone in this fight. Representatives from the Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club attended the January 28, 2020 public meeting in Fallon; not a single person spoke in favor of the expansion. In addition, local Nevada counties and veterans, conservation, and wildlife organizations have joined the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe in calling on Congress to reject the Navy’s flawed proposal.

What's at stake

While many acres of Nevadan public land would be lost if this proposal is approved later in the year through the National Defense and Authorization Act (NDAA) for the following year (2021), it also means an additional, devastating loss of ancestral lands to Indigenous People. It also means the loss of wildlife in the Great Basin Desert—yes, life exists in our backyard desert!

Enough is enough!

Our military is not in the business of land management and does not have the expertise to deal with the many serious environmental and racial issues that arise from continuing to take land, yet alone, use it for bombing practice.

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In the coming weeks, our Toiyabe Chapter volunteer leaders will be organizing to publish additional information with tangible action that can be taken to help in this fight against the proposed land grab, especially under a pandemic. In the meantime, signup to volunteer! Whether it's writing to legislators (e.g. US Senator Cortez Masto), writing Letters to the Editor (LTEs), creating graphics and drafting social media campaigns, offering an expert opinion on matters like the proposed land grab, the organization and I would love to have you and your help.

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Manny Becerra as a child

I operate from a place of compassion, possibility and imagination. My work and efforts share a common goal: create a better, sustainable and equitable world by building inclusive communities, products & experiences.