What can we do?

This is my story of a small gift which I offer into the world.
It holds love, hope and our fierce belief in a better way.
The fossil-fuel-industrial-complex is a hungry and relentless bully, and
it currently wants more and more and more of the river valley I live in.
So the Fraser Valley has become central on the global warming stage
as a site of resistance.

White Fawn Lily

And… this spring my heart is on fire for the unfurling mystery of leaves
and insects, birds and blossoms.  I have a fluttering crush on this world!

I believe that taking action beyond the self fulfills
our deep need for meaning and purpose.  To caretake
of people or place is to belong, and love directly. 


Introducing… BIRDATHON
TEAM Birds Not Bitumen!

Plan of Action to go beyond the self.

A glimpse of my thinking and the steps behind this project:
1. Have eyes opened to the insanity of current fossil fuel development paradigm and associated propaganda.  Believe there is a better way.  Feel inspired by the action of others.
2. Learn about Bird-a-thon.  Create Team Birds Not Bitumen.  Recruit inspiring friends to join!  Plan epic day of birding adventure!
3. Stack purposes… raise funds for bird habitat conservation AND draw attention to the relationship between bird habitat, human habitat, and the fossil-fuel-industrial-complex.
4. Pull together resources.  Describe current context of threats.  Highlight the many many bright lights of inspiration… all the people and visionary organizations working together for a better way.
5. Design promo (this blog, an email, maybe a press release?).  Demonstrate passion.  Ask for money for birds AND/OR/UPICK for Land Defenders.  Press SEND!
! R ! E ! S ! U ! L ! T ! S !
6. Friends and contacts learn more, feel inspired by our passion, get involved.  Thus the circle of the way expands.  Money is raised to support these visions of a better future.
Thank you.  See this NOTE on Generosity.

western tanager

About the project:

On May 21, Team Birds Not Bitumen will race against the clock, by bicycle and public transit, to spot as many bird species as they can in a 24 hour period.  They’ll travel from high up a mountain tributary to the mouth of the majestic Fraser in search of moving migrants and elusive local species.

The majestic Fraser River Delta is one of a handful of crucial stops on the Pacific Flyway, used by literally millions of migrants as they make their incredible journeys north to breeding grounds.  Controversial and widely opposed projects like the ongoing expansion of Deltaport (the biggest exporter of coal on the west coast), recent derailments of coal-trains, and not to mention all the scandalous pipeline pressure (Kinder Morgan, Enbridge)… mean bird habitat is at risk!  Time is of the essence in these fights to protect habitat and health for birds and humans alike.

oiled bird from the Exxon Valdez spill off the BC CoastClick on oily bird thumbnail to see a few gross pictures
of carbon-export infrastructure and associated damage.

Says Team BNB, “We believe that bird and other communities -including human- are currently under threat from continued extreme development pressure from the fossil fuel industrial complex.”

Please support us.  We’re doing one small thing because we believe in a better way, and we’re asking for your support.  Thank you for learning about our project, why we are doing it, and all the many ways that you can educate yourself and take (small or large) action alongside us.

P.S. The wee spark of this idea was nurtured by the System Stinks, a group of friends and mindfulness practitioners from Mountain Rain Zen Community engaged in learning more about the systemic manifestations of greed, hate and delusion.  Sitting on the cushion is not enough…



Meet the TEAM: Birds Not Bitumen.

RedSara bike-campingRedSara: Activist, Artist, Community Organizer, Nature Mentor.  Red for our heart of survival beating strong.  Sara wields a very precise pair of binoculars.
Nature Name: Red-Winged Black Bird -Support-

jennaJenna: Co-Founder and Director of Soaring Eagle Nature School, 6 years strong building a community of Nature Connected people.  Herbalist and Traditional Skills Instructor, Jenna is a speeding blur on a bicycle.
Nature Name: Western Tanager -Support-

AllisonAllison: Curious, a teacher with a passion for Nature Connection, social justice, and speaking the truth when most would stay silent.  Allison walks the true path of love spreading inspiration far and wide.
Nature Name: Pacific Slope Flycatcher -Support-

jaywadeJay Wade: Takes Nature Connection to the deepest of levels, currently supporting young men to look closely and transform inner and outer worlds towards integrity and understanding.  Reflexes like a Coopers Hawk, Jay can spot any flash of wing by sight or sound. -Support-
Nature Name:
White-Crowned Sparrow

elTravisoElTraviso: Solid, dependable, and an inspiration to all around him. Travis is a bike and environmental stewardship Teacher and Mentor to many many young people.  Watch out for those rocks you didn’t put in your backpack… you know they came from this trickster!  
Nature name: Stellar’s Jay -Support-



Support our Bird Big Day
Donating money is easy.

a note on generosity

Learn more! Educate yourself,
and share what you learn

There is a place for you and your skills to contribute.


Support a Land Defender
or other Visionary Organization

YOU pick which one to donate to from the list below.
(these groups DO need your actual money resources)




Video Resource: Vancouver & Salish Sea as strategic site for stopping Climate Change: 5mins

Supertankers: Brief OVERVIEW of the three proposals to bring more and bigger oil supertankers to B.C.’s coast, so that Alberta’s oilsands crude can be shipped to China and Asia. (from notankers.ca)

Oil Sands Reality Check INFOgrafic: fast awesome resource.

FAQs about Coal in BC, particularly shipping through the Fraser Valley.

Tar Sands INFOgrafic: proposed 700% increase in tar sands tanker traffic in pristine BC waters

Decolonization, fracking, targets, action ideas: Links and Resources from Rising Tide.

Oil Tankers in the Straight of Georgia: expect a spill every 7 years, from Georgia Straight Alliance, June 2013



Great Places to See Birds!

Massive proposd Deltaport Expansion of largest port in Canada, largest coal shipping port on the West coast. Jan 8, 2014

Coal Exports through Texada Island approved without Public Notice, April 17, 2014

List of 25 organizations currently engaged in active campaigns to stop the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.

Join my friend Donna Jean’s team to collect signatures against Increased Tanker Traffic through Burrard Inlet. Email me for contact info redsara -at- gmail -dot- com

Tyee Article about proposed provincial changes to Agricultural Land Reserve to permit pipeline development. Apr 8, 2014

Wilderness Committee’s overview of tanker and bitumen pipeline expansion in BC and the Fraser Valley, with good maps.

Artist Leads People’s Procession Against Pipeline in Burnaby, March 13, 2014

Kitimat, BC votes ‘no’ to Northern Gateway in plebiscite, Apr 12, 2014

Big increase in shipping Oil by Rail, Jan 26, 2014


EPIC List of Land Defenders & other Visionary Organizations support-

It is impossible not to be inspired when you learn about the thousands and thousands of people working together for positive change.
They all believe in the power of communities to confront injustice and destruction, and are working against exploitative business practices and towards a greener and fundamentally more just world, each with their own flavour and focus.  I’m sure I’ve left some out, so please let me know.
Consider the amount of money put to work by the fossil fuel industrial complex to convince us we need exploitative development, and know it is even more important to lend a dollar or a hand in these struggles.  These groups and campaigns really need your actual monetary support.  Choose one and GIVE, or simply learn more.


Hold the Wall, sign the document:  Representatives of over 130 First Nations throughout BC and Canada are signatories to this powerful legal document that protects the lands and waters we all rely on from devastating oil spills for all people and all generations. “We, the First Nations of the Yinka Dene Alliance, continue to steward the lands and waters in our territories according to our ancestral laws.  We have used those laws, expressed in the Save the Fraser Declaration, to ban Enbridge’s Northern Gateway and similar tar sands projects from our territories.”  -SIGN NOW-

Dogwood Initiative brings together everyday British Columbians to reclaim decision-making power over their air, land and water.   Right now, 96 per cent of British Columbia’s land is owned by the people, but 88 per cent of that land is controlled by large timber, mining and oil companies. That stinks.  Dogwood works with more than 170,000 supporters, as well as First Nations, businesses and communities, to leverage political victories and find common sense solutions to some of B.C.’s most pressing problems, particularly coal and no tankers. -SEND A MESSAGE-

Rising Tide: Vancouver Coast Salish Territories is a grassroots environmental justice group committed to fighting the root causes of climate change and the interconnected destruction of land, water and air.

“Everywhere in the world, low-income, politically marginalized communities—historically those least responsible for environmental destruction and greenhouse gas emissions—are those hardest hit by climate change and every aspect of industrial expansion, from toxic pollution to resource wars. We are committed to confronting this injustice and shifting power back into the hands of people and communities most impacted by global warming and environmentally destructive industries, and away from the current state, corporate, and imperial powers who promote these industries.

We ground our work in decolonizing principles, recognizing that environmental injustice stems from discrimination, domination, and violence through colonial occupation and expansion with the help of capitalist and imperialist institutions. We recognize our work as part of a broader global justice movement and seek to align our work with those who oppose all forms of oppression.  Our organizing is committed to working in solidarity with impacted peoples.” -UPCOMING ACTION MAY 23-

The Sacred Trust is an initiative of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. The Sacred Trust is mandated to oppose and stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project. “Our laws establish a sacred trust, a responsibility to care for our lands, air and waters. The federal government has forced us to go to court to defend ourselves and our territory. We will fight this unilateral and one-sided review process, and this project with all legal means,” says Rueben George, Sacred Trust Initiative, Project Manager Public Engagement, Tsleil-Waututh Nation. -DONATE-

North Shore NO Pipeline Expansion (North Shore NOPE) is a North Vancouver residents’ group, opposing the proposed new Kinder Morgan pipeline to Burnaby.  They believe that Canada should not be expanding its pipeline infrastructure, but rather adopting a vision for responsible economic development. -SIGN-

Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE)‘s mission is to: 1) provide education and a forum for discussion of the credible risks associated with transporting and storing crude oil, particularly diluted bitumen, through Burnaby and Burrard Inlet, 2) provide education about climate change and sustainable and clean energy, and 3) support the conversion from unsustainable fossil fuel energy system to sustainable and clean energy. -PIPELINES & SCHOOL SAFETY-

The Wilderness Committee is united in their mission to protect Canada’s life-giving biological diversity through strategic research and grassroots public education. They believe that the right, the duty and the ability to act for the public good are integral to citizenship. They value wilderness, with all its natural biodiversity, as absolutely vital to the health of people, communities and the planet. They act with integrity and courage to mobilize citizens to take lawful, democratic action to defend Canada’s wilderness and wildlife. Current campaigns include Pacific Coast and Climate Change, among others. -LEARN MORE-

Unis’tot’en Camp is an indigenous re-occupation of Wet’suwet’en land in northern BC, Canada.  The camp’s log cabin, traditional pit house, and forest permaculture garden sit squarely in the path of the pipeline route to the North Coast port of Kitimat, blocking two proposed gas pipelines and the Enbridge Northern Gateway tarsands pipeline.  By supporting the camp, you are not only helping grassroots Wet’suwet’en assert their sovereign right to live on their unceded traditional territories, you are also helping to put a stop to the eco-cidal expansion of tar sands and shale gas projects through the creation of a so-called “energy corridor.” -DONATE- or -SUPPORT US- or -JOIN THE CAMP-

Streams of Justice is a social justice group rooted in the radical prophetic traditions of the Judeo-Christian faith.  They actively pursue a more just, equitable, inclusive, and compassionate society through analysis, action and reflection that exposes and opposes unjust social structures, and opens up space for imagining and advocating alternative possibilities of human solidarity, communal flourishing and care for the earth that sustains all life.  As settlers on the path of justice, we stand against the ongoing colonization of indigenous lives, communities, lands, and traditional life-ways, and support the indigenous struggle for sovereignty and self-determination. -SOLIDARITY-

Forest Ethics protects forests and opposes dirty energy through advocacy and market initiatives.  Their strategy is to work with corporations and, when necessary, campaign against them.  They work in Canada and the United States. -DO SOMETHING-

Georgia Strait Alliance is a citizen’s group focused on protecting the marine environment in and around the whole Strait of Georgia — the place where most British Columbians live, work and play.  They work to: protect marine life and its habitat, restore our region’s water and air quality, promote sustainable communities, and foster stewardship of the marine environment.  They are active against the Fraser Surrey Docks coal port expansion, Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, as well as open fish farms. -COORDINATE-

Vancouver Council of Canadians, Vancouver & Burnaby Chapter is Canada’s largest citizens’ organization, with members and chapters across the country. They work to protect Canadian independence by promoting progressive policies on fair trade, clean water, energy security, public health care, and other issues of social and economic concern to Canadians. -UPCOMING EVENT: WED MAY 21-

EcoJustice is Canada’s leading charity using the law to protect and restore the environment.  Their lawyers and scientists set legal precedents and strengthen environmental laws that protect and restore the environment, both today and for the future. Current campaigns include Standing Strong against risky Pipelines.  -NEW CASE LAUNCH-

Our lawyers and scientists set legal precedents and strengthen environmental laws that protect and restore the environment, both today and for the future. – See more at: http://www.ecojustice.ca/about#sthash.WtVXGDkQ.dpuf

Against Port Expansion (APE) in the Fraser Estuary BC is a group of concerned citizens who recognize that plans for container terminal expansion on Roberts Bank will see the degradation of the quality of life for thousands of Lower Mainland residents; the industrialization of prime agricultural land; and the loss of globally-significant habitat for salmon, migrating birds and orca whales.

We are a broad-based community group consisting of people from various backgrounds including homemakers, business owners, members of the work force, scientists, and environmental groups. We share the view that “Enough is Enough”. -NO TERMINAL 2 EXPANSION-


Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network (VIC FAN) is a registered non-profit society based in Victoria, Coast Salish Territory, BC.  They are all volunteers, and don’t have government grants, corporate sponsors, big offices or high-paid staff – all of their funding comes from the community and goes directly to their projects.  They regret that Revenue Canada does not allow environmental justice groups to issue tax receipts.  They are autonomous, anti-racist, feminist, and fierce in their defense of the land.  They currently work in solidarity and support of the Unist’ot’en Camp, among other projects. -ECO WARRIORS LEGAL DEFENSE FUND-

Voters Taking Action on Climate Change: “We create opportunities for people to demand that governments take action on climate change.  We are completely volunteer driven and not affiliated with any political group. All the money we raise goes straight into our campaigns. No overhead!  The single most powerful tool for change we have in this country is citizen engagement. When the public works together to demand action, the politicians listen.  We urge you to organize your community and start taking collective action to fight climate change.” -ORGANIZE-

Living Oceans works for healthy oceans and healthy communities, and this includes many things related to Ocean Ecosystems including working to raise awareness and stop expansion of oil tankers on the Pacific Coast.  Ways to get involved include: Send a message, stay informed, donate, volunteer, report debris. -INTERACTIVE OIL SPILL MAP-

The Vancouver Ecosocialist Group has been formed by political and social justice activists of varying backgrounds in metropolitan Vancouver. We have come together because we believe the struggle to avert the deepening climate emergency is a fight for the survival of humanity and the Earth as we know it. We join in common struggle with all who seek to bring human economic pursuit into harmony with the other species with which we share the planet. We are committed to support social and environmental initiatives that confront entrenched interests and build towards real and comprehensive social transformation. We must create a cooperative society, if we are to overcome the destructive, downward spiral of capitalism. -QUESTION CAPITALISM-

Communities and Coal, and Coal Free White Rock were created for residents, by residents. We are a grassroots movement of citizens, from White Rock to Texada Island, concerned about the exporting of millions of tonnes of US Thermal Coal through BC Communities. -LEARN MORE-



if you’ve made it all the way down here I’m guessing you might want to comment, or let me know any reactions, or get in touch.  You can comment on the blog itself, OR you can fill in this form and send me a personal note directly.  Your choice.  I would love to hear from you.


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