As part of the 2011 National Sacred Places Prayer Days the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians is asking for prayers to get county officials to see the dire impacts Granite Construction Company’s proposed Liberty Quarry will have on the Pechanga community and other Luiseno peoples in the region.
According to the National Prayer Days press release, “the proposed quarry would be located on a sacred mountain within the Luiseno people’s sacred place of origin.” The mountain is home to the Kammalam, or ancestors in the form of rocks.
Granite Construction says the site is “ideal for making concrete and asphalt materials,” and that it “would provide 40 percent of current aggregate needs for western Riverside County for 75 years.”
The company says the Inland Empire—the Riverside-San Bernardino area—will run out of raw materials in 20 years if a new source isn’t found. It also points to a number of economic benefits that would come from the quarry including $300 million in new sales tax revenue and $41 million in new property taxes and fees.
But all the Pechanga can see is the “permanent scar” that would be left in their sacred landscape.
The Pechanga are especially asking for prayers during the June 22 public hearing to help county officials see that “the quarry would kill the mountain and forever disturb the sanctity of this incredibly beautiful and scenic area, located next to the reservation and at the doorstep of the City of Temecula,” reads the press release. Through prayer, the Pechanga hope the county will see its mistake in not consulting with the tribe and deny the quarry.
An article by Aaron Claverie at Nctimes.com noted that more than 1,000 people showed up for the Liberty Quarry public hearing held April 26.
Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro got a standing ovation at the hearing after saying, “these places define who we are.”
For more information on how you can help protect the Luiseno ancestral landscape, contact Paul Macarro, Pechanga cultural coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 951-770-8102.