Battles for sustainability and justice take time. Many have come before us in solidarity, and many movements continue in struggle and resistance today. More often than not, accepting the long fought process can be difficult, but is necessary. Far too seldom are opportunities to live in celebration for having won a battle in the greater war against oppression and domination of the Earth and its many relatives. However, there is one real-time battle that for now can celebrated in victory, and that is the silencing of the last sundown siren in the American West.
I wrote a piece for Adventure Sports Journal in 2021 titled, “Listen to the Washoe” understanding this too was a long haul effort. In April 2023, the Nevada legislature heard testimony regarding support for SB 391, a bill that would silence the siren while attaching a fine that would hopefully force the town of Minden to finally turn off the last beacon of its kind in this country, which has been an ongoing symbol and daily audible reminder of the racist, unsustainable, brutalized past forced upon the Washiw people, the original stewards and inhabitants of what today is known as the greater Lake Tahoe area.
The piece I wrote gives some background to the story, sundown sirens, and why this was both so important to fight, and why it is so important to celebrate that it has stopped! This news story shares where things were at this past April, and this is a piece with educator, organizer, and leader Marty Meeden sharing his mixed feelings about the silence. Without Marty’s leadership, and so many others in solidarity, this just act would not have been possible. Hope is real. A better world for all is possible. This is a moment to celebrate!