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Blackwater Potrero - "Blackwater West" Mercenary Camp

See Also:

Blackwater Worldwide

Blackwater Otay

Blackwater In Southwestern College

Blackwater Potrero

Blackwater In Moyock

Blackwater North

Blackwater Intro Video

Blackwater Worldwide, part of the Prince Group and one of the largest private military contractors in the world, proposed "Blackwater West" to be built in a valley just north of the small town of Potrero, in East San Diego County. The facility would have comprised 824 acres, including a portion of the Cleveland National Forest. The valley is one of a chain of valleys starting in Descanso, part of the original two-million acre preserve originally designated by Teddy Roosevelt. Since then, it has been reduced to 650K acres, and swiss-cheesed with private ownership. This valley has been used as a chicken ranch.

Blackwater pulled this project due to fierce public outcry on March 7, 2008. See Blackwater Otay to review their new secret invasion into Otay Mesa!

The proposed use will substantially develop the property and utilize it for target practice using pistols and carbines, a two-mile race track for emergency vehicle training, an 18,000 sqft armory, dormitories, mess hall, etc. The intention is to service 300 students each week (15,000 trainees per year) with 60 staff in residence on-site. See Blackwater West Project Description for details, and Detailed Plot Plan.

Blackwater does not want to admit that they represent a mercenary firm. "Civilians under arms for hire = mercenaries" precisely defines their activities. More than that, they frequently train and deploy foreigners, which makes the point even stronger. Although Blackwater says they will only engage in some activities at the proposed Blackwater West facility near Potrero, such as training of law enforcement and military, there is no licensing or oversight function that exists that can ensure that this is in fact the case, and the function of the facility could change overnight. Its proximity to Mexico is another concern.

Was this location selected so they can profit from lucrative border-security contracts, is it preferred so they can train cheap Mexican soldiers for their private army, or is this preferred so they can perform extraordinary rendition of "enemy combatants" in a partner facility in the El Hongo district of Tecate? Unfortunately, due to the Black-Ops contracts with the CIA, NSA, and military industrial complex, we may never know for sure.

One thing is certain, this insanity must be stopped.

Hot News!

  • Blackwater Otay project discovered, 4-22-2008. See pictures and satellite images of this secret project flying under the radar under the pseudonym "Southwest Law Enforcement"
  • Potrero Planning Group Recall Election - Details of the election which recalled all five pro-Blackwater members from the Potrero Planning Group.
  • Stop Blackwater Rally -- Our huge rally at the gates of Blackwater West Oct 6-7, 2007 was very successful!
  • FOR MORE NEWS -- see Blackwater News Media for a complete list.

Blackwater_Project_on_Forest_Service_map.jpg
Portion of Forest Service Map Showing the site. Cleveland National Forest is to the North, and a portion of the purchased property is within the Forest boundary.

blackwatersite.jpg View looking northwest from the entrance of the valley. Chicken coops are the buildings in the distance. See Round Potrero Valley Images for more pictures!

Virtual Visit to the site:

The Rise and Fall of Blackwater in Potrero -- As seen on TV

*Alternatefocus.org*
@@ TODO - Make Media Topic for the above.

Status and Recent History:

General location and Project Plan

General information about Blackwater

Selected Articles and Media:

Selected by site curator Raymond Lutz, these articles, videos, and news releases mark important milestones in the rise of Blackwater Worldwide and our struggle to Stop Blackwater Potrero and other locations!. Listed in chronological order.
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ArticleOrder #17 of L. Paul Bremer regarding Iraqi law immunity -- Paul Bremer, Coalition Provisional Authority, 2004-06-24 This is the "gift" by Paul Bremer to all the contractors as he left the Iraqi theater.
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VideoPrivate Warriors -- Martin Smith, PBS Front Line, 2005-06-21 details the March 31, 2004 Blackwater catastrophe and describes the general situation with private security contractors in Iraq.
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Article Blood Is Thicker Than Blackwater -- Jeremy Scahill, The Nation, 2006-05-08
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VideoThe Tale of Prince - A War Profiteer -- , Brave New Films, 2006-09-25
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VideoIraq for Sale -- Robert Greenwald, Brave New Films, 2006-10-08 [ Screened 2006-10-15 and 25 Mar 2007 at Rancho San Diego Library. No longer have the DVD.]
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BookBlackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army -- Jeremy Scahill, Nation Books, 2007-02-15
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VideoBlackwater Scoping Meeting at San Diego County DPLU, April 5, 2007 (complete) -- Raymond Lutz, Citizens Oversight, 2007-04-05
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ArticleBlackwater scraps Philippines center, hits snags in California -- Bill Sizemore, Virginian Pilot, 2007-04-13
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VideoBlackwater Plans for New Military Facility Near San Diego Draws Fire From Residents, Peace Activists and Local Congressmember -- Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill, Rep. Bob Filner, Raymond Lutz , Democracy Now, 2007-04-19
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Democrats Oppose Plans for Paramilitary Camp in Potrero: Party Votes to Protect East County Preserve from Blackwater Development -- Media Committee, San Diego Democratic Party, 2007-04-19
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VideoVideo tour to Blackwater Site -- Raymond Lutz, Citizens Oversight, 2007-04-19
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ArticleBlackwater executive joins Romney in presidential campaign -- Associated Press, Fayetteville Observer, 2007-04-26 We won't vote for Romney, will we!
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VideoJeremy Scahill in Potrero -- Jeremy Scahill, Citizens Oversight, 2007-05-02
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VideoJeremy Scahill presents 'Blackwater' in La Mesa, Ca. May 2, 2007 -- Jeremy Scahill, Citizens Oversight, 2007-05-02
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Article Lawsuit filed against Potrero group, county -- Miriam Raftery, East County Californian, 2007-05-03
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VideoPotrero Planning Group Meeting, May 10, 2007 -- Raymond Lutz, Citizens Oversight, 2007-05-10 Planning Group members who voted for the project are served with recall paperwork. (3 Parts)
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ArticlePanel in hot water over Blackwater vote: Recall petition, lawsuit under way -- Anne Krueger, Union Tribune, 2007-05-12
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VideoBackcountry Revitalization meeting -- Raymond Lutz, Citizens Oversight, 2007-05-18 Dianne Jacob admits to private meeting with Blackwater and Duncan Hunter in May, 2006
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ArticleSuit against Blackwater over contractor deaths moves to arbitration -- Bill Sizemore, Virginian Pilot, 2007-05-20 [Incredible move by Blackwater to process the Fallujah victims by arbitration.]
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VideoNews 8 Exclusive: Secret 'Covert Canyon' Training Camp Operating In Alpine -- Marc Halcon, News8, 2007-05-23 [Includes two parts]
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VideoPivotal Family Lawsuit Against Blackwater USA Blocked from Court -- and Moved to Panel with Company Ties -- Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill, Bill Sizemore, Democracy Now, 2007-05-23
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ArticleCounty Ceases Canyon’s Covert Operation -- Miriam Raftery, East County Californian, 2007-05-31 Covert Canyon's owner has been linked to Blackwater.
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VideoPresentationStop Blackwater Presentation -- Raymond Lutz, Citizens Oversight, 2007-06-01
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VideoCovert Canyon Video Tour -- Raymond Lutz, Citizens Oversight, 2007-06-05 Covert Canyon
  • IF{ "'LinkedArticle'*'*Pictures*'" then="\"Images\"" }: Syntax error in ''LinkedArticle'*'*Pictures*'' at '*'*Pictures*''
ArticleBlackwater Heavies Sue Families of Slain Employees for $10 Million in Brutal Attempt to Suppress Their Story -- Daniel J. Callahan and Marc P. Miles, Alter Net, 2007-06-08
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ArticleBlackwater-backed Torture Flights Caught in the UK -- Adam Howard, Alter Net, 2007-06-10
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ArticleBlackwater on the Border -- Nancy Conroy, Gringo Gazette, 2007-06-14 Statement from the Editor
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ArticlePull the plug on the mercenary war -- Jeremy Scahill, Global Research, 2007-06-15
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VideoWind Zero Presentation -- Raymond Lutz, Citizens Oversight, 2007-06-23 1hr 20min - Wind Zero presented at community council meeting of Ocotillo / Nomirage
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ArticleMemos blame Blackwater ambush on orders to leave unprepared -- Joseph Neff, Virginian Pilot, 2007-07-08
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ArticleBlackwater team sent wrong way -- Associated Press, Boston Globe, 2007-07-08
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VideoWind Zero Q&A and Site Visit -- Raymond Lutz, Citizens Oversight, 2007-07-21
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VideoBlackwater Opponents Say County Employee Has Conflict of Interest -- Amita Sharma, KPBS Full Focus, 2007-07-24
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ArticleOutsourcing National Intelligence -- RJHillhouse, The Nation, 2007-07-25
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VideoParamilitary Training Camps Forum -- Raymond Lutz, Citizens Oversight, 2007-08-12 Presentations by Wind Zero, Covert Canyon, and about Blackwater, discussion following.
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ArticleJudge halts Blackwater arbitration -- Jay Price, News Observer, 2007-08-15
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ArticleUniversity Severs Police Institute, Blackwater Deal -- Associated Press, WRAL, 2007-08-22
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ArticleBlackwater Buys Brazilian Bombers -- , strategypage.com, 2007-08-27
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ArticleContractors take on expanded role in drug war -- Katherine Mc Intire Peters, Government Executive, 2007-09-12 Confirms that Blackwater has contract in counter-narcoterrorism business ($15B)
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VideoPotrero Planning Group Meeting, 13 Sep 2007 -- Raymond Lutz, Citizens Oversight, 2007-09-13
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ArticleBlackwater License Being Pulled in Iraq -- Associated Press, New York Times, 2007-09-17
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VideoStop Blackwater Rally -- Raymond Lutz, Citizens Oversight, 2007-10-06
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ArticleEXCLUSIVE - Family Members of Slain Iraqis Sue Blackwater USA for Deadly Baghdad Shooting -- Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, 2007-10-11
  • IF{ "'Video'*'*Pictures*'" then="\"Images\"" }: Syntax error in ''Video'*'*Pictures*'' at '*'*Pictures*''
Video Blackwater West Discussion at the Potrero Community Planning Group 11 Oct 2007 -- Raymond Lutz, Citizens Oversight, 2007-10-11
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Article$1.4 billion U.S.-Mexico anti-drug program to entail use of private contractors -- Alfredo Corchado, Dallas Morning News, 2007-10-19 Implies that Blackwater could be used for training of Mexican drug warriors.
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ArticleBlackwater Wanted Iraqi Military Planes -- Richard Lardner, Associated Press, 2007-10-19
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ArticleBlackwater asks county to allow extended firing range hours -- Jeff Hampton, Virginian Pilot, 2007-10-19 [Wants to shoot until midnight.]
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ArticleWaxman: Blackwater may have engaged in tax evasion -- Klaus Marre, The Hill, 2007-10-22
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VideoVideo of Civil Disobedience at Blackwater Gate in North Carolina -- Rebecca Cerese, Blackwater Watch, 2007-10-22
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ArticleBlackwater likely to train Mexican drug warriors - Press release from Mexico -- Antonio Garza, Mexican Ambassador to the United States, 2007-10-22
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ArticleBlackwater's run for the border -- Eilene Zimmerman, Salon Dot Com, 2007-10-23
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VideoVisit to Blackwater West Site after the Harris Ranch Fire -- Raymond Lutz, Citizens Oversight, 2007-10-27
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Article'Working as a team': Blackwater fury shelved as Potrero reacts to Harris fire -- Pat Sherman, San Diego City Beat, 2007-10-30
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ArticleWorld's Most Notorious Merc to Oversee Blackwater? -- Noah Shachtman, Wired Blog Network, 2007-11-01
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ArticleMercenary Immunity -- , Daytona Beach News Journal, 2007-11-06
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VideoJeremy Scahill on Blackwater: They're Christian Supremacists With a Conversion Agenda [VIDEO] -- , Alter Net, 2007-11-06
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ArticleFilner backs plan to end Blackwater contracting -- Paul MKrawzak, Union Tribune, 2007-11-07
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VideoRise and Fall of Blackwater in Potrero -- Andy Trimlett, Alternate Focus, 2007-11-25
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VideoPotrero Planning Group Meeting, Dec 13, 2007 -- Raymond Lutz, Citizens Oversight, 2007-12-13 Newly elected planning group members take office.
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ArticleTimeline: Blackwater and Security Regulations -- Corey Flintoff, National Public Radio, 2007-12-14 Nice summary of all the security violations
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ArticleLetter from Blackwater, pulls project from Potrero -- Brian Bonfiglio, , 2008-03-07
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VideoPotrero CPG 2008-03-13 Blackwater Resolution Only -- Raymond Lutz, Citizens Oversight, 2008-03-13 Final meeting denying the application from Blackwater.
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ArticleBlackwater revives mission -- Security contractor plans training center -- Anne Krueger, Union Tribune, 2008-04-23
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ArticleShooting range owner cuts ties to Blackwater -- Anne Krueger, Union Tribune, 2008-04-29
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ArticleCity of San Diego denies occupancy Permit to Blackwater for Otay Mesa facility. -- Kelly Broughton, Michael Aguirre, City Of San Diego, 2008-05-19 Mentions Michael Aguirre Jerry Sanders
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Citizens Groups Call for an Expanded Inquiry into Blackwater Permits -- Raymond Lutz, Carol Jahnkow, Susan Friedman, Citizens Oversight, 2008-05-19 Mentions Michael Aguirre Jerry Sanders
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PDFLetter from Blackwater Attorney demanding Occupancy Permit -- Neil Dymott legal firm, Blackwater Worldwide, 2008-05-20 Mentions Michael Aguirre
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PDFSuit by Blackwater vs. City of San Diego -- , Blackwater Worldwide, 2008-05-21 Mentions Jerry Sanders
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ArticleBlackwater vs. City of San Diego, Federal Court - Transcript -- Marilyn Huff, United States District Court, 2008-05-30 City Of San Diego
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VideoProtesters Rally Against Blackwater Facility -- , Kusi News, 2008-06-11
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ArticleU.S. company: crash lawsuit governed by Islamic law -- Joseph Neff and Jay Price, , 2008-06-18
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VideoUS Private Contractor Leads Torture Training in Mexico -- Kristin Bricker, Narco Sphere, 2008-07-02 WARNING -- TORTURE VIDEO IS DISTURBING.
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ArticleOpen Letter to Congress -- Dismissal of Case Against Blackwater Contractors Condemned, Groups Unite behind Stop Outsourcing Security Act -- Raymond Lutz, Dan Kenney, Christian Stalberg, Citizens Oversight, 2010-01-12
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ArticleStop Outsourcing Security Act -- Jan Schakowski, Bernie Sanders, Congress, 2010-02-23

Recent Articles and Media:

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  • Submit Media - use this topic to submit new media to the site and tag it appropriately.

Related Organizations

map-backcountrylandtrust.jpg
Back Country Land Trust of the San Diego Conservation Resources Network

Related Research

Environmental Impact Report Comments

  • NOTE: COMMENTS ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED. THIS PROJECT HAS BEEN STOPPED. THIS SECTION HERE FOR REFERENCE ONLY.
  • The Department of Planning and Land use has requested comments. Send email to: jarrett.ramaiya@sdcounty.ca.gov and those will be incorporated into the report. Or, click here: Stop Blackwater Web Petition and we'll make sure it gets submitted in as many places as possible.
  • Mail in your comments and letters: This is a bit better as it will show additional effort on your part. (However, detailed comment on the EIR is better left till after they complete it). Send to:
    • Project manager: Jarrett Ramaiya, jarrett.ramaiya@sdcounty.ca.gov 858-694-3015
    • Project Designators: P06-069, R06-019, AP 06-004, Log No. 06-20-001
    • Lead agency name and address: County of San Diego, Department of Planning and Land Use 5201 Ruffin Road, Suite B, San Diego, CA 92123-1666

From "Registered Lobbyists" http://www.sandiego.gov/city-clerk/pdf/reglobby07.pdf
Clay, Nicole and Saathoff, Stephanie of Carpi & Clay
Are listed representing Blackwater USA. This is the same lobbying firm that represents the County of San Diego(?)

-- Raymond Lutz - 03 May 2007
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
BWW_Proj_Descr-1.pdfpdf BWW_Proj_Descr-1.pdf manage 50.4 K 2014-06-26 - 17:23 Raymond Lutz Blackwater West - Project Description from earliest proposal documents (2006)
Blackwater_Project_on_Forest_Service_map.jpgjpg Blackwater_Project_on_Forest_Service_map.jpg manage 33.8 K 2014-06-26 - 17:23 Raymond Lutz Forest Service Map extraction
CentralCommitteePotreroRelease1.pdfpdf CentralCommitteePotreroRelease1.pdf manage 112.4 K 2014-06-26 - 17:23 Raymond Lutz Resolution by San Diego County Democratic Party in Opposition to Blackwater West.
DPLU_Notification_List_0766_001.pdfpdf DPLU_Notification_List_0766_001.pdf manage 129.7 K 2014-06-26 - 17:23 Raymond Lutz List of people notified by DPLU of the project
Jeremy_Scahill-3.pdfpdf Jeremy_Scahill-3.pdf manage 200.5 K 2014-06-26 - 17:23 Raymond Lutz Final Jeremy Scahill Flier for May 1/2
PPG_Original_Form_534_2006-11-22.pdfpdf PPG_Original_Form_534_2006-11-22.pdf manage 75.7 K 2014-06-26 - 17:23 Raymond Lutz Form 534 as submitted by the PPG upon their original approval vote
ParamilitaryTrainingCampsForum.pdfpdf ParamilitaryTrainingCampsForum.pdf manage 195.9 K 2014-06-26 - 17:23 Raymond Lutz Paramilitary Training Camps Flier
Position_on_Potrero_Planning_Group_Recall_Vote.pdfpdf Position_on_Potrero_Planning_Group_Recall_Vote.pdf manage 195.4 K 2014-06-26 - 17:23 Raymond Lutz Position Paper On the Potrero Community Planning Group Recall Election
Proposed_Blackwater_Facility_Overall_Site_Plan.pdfpdf Proposed_Blackwater_Facility_Overall_Site_Plan.pdf manage 346.5 K 2014-06-26 - 17:23 Raymond Lutz Site plan provided by Blackwater, (Very rough)
Proposed_Blackwater_detailed_plot_plan.pdfpdf Proposed_Blackwater_detailed_plot_plan.pdf manage 807.4 K 2014-06-26 - 17:23 Raymond Lutz BWW Detailed Plot Plan
StopBlackwaterPetition.pdfpdf StopBlackwaterPetition.pdf manage 34.7 K 2014-06-26 - 17:23 Raymond Lutz Stop Blackwater Petition -- Pass around and mail in when complete!
blackwaterWestOverviewFromSDUT.pdfpdf blackwaterWestOverviewFromSDUT.pdf manage 2871.1 K 2014-06-26 - 17:23 Raymond Lutz Overview Map from SDUT
blackwatersite.jpgjpg blackwatersite.jpg manage 6.8 K 2014-06-26 - 17:23 Raymond Lutz View looking North-East on target valley.
jeremyscahill.pdfpdf jeremyscahill.pdf manage 82.5 K 2014-06-26 - 17:23 Raymond Lutz Flier for Jeremy Scahill (With corrected address)
map-backcountrylandtrust.jpgjpg map-backcountrylandtrust.jpg manage 225.6 K 2014-06-26 - 17:23 Raymond Lutz Area of service of the Back Country Land Trust, San Diego Conservation Resources Network
Topic revision: r125 - 2015-03-11, RaymondLutz
 

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