Shasta supporters send SOS MOUNT SHASTA-Cross into California southbound on Interstate 5 and soon, suddenly, you see Mt. Shasta. The mountain consumes the horizon, seeming to encompass the world. Generations of Northern California Indians have shared that view. The mountain has deep spiritual significance, powerful in itself and connected to other power places nearby and far away, according to Michelle Alvarez, a Pit River and Cahuilla Indian who works with the Center for Indian Community Development in Arcata. Stories and legends from the Modoc, Shasta, Karuk, Wintu, Hupa, and Pit River people point to the centrality of Mount Shasta in their culture, lives, and spirituality. Respecting this connection, Jerry Rodgers, the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places, decided in March,1994 to designate Mount Shasta as eligible for the Register. The enactment of the Mount Shasta Historic District would help protect traditional uses of the mountain, now threatened by new development. Rodgers' decision has already been weakened, and soon may be reversed entirely. Despite previous failures of commercial ski development on Mount Shasta, developer Carl Martin has proposed a new 1,600- acre resort that would accommodate 5,000 downhill skiers a day. Backing Martin is a coalition of white property owners and right-wing politicians led by U.S. Rep. Wally Herger (R- ). Rep. Herger introduced HR 563 Jan. 18, which would keep any site that doesn't contain "physical evidence of human activity" from being listed as an historic site. The bill targets Indian historical and spiritual sites, says Ana Holub of the Mt. Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center, as most such sites are in their natural state. It specifies that "Mount Shasta...may not be designated by any agency or authority of the United States as a historic district, historic site, or national monument." California Indians and environmentalists have been working together for more than 10 years to protect Mount Shasta. Several groups, including the Mt. Shasta Heritage Council and the Waka Nunu Tuki Wuki Native Coalition, Save Mt. Shasta, and the Bioregional Ecology Center, are mobilizing to stop HR 563. They urge letters to congressional representatives and Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, DC. 20510. "We take this seriously, especially spiritual people," said Alvarez. "[Scarring Mount Shasta] could throw off the balance of everything in the world." For more info: Mount Shasta Heritage Council, (916) 926- 3397.