Chaco Culture National Historical Park is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site and International Dark Sky Park in northwestern New Mexico. The Greater Chaco landscape also encompasses an intricate network of ancient roads extending hundreds of miles across federal, state, tribal trust, private, and Navajo allotment lands. The Greater Chaco region houses the densest and most exceptional concentration of ancient pueblos in the American Southwest. More than 200 known Chacoan “great houses” are spread across New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah and are culturally bound to Chaco Canyon.

Today, the Greater Chaco region is home to contemporary Native American tribes, including the Diné (Navajo).

While ancient sites, kivas, and great houses inside the park’s boundaries are protected, the overwhelming majority of Greater Chaco lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are leased for oil and gas development, impacting the sacred landscape, air, people, and the living culture of the region. The remaining area of Greater Chaco, including the area within immediate vicinity of the park, is currently threatened by further oil and gas extraction.

Industrialized fracking development, which combines horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing,  already threatens ancient Chaco culture, sacred sites and the sacred landscape, and the living culture. Navajo residents living in the area have been dealing with the impacts of resource extraction for decades – even more oil and gas development is planned for the region. In fact, while updating their management plan, the BLM has approved more than 30 new drilling permits since February 2017.

Navajo communities in Counselor, Nageezi, and Lybrook experience disproportionate impacts as a result of oil and gas development in the Greater Chaco region. Without permanent protections for the region, the threat remains.

In response, indigenous leaders, environmental organizations, and elected officials have come together to demand stronger protections for community health, air and water, and the sacred landscape against industrialized fracking impacts.

Contact
Miya King-Flaherty
Our Wild New Mexico Organizing Representative, Rio Grande Chapter
miya.king-flaherty@sierraclub.org
(505) 301-0863


Articles related to Chaco Canyon

Chaco's surprise reprieve 

Chaco’s surprise reprieve 

In an unanticipated move, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke cancelled a March lease auction of 4,454 acres in Greater Chaco to oil and gas companies ...
Read More
Lawmakers Support Chaco Coalition

Lawmakers Support Chaco Coalition

On Dec. 19, the New Mexico Congressional Delegation released a letter to Bureau of Land Management State Director Aden Seidlitz that essentially calls for cancelling the March 8, 2018, lease sale until meaningful and thorough tribal consultation has occurred ...
Read More
BLM ready to auction more of Chaco

BLM ready to auction more of Chaco

In August, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Farmington Field Office notified Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye that it intends to auction off 25 more parcels in Greater Chaco for fracking. These parcels are unnervingly close to the 10-mile buffer that protects Chaco Culture National Historical Park ...
Read More
Interview with Mike Eisenfeld

Interview with Mike Eisenfeld

New Mexico Story Power amplifies voices from the front lines where extreme fossil fuel extraction threatens the lives and cultures of the people of New Mexico. It engages our necessity to protect our land, our water and our communities with personal accounts and visual narratives. In this interview, Story Power interviews Mike Eisenfeld, Energy and Climate Program Manager for San Juan Citizens Alliance in Farmington, New Mexico ...
Read More
Public Demands Greater Chaco Protection

Public Demands Greater Chaco Protection

On Monday night, 36 tankers storing crude oil and wastewater exploded and burned. According to reports, approximately 10 families were evacuated. According to reports this morning, the fire has yet to be extinguished ...
Read More
BLM: Stop auctioning off Chaco to oil and gas

BLM: Stop auctioning off Chaco to oil and gas

Fracking in Greater Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico is on the increase and causing more health and public safety problems than ever. Please email the Bureau of Land Management Farmington Office at BLM_NM_FFO_Comments@blm.gov to protect these sacred and precious public lands. The BLM continues to promote oil and gas development in the Greater Chaco area, approving 365 horizontal fracking wells under an outdated Resource Management Plan for the region. But the agency is now gathering information for an overdue amendment to that management plan. The Obama administration recognizes that reducing greenhouse gases is key in combating climate change. Hold the BLM accountable for their role in contributing to climate pollution. Please submit unique and personalized comments that support the key ...
Read More
BLM planning smaller Chaco lease auction

BLM planning smaller Chaco lease auction

By Miya King-Flaherty
Chapter Public Lands fellow Despite a recent explosion that destroyed thirty-six storage tanks on July 11 in Nageezi, N.M., the Bureau of Land Management’s Farmington Field Office continues to lease lands and approve drilling permits. The BLM’s Environmental Assessment reports, which are supposed to thoroughly analyze the impacts of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) before approving leases and drilling permits, constantly cite ‘Findings of No Significant Impact’ to the surrounding communities, land, water or sacred sites. The explosion occurred at a newly developed WPX site that caused 55 residents to evacuate their homes — some lost their pets and others lost livestock. This site is less than half a mile away from many residences, and within 5 miles of ...
Read More
Chaco Canyon: Too precious to frack

Chaco Canyon: Too precious to frack

Our public lands are under siege, and the Bureau of Land Management continues to prioritize oil and gas extraction over our climate, air and water. We need your help to protect Chaco Canyon and the surrounding communities from fracking. http://www.riograndesierraclub.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/METHANE-CUT-5-SD.mp4 Related ...
Read More
Loading...