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to promote oil and gas development in the Greater Chaco area, approving 365 horizontal fracking wells under an outdated Resource Management Plan for the region.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 alternatives we are asking for:

  1. To cease all new leasing and drilling permits until the amendment to the management plan is completed. More than 90% of BLM-managed lands and minerals are already leased for oil and gas development.
  2. To consult with Navajo and Pueblo communities, culturally tied to the Greater Chaco area at the state and local chapter level, with Navajo translators at every stage of the decision-making process. Tribal consultation means holding a public scoping meeting in or near Pueblo communities.
  3. To fulfill the BLM’s promise and provide the communities in the Greater Chaco area with a comprehensive health- and social-impact assessment, as well as a cultural-significance study to assure protection for sacred sites.
  4. To provide the communities with alternatives to transition to clean, renewable energy and economic development that does not impact the land or lives of people.

Please click here to write to: Mark Ames, BLM Farmington Field Office Project Manager at BLM_NM_FFO_Comments@blm.gov.

Example comment (please use your own words and arguments — BLM counts identical comments as one):

Dear Mr. Ames:

The Bureau of Land Management should consider meaningful alternatives in its Resource Management Plan amendment for the Greater Chaco area. The alternatives should not increase climate disruption and should allow for a just transition to clean, renewable energy.

I urge the BLM Farmington Field Office, which manages lands and minerals in the Greater Chaco, area to stop all new drilling, leasing and approving of drill permits. Leasing more lands for drilling will lead to further negative consequences for the surrounding communities, lands, air and water.


  1. Example point 1: The Greater Chaco area is home to the nation’s largest methane hotspot as a result of oil and gas activities in the San Juan Basin. Methane is a greenhouse gas 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Leasing more lands for oil and gas development will worsen climate pollution.
  2. Example point 2: The Greater Chaco area contains public lands that belong to all Americans. It also includes tribal lands that are part of Navajo and Pueblo communities. Lands in the Greater Chaco area have sacred sites that need to be protected–not just to those within the boundaries of Chaco Culture National Park.

Again, please use your OWN voice to tell BLM why it should cease drilling in the Greater Chaco region. Cut-and-pasted comments will all be considered one comment by the BLM.

Thank you for taking action! For more information, write to miya.king-flaherty@sierraclub.org.

BLM: Stop auctioning off Chaco to oil and gas