In response to The Department of the Interior virtual public forum the Greater Chaco Coalition, a collaborative effort between over 200 Indigenous community leaders and groups, environmental justice advocates, and environmental groups representing thousands of New Mexicans and millions of Americans issued a public statement that the oil and gas leasing program must be fundamentally reformed.
The area in and around Counselor, NM is made up of a “checkerboard” of various jurisdictions; federal, state, tribal, private, and allotment. The people most impacted by decisions – the Navajo Nation – generally are excluded from the decision-making process.
On September 16, conservation groups joined hundreds of others in urging Gov. Lujan-Grisham’s state agencies to take advantage of the opportunity to slash our state’s climate pollution and make the air healthier for all of us.
As federal and state health guidelines were announced in March in response to COVID-19, New Mexico’s entire congressional delegation, Tribal leaders, Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Dept., and multiple groups called on Interior Secretary Bernhardt to extend the May 28 comment deadline to allow for the public and state and tribal governments to meaningfully engage. Instead of heeding pleas to extend the comment period, 15 days before the deadline the BLM and BIA held four virtual meetings. That did not go well.
This poem is about the original tour that led to Daniel Tso’s well-know fracking reality tour in Greater Chaco. Daniel recently was awarded the Sierra Club Distinguished Service Award.
Moving to protect the climate, public health, and to further environmental justice, a coalition filed suit to overturn the sale of leases on nearly 41,000 acres of public land in New Mexico for oil and gas drilling. The BLM did not allow a comment period on the lease sale’s draft environmental assessment, and held only a lightning-quick, 10-day protest period. In addition, the coalition charges that for this lease sale.
On April 30, the BLM Farmington Field Office and Bureau of Indian Affairs denied requests to suspend the public comment period on the controversial drilling plan for the Greater Chaco region, instead the agencies are planning to hold 4 ‘virtual public meetings’ starting mid-May. The Navajo Nation has been seriously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, most families lack internet access to attend these ‘meetings.’
We Are Greater Chaco highlights grassroots Diné and Pueblo efforts to protect the Greater Chaco landscape and its living communities and cultures from fracking. More than 93% of the available lands in the Greater Chaco have already been leased for industrialized fracking. They are fighting for the last 7%.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Farmington Field Office and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) released their long-awaited Mancos-Gallup Resource Management Plan Amendment for the Greater Chaco region on Friday, February 28, 2019. With the release of this draft plan, it’s clear the agencies have broken their many promises.
Tribal governments, as well as thousands of people and more than a dozen groups representing over five million members called on the Trump administration to cancel its plan to lease nearly 15,000 acres of ancestral tribal and federal public lands in New Mexico for fracking.