What is the "Frack Off Greater Chaco" Campaign?
#FrackOffChaco is a solidarity campaign to stop fracking in Greater Chaco.
The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Farmington Field Office and the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) Navajo Regional Office is undergoing an amendment to BLM's 2003 Resource Management Plan (RMP) to analyze horizontal fracking impacts in the Greater Chaco area.
91% of public land in Northwest New Mexico is already leased to oil and gas interests, with over 40,000 wells. Most of the remaining 9% of unleased land is in the Greater Chaco area. Despite the lack of adequate tribal consultation, environmental review, or a comprehensive plan for horizontal fracking in the area, the BLM has approved over 400 new wells. This new form of industrialized fracking development threatens to further fragment the landscape and pollute our air and water resources, endangering the environment and local Navajo communities. The BLM admits to never analyzing the impacts of horizontal fracking across this landscape. Yet, the BLM continues leasing public land and approving fracking in the region, as evidenced by the January 25 lease sale of 843 more acres.
We're calling on supporters to target New Mexico Congressional district offices (especially Senator Udall), BLM field offices, and demonstrate or pray for all that is worth protecting. Meet with officials, send letters, take pictures, rally, and interrupt. Any action is a great action! Please host or attend an event so we can showcase broad support to Frack Off Greater Chaco.
A month before the scoping period ended on January 25th, the Bureau of Land Management leased nearly 850 acres of land for drilling in northwest New Mexico, netting close to $3 million.
The parcels won't be released to the winning bidders until several protests filed against the leases have been resolved.
See: Greater Chaco oil rights sell for $3 million despite protests
Fracking Leases Near Ancient & Tribal Sites
The Greater Chaco Region is a checkerboarded area of Tribal, state, federal, and allotment land. The Bureau of Land Management has approved more than 400 new fracking wells without adequate Tribal consultation or protections for community health, water and climate impacts. Fracking development threatens ancient Chaco culture and sacred sites and also Navajo people and living communities in the area who have been dealing with the impacts of resource extraction for decades.
The Frack Off Greater Chaco Coalition
Frack Off Greater Chaco is a collaborative effort between Indigenous community leaders, Native groups, nonprofits, and public lands and water protectors across the southwest and the country working to stop fracking in Greater Chaco. Coalition Organizations
Please consider organizing a solidarity action or event to stop fracking in Greater Chaco. Meet with officials, send letters or emails, take pictures, rally, write a letter to the editor, and interrupt. Any action is a great action!
We're calling on supporters to target New Mexico Congressional district offices (especially Senator Udall), BLM field offices. HERE is a list of officials, (elected, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Affairs) that can be contacted.
These are a few of our allies who have information on the campaign to protect the Greater Chaco region and surrounding communities
If you take an action, calling, writing or want to host a solidarity event, please let us know so we can put your pin on the map (below) of people who did something in solidarity. Please fill out the form by clicking the button below so we can showcase broad support to Frack Off Greater Chaco. Please contact us if you need support coordinating your event.
Updates and Information
BLM and BIA Public Scoping Meetings
The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Farmington Field Office and the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) Navajo Regional Office held 10 public scoping meetings to expand analysis of fracking management policies in the Greater Chaco area, covering public, tribal, and Indian allotment lands.
With the exception of the San Juan College meeting (conducted exclusively in English) and Whitehorse Lake meeting conducted exclusively in Navajo), all meetings were conducted bilingually (Navajo and English).tment lands.
Hundreds attended the scoping meetings. Navajo residents, Pueblo tribal members, and various groups gave public comment to protect the local communities’ culture and climate from fracking impacts. The comments shed light on the real and everyday impacts that fracking is having in the Greater Chaco area.
Navajo tribal members commented on the desecration of sacred sites, increased rates of cancer and asthma, unsafe road conditions, noise and dust pollution, soil contamination, and constant exposure to toxic fumes. Groups demanded that new planning efforts must assure Indigenous interests, include community health and safety safeguards and that real balance must be restored in the area.
Below is video footage of community members and groups giving public comments at the scoping meetings.
Whitehorse Lake Chapter House Scoping Meeting
November 15th, 2016
STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT
Greater Chaco Coalition calls on NM Congressional Delegation for Support
About the Leases, Commenting and Environmental Impact Studies
We are often asked if it's too late to comment or if the leases can be "bought back". Below is some general information about the process and where we go from here.
The lands auctioned off in the greater Chaco area are national, public lands. The Bureau of Land Management is the agency that manages public resources and lands for multiple uses, including fossil fuel extraction. They hold lease sales 4-times a year. To ensure that the land is used specifically for development, bidders who want to keep the land in its natural state are not allowed to bid at these lease auctions.
For any type of development that might have adverse effects on the environment, land, air, and communities, the BLM must comply with NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) and have a management plan that includes best practices and mitigation planning. The plan must also include an Environmental Impact Statement. The current plan never analyzed horizontal fracking. It lacks best practices and mitigation planning for fracking impacts.
The current 2003 Resource Management Plan (RMP) does not analyze the impacts of horizontal fracking on the environment or people. It also lacks adequate tribal consultation. However, the BLM have admitted this much. This is why they are reopening the public scoping period to update this out of date plan. This is why it is important for you to submit comments to the BLM and demand they stop leasing lands and approving permits. Or at least place a moratorium on new leasing and approving permits until they have a completed plan.
Rather than slowing down, or placing a temporary halt on new development, the BLM is conducting individual Environmental Assessments (EAs) and tiering the EAs to the 2003 RMP. The EAs lack sufficient tribal consultation and exclude a thorough analysis of sacred sites and horizontal fracking impacts. The EAs consistently cite that fracking has no significant impacts to the environment or surrounding communities. This is the devious practice employed by the BLM that enables them to lease land and approve permits under the 2003 RMP. This process is how the 843 acres got approved to move forward.
Before the 843 acres can be developed, the BLM must address several protests comments filed against the sale. Until they are cleared, fracking cannot take place on these parcels.
We will be adding more to this section soon.
Oil and Gas Development: Evaluating
the Health Implications