The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had planned to move forward with the controversial leases based on an outdated Resource Management Plan that was written before new fracking methods were feasible in the region, and without meaningful Tribal consultation or consent from Navajo Nation and Pueblos who consider Chaco sacred. Community members praised the lease sale cancellation as victory, but called for further action.
“In deferring this lease sale, Zinke finally recognized the Department of Interior’s necessary and legal obligations to Indigenous Nations and public citizens.now we’re calling on congressional leaders to cement meaningful protections. ” said Rebecca Sobel, Senior Climate & Energy Campaigner for WildEarth Guardians. “While Zinke’s Bureau of Land Management admits new analysis is required to understand the landscape level impacts from fracking in the Greater Chaco region, the agency, abetted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, still shamelessly continues to authorize more industrialized fracking absent that understanding. People are rallying to say, ‘enough!’”