Tribal Leaders, Indigenous, and Environmental Groups Call on Bureau of Land Management to Reject “Man Camp” in Greater Chaco Landscape
Man camp would increase oil and gas impacts and risk of sexual violence and trafficking for Indigenous communities in the region
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2022
Farmington, NM - A coalition of Tribal leaders, Indigenous organizations, and environmental groups sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) urging the agency to reject a proposal by Logos Operating to build a “person camp” in the Greater Chaco Landscape for the purposes of expanding oil and gas extraction. The letter pointed out that person camps, or “man camps” as they are more commonly called, are known to put Indigenous women, girls, and persons at increased risk of experiencing sexual violence and trafficking. The proposed camp would also exacerbate the health and cultural resource impacts from oil and gas extraction that communities in the Greater Chaco Landscape are already facing.
Logos’ man camp would house up to 75 people on an abandoned well pad in Rio Arriba County until November 2025, where workers would focus on expanding the company’s drilling operations. Logos is just one of many oil and gas operators in the Greater Chaco Landscape, where over 90% of available lands have already been leased for extraction. Eastern Navajo communities have already experienced an increase in violence that has coincided with a recent fracking boom in this region.
“For decades, agencies in charge have excluded the voices of frontline communities and reports of Missing and Murdered Indigenous peoples. The ongoing violence continues with this latest proposal for a man camp”, said Cheyenne Antonio, a community organizer with the Greater Chaco Coalition. “We continue to demand action to stop this man camp proposal in Greater Chaco. We understand the full impacts of this and demand that BLM reject man camps in Tribal New Mexico communities.”
The proposal to build this man camp flies in the face of the Honoring Chaco Initiative, a landscape-level planning process led by BLM devised to better protect and manage public lands and resources within the culturally significant Greater Chaco region. The project is further at odds with New Mexico’s commitment to addressing the epidemic of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Relatives and the Secretary of the Interior’s promise to do the same.
New Mexico has the highest rate of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and persons in the country, with Albuquerque and Gallup among the top ten cities in the country for the highest number of missing and murders Indigenous women and girls, and with Farmington also having a high number of cases.
As groups stated in the letter, the promises of the Honoring Chaco Initiative cannot be fulfilled if BLM continues to approve proposals like this person camp, which undermines the implementation of safeguards to preserve the cultural integrity of the landscape, public health, and communities.