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 from October 2016 to February 2017 to expand analysis of fracking management policies in the Greater Chaco region, which spreads across public, tribal, Indian allotment, private, and state 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. They also received an additional 15,000 comments.
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.
On February 28, 2020, the BLM and BIA released their long-awaited draft Resource Management Plan Amendment. The plan is a pure disappointment and does nothing to address the many concerns brought up by the public during the scoping period. Furthermore, in light of the COVID-19 crises, the BLM and BIA are holding firm to the May 28 comment deadline, despite requests from the entire New Mexico Congressional Delegation and the All Pueblo Council of Governors for a comment extension, and pleas from Indigenous, environmental, and community groups for the agency to pause its plans.
Below is video footage of community members and groups giving public comments at the scoping meetings. Most of the video was shot by Miya King-Flaherty
Shiprock Chapter House Scoping Meeting
November 10th, 2016
Huerfano Chapter House Scoping Meeting
Counselor Chapter House Scoping Meeting
November 12th, 2016
Nageezi Chapter House Scoping Meeting
Ojo Encino Chapter House Scoping Meeting
November 14th, 2016
Whitehorse Lake Chapter House Scoping Meeting
November 15th, 2016
Navajo Technical University Crownpoint Chapter Scoping Meeting
November 17th, 2016
Navajo Nation Museum Window Rock Scoping Meeting
December 2nd, 2016
San Juan College Scoping Meeting
February 1st, 2017
Shiprock Scoping Meeting
February 2nd, 2017
HJM5 - H.E.E.N.R.C Hearing
February 7th, 2017
Protesting BLM Leasing Land in Greater Chaco
January 17th, 2017
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Many of the photographs on this page are courtesy of:
©2016-2017 Evalyn Bemis Photography and may not be used without permission.