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 the impacts of industrialized fracking, which combines horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing, in the Greater Chaco region.
The vast majority of available public land in Northwestern New Mexico’s San Juan Basin is already leased to oil and gas interests, with over 37,000 oil and gas wells. Most of the remaining unleased land is in the Greater Chaco region which encompasses Chaco Culture National Historical Park and UNESCO World Heritage site.
Despite the lack of adequate tribal consultation, environmental review, or a comprehensive plan for industrialized fracking in the area, the BLM has approved over 500 new wells across the Greater Chaco region. This new form of unconventional fracking 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 fracking across this landscape.
In 2014, the BLM’s Farmington Field Office admitted it needed to update its 2003 resource management plan because it lacked adequate Tribal consultation and failed to consider the impacts of newly industrialized fracking in the region.
Nearly 6 years later, the BLM and BIA finally released their long-awaited Mancos-Gallup draft Resource Management Plan Amendment in February 2020. The plan essentially allows for more industrialized fracking and resource degradation. Under the various alternatives, BLM projects between 2,345 and 3,101 new oil and gas wells within the Greater Chaco region--including within a single mile of Chaco Park.
We're calling on supporters to demand the BLM and BIA to fulfill their promises, as evidenced in their scoping report. Our coalition demands include BLM and BIA impose an immediate moratorium on all new fracking and leasing activities, ensure Tribal consultation at every stage of decision-making, and offer a full comprehensive health and social impact assessment of drilling impacts on surrounding communities and economic development alternatives to lead away from extractive economies.
Any action is a great action! Please like our Facebook page, share calls to action, write a Letter to the Editor, but more importantly, send a comment to the BLM.
Conservationists: Oil Drilling Plan Doesn't Do Enough To Protect Chaco