Natural History Wanderings

WildEarth Guardians New Release

Greater Chaco Spared from Fracking Auction

Community Responds to Cancellation of Chaco Canyon Oil and Gas Lease Sale

Yesterday, the Department of the Interior announced the cancellation of an oil and gas lease sale near Chaco Culture National Historical Park, a UNESCO Heritage Site in northern New Mexico. The controversial leases would have auctioned off an additional 4,434 acres in the Greater Chaco region for industrialized fracking, exposing local communities to increased pollution and threatening ancient ruins considered sacred by Indigenous Nations.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had planned to move forward with the leases based on an outdated Resource Management Plan that was written before new fracking methods were feasible in the region, and without meaningful Tribal consultation or consent from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. In response to public pressure, BLM announced the lease sale would be canceled until the…

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