Pages tagged "bureauoflandmanagement"


Demand BLM Protect Chaco's Sacred Sites From Fracking

New Mexico’s beautiful Chaco Canyon region is home to ancient ruins that are sacred to the Pueblo and Navajo people. Now, the government wants to let fossil fuel companies frack millions of acres of land in the area—putting this priceless cultural heritage at grave risk. The next four days are a crucial window to tell the Bureau of Land Management that's unacceptable. Send a message: don’t frack near Chaco Canyon! More than a thousand years ago, Chaco Canyon was the spiritual, economic and political center of a vast civilization that stretched across much of the American southwest. Without modern tools or wheels, the ancient Anasazi people built huge ceremonial Great Houses in and around Chaco Canyon and connected them to spiritually significant places with massive roads, astonishingly straight and as wide as two-lane highways. Chacoan civilization left no written texts, so these feats of architecture and engineering are a uniquely valuable inheritance from that vanished culture, considered sacred to this day by the Pueblo—the descendents of the Chacoans—and Navajo. GFC_Chaco_300x200

Now that priceless legacy is under threat.

Fossil fuel companies are moving in around Chaco Canyon, as risky new horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology makes it increasingly possible to exploit shale deposits throughout the San Juan Basin. It’s bad enough that the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) already allows extraction in the region—but now it's moving toward approving hundreds of new permits for oil and gas companies to frack and drill millions of acres. The area threatened by fracking includes 35 Chaco Great Houses and a vast network of ancient roads. Tell the BLM: that’s an outrage. The BLM is currently revising its land use plan for the Chaco region. They could greatly strengthen protections for these invaluable cultural treasures—if enough of us speak up.

In the next few days, we have a valuable window: the BLM is taking public comments on environmental impact until next Wednesday, May 28. Rainforest Action Network is part of a coalition of groups—including the Solstice Project, Earthworks and CREDO Action—fighting to protect Chaco from fracking. Together, let’s tell the BLM that fracking in the Chaco Canyon region is one extraction project that the public won’t just rubber-stamp. The legacy of Chacoan civilization is a national and world treasure—Chaco Canyon is an official National Historical Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If we won’t protect the Chacoan inheritance, then nothing is sacred. Will you add your voice?

P.S. Our friends at the Solstice Project are working on a beautiful new PBS documentary about the archaeological riches of Chaco Canyon. In response to the fracking threat, they’ve released a four-minute excerpt of this work in progress. See just how important it is to protect Chaco here: Fracking Threatens Chaco's Sacred American Heritage (WOTL) from matt dibble on Vimeo.


The Trial of Bidder 70

Tim Dechristopher"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, governments and corporations, "thus far and no further." If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, "If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour." — Edward Abbey In December of 2008, college student Tim DeChristopher (aka "Bidder 70") entered into a Bureau of Land Management auction and bid on millions of dollars in oil and gas leases. Tim's action monkey-wrenched the plans of oilmen and the Bush Administration to develop those leases for profit in the last days of their regime. Subsequently, Tim was charged with two felonies and, after a long legal process, finally has a court date on February 28. The federal government (yeah, that's Obama) has made it clear that they are using Tim's case to intimidate any activists effectively fighting back against the destruction of the climate, the earth and the people living on it. While Tim is inside facing down the federal government, many others will be outside in solidarity. If you're able to make it to Salt Lake City, the last weekend of February, please join Peaceful Uprising (the group Tim co-founded) as we call out the wanton destruction of the planet at the hands of corporations and the system that puts us on trial for resisting it. It's time to take risks and make sacrifices for this issue. Tim and many others around the world have taken the first step, but climate activists in the U.S. now need to step up and do more than click "send" on an email or post an article on Facebook. Watch this video of Tim from the RAN offices: