For Chaco Canyon, this is a win to remember.
In early 2013, the Bureau of Land Management, buckling to
the demands of the oil and gas industry, proposed to lease more than 16,000
acres for drilling and fracking right at the doorstep of Chaco Culture National
Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico.
We pushed back however, and together with our allies
mounted an all-out defense of this cultural treasure.
The efforts culminated last September when Guardians, joined
by archaeological groups, the Chaco Alliance, and the San Juan Citizens
Alliance, petitioned the Bureau of Land Management to protect
1.1 million acres as the “Greater Chaco Landscape Area of Critical
Today, it’s official: we won.
In response to our efforts, the Bureau of Land Management
officially decided to take “No Action.”
In other words, no oil and gas leases will be sold around
Chaco Canyon, giving this landscape new hope for more lasting protection.
This victory is a testament to our dogged persistence and
commitment not only to safeguarding the climate from fossil fuels, but also
safeguarding the West’s irreplaceable natural values.
To be sure, we still have work to do. The Greater Chaco Landscape is still in
need of full protection and the rush to frack in the American West remains the
most significant threat to the land, wildlife, our water and our clean
Guardians is keeping Chaco safe from fracking, but our aim
is a frack-free West. One victory
at a time, we’re doing it.