Chaco Canyon is one of the most beautiful places in the United States. Wild, gorgeous high-desert landscapes merge with intense cultural history. There’s a reason why this ancestral home of Native Americans is often called “the treasure of New Mexico.”
So let’s not frack it up.
Safe For Now: A Win Against Oil & Gas
Recently, activists won a huge victory: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke canceled a nearby lease sale that would have allowed drilling and fracking to destroy Chaco Canyon.
This delay didn’t happen on a whim: it’s a well-earned win for Tribal leaders, environmentalists and residents of New Mexico who have been protesting the sale of sites situated too close to Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
Many voices have called for a moratorium on drilling and leasing, including the Navajo Nation and All Pueblo Council of Governors, the National Congress of American Indians, 15 Navajo Chapter Houses, and the New Mexico Legislature. This request has been backed by strong support from Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, and Representatives Michelle Lujan Grisham and Ben Ray Lujan.
Safe In The Future: Ban Fracking, Secretary Zinke!
Ultimately, drilling and fracking in this area would completely destroy the sacred places that hold deep importance to the local Navajo residents populating the area. It also has the potential to contaminate the vital resources on which nearby communities rely so heavily. 91 percent of the public land surrounding Chaco Canyon has already been leased to oil and gas companies for exploration.
Drilling and fracking in this area would completely destroy sacred places.
Permanent protection from oil and gas extraction around Chaco Canyon is essential to protecting New Mexico’s unique history, environment and vital public resources. Moving toward a just transition to renewable energy increases the ability of communities dealing with these issues to create ways to engage in environmentally sustainable and culturally appropriate economic development.