Protecting Chaco Canyon and the San Juan Basin From Fracking

With two mine-to-mouth coal-fired power plants and some 23,000 existing gas wells, New Mexico’s San Juan Basin is one of the areas in the U.S. most exploited for fossil fuel resources. Despite over a century of development, the type of unconventional drilling and modern fracking techniques needed to tap the area’s oil resources is relatively new. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) admits that shale oil development using these technologies has never been analyzed. As a result, the agency is amending its resource management plan (RMP). Nevertheless, BLM has approved more than 130 new drilling permits in the last year alone.

The greatest concentration of these is just outside Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a sacred ancestral place for the Hopi and Pueblo people. This development threatens the area’s rich cultural resources, treasured landscapes and native communities while ignoring federal law. WELC and our partners are taking the agency to court to protect human health, as well as resources like air quality, climate and water.


Save the Greater Chaco Canyon Region from Fracking


News & Updates

BLM defers fracking around New Mexico’s sacred Chaco Canyon

Taos, NM – Late yesterday, the Bureau of Land Management announced its decision to defer an oil and gas lease sale of 4,434.37 acres near Chaco Culture National Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for consultation with Tribal and local leaders. The surprise...

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Judge Fails to Halt Fracking in Greater Chaco

Northwest New Mexico Oil Drilling Will Continue Despite Risks to Communities, Cultural Resources and the Environment Location: Santa Fe, NM Hopes for a respite from a fracking boom plaguing Navajo and public lands in New Mexico’s Greater Chaco area were thwarted...

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