As crowds gathered at the New Mexico Legislature to celebrate the state’s public lands and call for their protection, Tribal leaders, legislators, land users, and allied organizations presented the Bureau of Land Management with 33,000 public protests opposing its March 2019 oil and gas lease sale.
The lease sale, scheduled for March 28, will include 11,000 acres of public and ancestral lands, encompassing more than 10,000 acres in New Mexico’s Greater Chaco Region and 1,000 acres in southeast New Mexico’s Greater Carlsbad Caverns Region. New Mexico senators, representatives, the Navajo Nation and All Pueblo Council of Governors, the National Congress of American Indians, 15 Navajo Chapter Houses, the New Mexico Legislature, more than 100 organizations, and more than 500,000 citizens have requested a moratorium on drilling in the area.
More than 93 percent of available lands in Greater Chaco have already been sold to the oil and gas industry and more than 64,000 wells are operating on public and tribal lands without care to community health or environmental justice.
Read the press release.