Rio Arriba Concerned Citizens is a grassroots organizations whose mission is to

“Support and focus concerns, actions and outreach related to the quality and use of land, air, and water resources in Rio Arriba County and the State of New Mexico while maintaining consideration and respect for the preservation of traditional cultural values and consistent with sustainable economic development.” 

BLM Lease Sale Notice and Protest Period on our heels

It looks like the BLM is continuing with their plans to lease public lands near Gallina to private oil and gas companies.  They will be accepting letters from the public regarding the proposed sale from July 16 until August 15.

Just as in the comment period, there are a plethora of inconsistencies and unknowns that are not addressed by the BLM Environmental Assessment (EA).  As RACC continues our research more information will be made available though our website about the best way for you to participate in the protest period.

If you would like to view the timeline for the lease sale: Click

Sin Agua No Hay Vida! Without Water There Is No Life 

Community Screening of Split Estate

Second Chance

Didn’t make it to the film in June? The El Rito Library will be screening Split Estate for the community in El Rito, followed by a letter writing session. Refreshments will be served.

Sunday, July 20th at 2PM.
El Rito Library
RT 215 El Rito, NM

To watch the film trailer here:
On June 7th, the Rural Events Center in Abiquiu was a buzz with a diversity of community members that had come to the screening of Debra Anderson’s Split Estate. Folks signed in, and got information on the threat of hydraulic fracturing in our watershed as well as enjoyed free popcorn and soda as they waited for the event to start. With nearly 100 people attending, it was hard to find a seat!

We gave thanks for the blessing of the rain that was falling over us outside, reminding us of the life giving blessing of water. Former Rio Arriba County Commissioner Felipe Martinez introduced the film and gave a short overview of his work to strengthen the Rio Arriba County Oil and Gas Ordinance.

The film was informative and effective in telling the stories of our neighbors in Colorado that have been negatively affected by hydraulic fracturing. There were heartbreaking tales of displacement, destruction, and sickness. The film’s director Debra Anderson was available after the screening for a discussion on the film, in which many questions were raised about what we could do to prevent this sort of harm to our own community. Rancher Don Schreiber of Blanco NM also shared his experience of living and working with oil and gas. He encouraged by saying that our best resource was already in the room, each other.

This event was a testament to the concern within our community, and allowed us to empower each other by offering information and a way to get involved.

Lupita Salazar

O’Keeffe legacy sheds new light on oil and gas development in NM and captures a wide audience

Abiquiu residents, including RACC member Rebekah Henty, were quoted on the front page of the Sunday edition of the Santa Fe New Mexican in an article exposing drilling near the Black Place, a geological formation made famous by Ms. O’Keeffe. Beautiful images from photographer Walter Nelson create a powerful visual narrative about the encroachment of oil and gas into our most beautiful and historic places.

The article was quickly picked up by the press, with an internet search showing the story featured in California, Florida, Massachusetts, and the United Kingdom. That’s a big audience! You can read the article here:

If you’re interested in sharing your opinions about the article, or wish to encourage the Santa Fe New Mexican to focus more on the effects of oil and gas on our living community you can reach the editor at:

RACC to Form a Not for Profit Corporation Sponsored by Amigos Bravos

The RAAC Steering Committee formed a sub-committee to investigate the feasibility of organizing as a 501C(3) non-profit corporation.

The sub-committee consulted with attorneys and others who had knowledge of IRS rules regulating these types of organizations.  The committee also consulted with the Western Environmental Law Center and Amigos Bravos, groups whose concerns and functions are similar to RACCs.   The IRS allows registered non-profits to accept donations without tax obligations.  Donors to these organizations can deduct their donations from their own personal income.   This facilitates the organization’s efforts to attract donors and raise money.

The process of registering as an IRS approved 501 C (3) requires a considerable amount of time and legal expertise.  Costs may total $1,000 or more.   As an alternative, an organization may form as a not-for-profit corporation with a governing board and be sponsored by an existing 501C(3).  The sponsored group can then enjoy the benefits of the 501C(3) for as long as the sponsorship is in effect.  The sponsoring group usually charges a small fee

Terry Price

Stay Informed

Free informative booklets detailing our counties history with oil and gas and our concerns about it are available at the Abiquiu Library, El Rito Library, and the Rising Moon Gallery.  Pick one up today!

In the News

Rio Arriba is the name of our county and our group but more then that it means “Up River” and is a reminder that in New Mexico we are “up river” and what happens here will affect many downstream. Get involved today.

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