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

“To protect the public health and land, air, and water of the Rio Chama Watershed, Rio Arriba County, and the State of New Mexico, and to promote sustainable development through education, collaborative planning, community action, and policy advocacy”

From the Black Place, image courtesy of The Silent Warrior: MSD

Last chance to send in your letters for the October 22, 2014 Oil and Gas Lease Sale near Gallina!

Please spread the word, our letters really do matter!

Letters post marked August 15th are considered late and will not be accepted.  Letters of Protest must arrive at the BLM office in Santa Fe by close of business August 15th.  If you have not sent your letter for overnight delivery by tomorrow August 12, don’t take the chance!

A RACC volunteer has offered to hand deliver protest letters to the BLM office in Santa Fe.  Please leave your letters at the Rising Moon Gallery in Abiquiu c/o Peggy Baker by Friday August 15 at 1PM for delivery.

You may also fax your letter ATTN: Jesse Juen 505-954-2010

The BLM is required to respond to each letter they receive.  We recommend that you send your letter by certified mail to ensure this happens.  In addition, please send a duplicate of your letter to RACC for our records:

Cinda Graham (RACC volunteer)
P.O. Box 934
Abiquiu, NM 87510

Visit the homepage of our website to for letter writing resources and contact info:

Through limited scoping and inadequate public outreach the BLM has chosen not to involve the people who will be most affected by their decisions.  Let’s stand together and let them know we WILL be involved in those choices that affect our waters, lands, and families!

This is a sample letter with BLM required fields underlined:

Jesse Juen
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
New Mexico State Office     
PO Box 27115
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502


Dear Director Juen,

My name is Felicity Garcia and I am writing to protest the proposed sales of parcels NM-201410-001, 004 thru 015 that will be offered up for lease in the BLM Competitive Oil and Gas Lease Sale, October 22, 2014.

Interest in Protesting

I am a lifetime resident of Gallina, and my family has farmed and raised livestock in this area for hundreds of years.  My income is based on the integrity and productivity of the land.

Reasons for Protesting

I understand the importance of clean water, and a functioning ecosystem for the health of our community.  Without clean water we cannot hope to thrive in our traditional lands.  We live with a limited amount of water in our part of the world, and I am concerned about the 2-10 million gallons of water that is used for each well in this process. I highly protest this misuse of the limited resource of water.

Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing are known to cause cancer, neurological, and other health problems.  There have been many examples of spills and groundwater contamination, despite the efforts of private oil and gas companies.  The risk of polluting our precious water is too great.  If our water is affected it is the residents who will have to live with the consequences, not these companies.

The waters in Gallina and Regina flow into the Rio Chama and any pollution will also affect our neighbors down river all throughout the state.

Our forests are vulnerable to forest fires because of extreme drought, and the hydraulic fracturing process involves many fire risks.  Wells have exploded and caught fire, and the flaring of natural gas burn off can cause the dry forest to catch fire.  Our forests are a part of our livelihoods and heritage as we use them for firewood, livestock forage, and wildlife habitats as we have for hundreds of years. After a fire burns the exposed soil can cause flooding that and also pollutes our rivers.

I again protest and ask you to defer the 13 parcels up for lease in the October 22, 2014 BLM Lease Sale.

Felicity Garcia

Please send your mandatory response to my address:
P.O. Box 1116
Gallina, NM, 87017

For more information and a sample letter go to our website.

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!

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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