NEW RACC NEWSLETTER SCHEDULE WILL BE BI-MONTHLY
If you are receiving this newsletter, you are a member of Rio Arriba Concerned Citizens. We welcome your input.
In this bi-monthly newsletter we will endeavor to inform you about current issues affecting the Rio Chama Watershed. We hope to share what we are learning about the watershed itself so we can all better protect it as knowledgeable residents.
PROTEST LETTER RESPONSE FROM THE BLM
RACC members responded to a Call to Action last July and sent in over 75 letters to protest the Oct 22, 2014 BLM Oil and Gas Lease Sale. Thank you to everyone who wrote letters and supported the protest process!
The response from the BLM to your protest letters has been delayed. While BLM Farmington policy says protest letters should be answered within two months, issues you raised as well as volume were so great that BLM has delayed response for an additional 5 months so far. Great job slowing down the rubber-stamp process and forcing further thought, study and presumably internal discussion!
Our letters, combined with those from multiple organizations and individuals, have evidently been important in slowing down Lease Sale finalization.
We are hoping our many letters helped make the point that these parcels should be deferred for study and to allow residents with strong interests to be heard from!
We continue to check the BLM website for any status change on protest response. RACC board member Peggy Baker regularly emails a cooperative and helpful BLM environmental and planning contact, Ms. Becky Hunt. Ms. Hunt has promised a personal email when the protest response is out.
We expect to see the protest response documents sent to the mail addresses given in each of our letters. Though it will likely be a general response, not a specific one directed to each letter writer’s concerns.
So, while glacially slow so far, we are making a big difference by paying attention and working with other groups to send the message that the BLM has to take its responsibilities to manage public land for more balanced use. We also need them to consider, in far more detail, potential for harm to our land, air, water, and economy. We want them to do a better job of publicizing and reaching out to all of us to participate in decisions for good land management balanced with sustainable growth.
WELC HAS FILED SUIT OVER OIL AND GAS LEASES
In other good news, Western Environmental Law Center, with whom RACC have been meeting, has filed a suit to prevent the January 2015 Oil And Gas Lease Sale of 5 San Juan Basin/Chaco Canyon parcels which have been withdrawn, also for further study.
RACC NOW ABLE TO RECEIVE TAX DEDUCTABLE DONATIONS
We are excited to announce that RACC is now fiscally sponsored by local non-profit Luciente Inc. Luciente Inc. is a community based 501(c) 3 organization that serves as a fiscal sponsor for many important projects and communities in and around Abiquiu. Thank you to the board and staff of Luciente!
This means that you are now able to gift tax-deductible donations to RACC. Your donations will be used to further RACC’s mission to protect the Rio Chama Watershed, unless otherwise marked for a specific project.
To insure that your gift is tax deductible please make all checks out to Luciente Inc., with RACC written in the memo line, and send to the following address:
PO Box 607
Abiquiu, NM 87510
THINKING LIKE THE RIO CHAMA WATERSHED
RACC board member Barbara Turner has written an essay delving into the cultural and physical history of the Rio Chama Watershed. The more we understand how complex and beautiful our watershed is, both physically and culturally, the better we will be able to actively protect it. If you would like to help us fund a print-version booklet of this essay for distribution for educational purposes, please send donations to Luciente at the address listed above. On the memo line, please write “RACC watershed essay project”.
Read the full essay here.
CONTRIBUTE TO THE WATERSHED PHOTO ARCHIVE
Please send us your pictures of the Rio Chama Watershed! We are excited to start an archive of Rio Chama Watershed images and would love to see your favorite photographs and share them with your watershed neighbors on our website. Send pictures to email@example.com.
LETS KEEP IN TOUCH
Quite a few people have asked us about the best ways to stay informed regarding the Oil and Gas Lease Sales. We invite you to visit our website and like our Facebook page, both of which are regularly updated. Important updates will also be published in the Abiquiu News. If you received this newsletter from a friend and would like to subscribe, please visit our website or fill out this simple form. Thank you for supporting our community and sharing your knowledge!