Once again, an Oil and Gas Lease Sale in our Beloved Rio Chama Watershed

Are the times feeling a bit strange to you?? Are you detecting a bait and switch approach permeating the air around how the current U.S. government administration is changing the rules regarding the environmental regulations that in the past have safeguarded our environment?

Here is a recent rule change that directly affects YOU and your WATERSHED. Under the Trump administration, we have noticed a lot of rule changes as part of the government’s deconstruction of environmental protections. In early 2018 an internal memo (not available to the public) was issued. In order to “streamline” the process for environmental review, this administration, via that internal memo, shortened the established Environmental Analysis (EA) review process for leasing of oil and gas parcels from 30 days to 10 days. That means RACC and interested parties only have 10 days to digest and pick apart a multi-page government document and then translate our analysis so people like you, who have the most at stake, can participate in protesting potential environmental damage to your public lands and your watershed.

So we need all of you to please stay tuned and expect the unexpected. The rules are changing and as watchdogs for the watershed we are doing our best to navigate this “brave new world” of environmental rule change. Please tune into our website at rioarribaconcernedcitizens.com for the latest updates on other rule changes that we may not even know about yet regarding the way in which this new lease sale is being conducted. You can also link to our information-packed Facebook page on our website.

BLM has scheduled a new oil and gas lease sale in December of this year and one of the 13 parcels on the block is within the Rio Chama Watershed boundary. Parcel #71 is near Lindrith on the eastern side of the Continental Divide which marks the western boundary of the Rio Chama Watershed. The remaining 12 parcels are part of the Greater Chaco landscape to the northwest. The BLM public protest period for letter writing is from October 22 through the 31st.

Please consider attending one of the letter writing events we have organized for the El Rito Library! The event announced in the poster on our website here will be conducted like our previous (successful!) letter writing events where we have guided you through last minute changes by the BLM. This letter writing event will be held at the El Rito Library on Saturday, October 13th, 2018 from 10-2.

If you are writing on your own, please check rioarribaconcernedcitizens for relevant talking points for this particular oil and gas lease sale and last minute changes regarding the rules for submission before you mail your letter.

We will also hold an “advanced” letter writing workshop for those “frack-geeks” wishing to respond directly to the Environmental Analysis (see below).

Once again, it’s time to stand up and make our voices heard. NUMBERS COUNT!! If the BLM disregards our protests, the media will still take note of the building resistance to fracking in our beloved Rio Chama Watershed. Let’s make sure they know we are here and we will continue to fight for this watershed! 

Want to get your “frack geek” on and write a more technical protest letter to the BLM that directly responds to the Environmental Analysis for the December parcels?? These letters will be the most powerful protests sent by our community! RIO ARRIBA CONCERNED CITIZEN’S BLM liaison will be hosting and providing talking points.

Join us at the El Rito Library on Saturday, October 27th from 10-2