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October 2014 letter to Secretary Jewell regarding danger to Chaco from fracking

October 2014

Dear Secretary Sally Jewell,

We urge you to direct resources to comprehensive archaeological survey of the Chaco ruins and ancient roads endangered by expanding oil and gas development, from the $18,000,000 that was recently allocated (S.2440 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)) to the Bureau of Land Management to speed up and facilitate oil and gas development in this region and throughout the west.

The destructive impacts of fracking on Chaco’s fragile cultural resources can be prevented with comprehensive archaeological surveying that includes the use of the new technology of lidar imaging, as well as thorough ground truth surveys. Lidar imaging was proven to be both cost effective and highly accurate in recording Chaco’s Great North Road. This demonstration, funded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) and the Solstice Project, revealed the full extent of the Great North Road, a 35 mile corridor from Chaco Canyon to Kutz Canyon. This ancient “road” is regarded by the descendant Pueblo cultures and the Navajo people as holding spiritual significance. Now it is designated one of the Eleven Most Endangered Sites by the NTHP.

Many other Chacoan roads and Great Houses, also regarded as sacred heritage of the Pueblo and Navajo people,  are being severely impacted by current and planned energy developments in the Chaco cultural region. A great number have not been thoroughly recorded and are vulnerable to a proposed 49 mile oil pipeline as well as rapidly expanding oil and gas development. Only by careful and thorough survey and analysis of these invaluable cultural resources can their destruction be prevented.

Please feel free to copy some or all the text above and send your own letter to Secretary Jewell

Sally Jewell
Secretary of the Interior

with cc's to :

Tom Udall
New Mexico Senator

Jim Dumont
New Mexico Senator Heinrich's Office

Susana Martinez
New Mexico Governor

Jesse Juen
BLM State Director

Jeff Pappas
New Mexico Historic Preservation

Ben Lujan
New Mexico Congressman




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