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Fracking Threatens Chaco

In response to the Bureau of Land Management's announcement to facilitate leasing of 6.2 million acres of the Chaco region of New Mexico to oil companies for fracking and horizontal drilling, we at the Solstice Project have launched a campaign focused on the threat to the cultural heritage of the area. Chaco is a uniquely integrated landscape of built environments. It was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and is considered one of the most important ancient sites of the Americas. The BLM-designated leasing area contains 35 ceremonial "Great Houses" and many fragile ancient earthworks known as "roads". These constructions are quite subtle, have not been fully researched, and we fear that they could easily be destroyed before they are documented or understood.

It is critical that the BLM hear from as many citizens as possible during the "public scoping period" that ends on May 28, 2014. Anna Sofaer and John Roney have prepared a position statement which many eminent Chaco archaeologists support. We have also created an easy way for you to communicate your concerns directly to the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell at See call to action to protect Chaco.

Watch our short video on the threat here:

In the video which is narrated by Peter Coyote, the descendant Pueblo people and Navajo people speak of the spiritual significance of the "roads" that connect the Great Houses with places of power in the landscape. John Roney, whose great knowledge of "roads" gained from decades of study, sensitively informs our efforts to protect these remote and fragile features. Adriel Heisey's aerial cinematography reveals ancient roads and sites in stunning imagery. And using state-of-the-art remote sensing technology, Rich Friedman helps us visualize the thousand-year-old Chacoan constructions.

Peter Coyote

Anna Sofaer
The Solstice Project

Anna Sofaer & Matt Dibble

Writer & Editor
Matt Dibble

Aerial Cinematography
Adriel Heisey

Matt Dibble
Gary Mercer
Jonathan Sims
William Stone
Mike Nelson

Location Audio
James Becker
Michael Stearns

Graphics & Animation
Matt Dibble
Rich Friedman

Sound Mix
Larry Dolton

Special thanks
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque, NM

For more information:
New Oil Boom Coming to the San Juan Basin
BLM "Public Scoping Phase".
Farmington BLM Planning Process

The Solstice Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to research, education and protection of Chaco culture. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support our ongoing work.