Monday, June 17, 2019

BLM New Mission Statement
The Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency that oversees more than 245 million acres of public land, has stripped its conservation-focused mission statement from agency news releases.

Boilerplate language ― the bureau’s longstanding mission statement ― was printed at the end of BLM press releases throughout President Donald Trump’s tenure: “The BLM’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.”

That language was recently cut from all agency releases, including those that predate the Trump administration. The text now exclusively highlights the economic value of America’s public lands:

"The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $96 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2017. These activities supported more than 468,000 jobs."

What will the Diverse Activities leave for Future Generations?

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Friday, May 10, 2019

Chaco Sacred Sites
Technology is wonderful...other times I wonder.  Sometimes the Grandfathers simply like to have some fun with me.  That actually puts a smile on my face.  I know they are there.  The link I posted to view the Chaco Sacred Sites video may...or may not...have worked.  Tonight it is working.  At least at this time.  Let me know if you have a problem.  Thank you for taking a moment to view the video.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Sacred Sites Greater Chaco Landscape
Energy exploration and development are currently permitted on and adjacent to Sacred Sites located in the Greater Chaco Landscape managed by the Bureau of Land Management.  Oil production in the Chaco Landscape has increased 400 percent in the last decade.  The oil and gas industrialization has erased the history and identity of many cultural resources.  On March 28, 2019 the BLM sold another 10,000 acres of undetermined cultural value in Greater Chaco.  The BLM is not meeting its legal due diligence prior to leasing these areas.

Last week we documented some adjacent sites which are currently managed by BLM in the Greater Chaco Landscape.  These sites are untouched at this time.  Once an area is disturbed, it cannot be replaced.  Mitigation does not work. These Sacred Sites could be leased for oil and gas at a future date if not protected.  

Honor it.  It is Sacred.  It needs to be permanently protected for  the Pueblo People and America.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Greater Chaco Landscape Sacred Sites
 A few miles north of Chaco Canyon lies the remains of an ancient outpost.  It was undoubtedly an imposing and impressive place in 900 AD.  Built atop a towering butte, it would have been visible for many miles.  At night, great fires would have urged weary travelers onward.  Even now, at sunset, for example, or when the wind rises, it is an evocative and powerful place.

Yet, today, it has become a different kind of outpost. This is where intensive oil and gas development, which has increased over 400 percent in the last decade, completely transforms much of the northwestern New Mexico landscape.

On this past Monday in Santa Fe, during the first of several congressional hearings, tribal leaders and key witnesses spoke about the need for stronger Federal oil and gas regulations.  Acoma Pueblo Gov. Brian Valio told members of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources that not enough is being done to safeguard sacred sites in the Greater Chaco Landscape beyond the National Park at Chaco Canyon.  "Many cultural resources and sites exist which the Bureau of Land Management does not currently recognize", he said.

Our current  administration must honor repeated requests from tribal leaders and withdraw lands surrounding Chaco Canyon from future oil and gas leasing. The Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Affairs must finish the long-awaited joint management plan for the area.  The plan should be based on a detailed viewscape and soundscape field study.  It must include significantly stronger protections for cultural resources, as well as local residents, including limiting the location and scale of development.

We need proper leadership more now than ever to accomplish this.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Stewardship of the Land

The Greater Chaco Landscape is now under unprecedented assault by the oil and gas industry, with the enthusiastic support of the Trump administration and Acting Interior Secretary Bernhardt. There are already more than 20,000 oil and gas wells in the region, and the drilling is quickly encroaching closer and closer to Chaco Canyon.

Throughout the government shutdown in January, former oil lobbyist Bernhardt stayed on the job as Acting Secretary, working hard to push forward plans for leasing. During the shutdown, 800 employees of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) were authorized to stay at work to process oil and gas drilling leases. Meanwhile 85% of the rest of the staff at the Department of the Interior (DOI) were furloughed.
Existing drilling wells close to Chaco Canyon, and the proposed 10 mile protection zone (in blue).
In early February 2019, the BLM announced plans to sell more leases in late March (March 28) for oil and gas extraction, quite a number of which were within a 10-mile radius of the park. Then, a few days later, BLM announced that it was withdrawing the lease sales for sites within 10 miles of Chaco Canyon.  Archaeologist Paul Reed of the non-profit cultural resources group Archaeology Southwest says, “I think this is probably a temporary victory, and the parcels will come up again in a future lease sale.”

Land parcels that are still up for lease outside the informal 10-mile buffer zone, but are within the Greater Chaco Landscape, contain many important Chacoan Sacred Sites.

be strong, be safe, Carlan 

Friday, February 1, 2019

HWY83 Unspoiled, Unbroken, Dead North
The current issue of Harley-Davidson HOG® Magazine features the HWY83 story I rode, photographed, and wrote last summer.  With the Polar Vortex across the country causing some mighty cold conditions, thought the story might warm you up a bit.  Even my bike is sitting in my heated studio with the battery tender keeping things warm today.  Here is a link to the pdf copy of the full story.  HWY 83.  

Keep warm.  Hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I did creating it!

Thought for the day:

I love being on the road.  It keeps me present. Because I'm not allowing my brain to get into any sort of pattern, where I start worrying about things that don't matter.  If I'm in a new place every day, I have to be alert, I'm forced to be in the present moment so I can take what comes.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Monday, January 7, 2019

Chaco Outliers
 After Chaco Canyon monument was established in 1907, subsequent exploration led to the discovery of outlying sites, some as far as 100 miles from Chaco Canyon.  These sites, spread out over 30,000 square miles, were the remnants of a network of outlying communities, all linked to Chaco Canyon and the other sites by an extensive system of prehistoric roads.  In the late 1920's, the monument was expanded to include additional sites that were part of Chaco Canyon.
In the 1950's and 1960's, increased energy and mineral exploration and development in the region led to the discovery of a number of additional Chacoan outliers.  In 1980, Congress passed Public Law 96 550.  Title V of that Act renamed the monument to Chaco Culture National Historical Park, enlarging the site by approximately 13,000 acres to a size of approximately 33,990 acres.
The legislation also created a system of Chaco Culture Archeological Protection Sites, consisting of 33 outlying sites totaling approximately 8,800 acres.  Unlike Chaco Culture National Historical Park, these sites are not administered as units of the National Park System.  Instead, they are managed primarily by the Bureau of Land Management.
Large deposits of uranium, natural gas, oil and coal are believed to lie beneath the San Juan basin. Energy exploration and development are permitted on and adjacent to the archeological protection sites as long as such exploration and development does not endanger the cultural values of the sites. The Bureau of Land Management is the Federal Agency responsible for the proposed leasing of an additional 4,000 oil and gas wells adjacent to many of these sacred sites.

To learn and see more visit Question of Power

be strong, be safe, Carlan