Hundreds of people demonstrated in front of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) office in Santa Fe and blocked traffic to protest the agency’s auction for the lease of almost 100,000 acres of land in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
The coalition, including the Red Nation, the Pueblo Action Alliance, New Mexico Sierra Club among others, gathered to denounce the BLM’s sale of tens of thousands of acres in the Greater Chaco area as well as tens of thousands near Carlsbad Caverns.
A press release from the organizers of the demonstration said over 10,000 public comments were submitted to the BLM to oppose the auction.
Protesters who showed up Wednesday feared the ongoing sale would nullify earlier deferments for cultural study by allowing oil and gas development on ancestral lands.
The Bureau of Land Management has ignored requests from 100 organizations, more than 10,000 public comments, dozens of Tribes, Navajo Chapters and the All Pueblo Council of Governors, for a moratorium on further oil and gas exploration until adequate assessments can be carried out.