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for people who care about the West

An industrialized Chaco


Thank you for focusing on the Chaco Canyon area and the rapid pollution and industrialization of this internationally important area (“Drilling Chaco,” HCN, 3/5/18). I have watched this area closely for decades and have seen the incredible beauty of the area trashed by boom-and-bust oil development that scars the land permanently and pollutes the water over the long run — all for short-term jobs for mostly out-of-state workers and for carbon fuels that destroy our atmosphere.

Bureau of Land Management lands are owned by all Americans, including our tribal neighbors. Yet the BLM now works for the oil and mining industries, not the American people, as revealed by the massive public effort required to stop a few oil wells in an area that is obviously more valuable for other “uses.” The public has a right to be angry that our agency no longer works for us.

Tom Ribe
Santa Fe, New Mexico