Currently in the San Juan Basin, there are shale gas proposals and test wells in the center of the basin in northern New Mexico and in Montezuma and Dolores Counties in Colorado. Leases, most probably for shale, have been proposed in La Plata, Dolores and San Miguel counties, and in the Chama River Valley. Shale underlies much of the region, and only time will show where development will be proposed.
This summer marked the release of the Lower Dolores River Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Plan. The plan lays out opportunities to stabilize and improve three native fish populations that have plummeted in the Lower Dolores River since McPhee Dam went into full operation in the late 1990s.
Senator Michael Bennet introduced the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act in the Senate in July 2012, a major step towards permanent protection for the watershed just north of Durango.
Due primarily to the Regional Haze Program under the Clean Air Act and the rising cost of coal-generated electricity, the future of two northwest New Mexico coal plants is very much in question. The utility owners of these plants face significant decisions concerning their willingness to invest in pollution controls.
The public comment period for a new Wolf Creek Draft Environmental Impact Statement closed October 16, 2012. The latest proposal is for a land swap of 178 acres of privately owned and undevelopable wetlands for 204 acres of public forest. The swap would enable the construction of a resort at 10,000 feet in elevation, to house up to 10,000 people.
Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act Introduced With Bipartisan Support
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Rep. Scott Tipton (R, CO-3) introduced legislation that would protect one of Colorado’s most revered landscapes – the Hermosa Creek watershed in the San Juan National Forest. The Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act would protect more than 100,000 acres of incredible wildlife habitat and ensure the future of the area’s wildly popular recreational opportunities. Read More www.hermosacreek.org
Click here to go to Sen. Bennet's website for the full text of the bill and to view a map of the proposed protections.
Long Overdue Analysis of Four Corners Power Plant Complex Begins
The federal Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement has initiated the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to analyze the coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant, the adjacent Navajo Mine, and transmission corridors. Read More
Group Works to Increase Resilience of Mixed Conifer
With fires raging in Colorado this summer, awareness has grown dramatically about the connection between forest health and our daily life and well being. Read More
Volunteers Tackle Fen Restoration at Ophir Pass
In summer 2012, the Alliance joined with diverse non-profit, business and agency partners to carry out an intensive hands-on restoration of a 1.6 acre fen at Ophir Pass. A fen is a type of wetland fed primarily by groundwater, rich in nutrients and plants that accumulate to form a deep layer of peat. Read More
BLM Proposes Leasing Lands for Oil and Gas Development
The Bureau of Land Management is proposing leasing of lands in western La Plata County and eastern Montezuma County, primarily south of Highway 160 in the area from Hesperus to Mancos Hill. The proposed lease areas also include parcels adjacent to Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. SJCA has been actively involved in evaluating the leases, providing detailed comments to the BLM, and providing information to our members and interested citizens. Read More
Calendar and Events
5/22/13 Forest Health: Important to you? Guided driving tour on the SJ Forest Pagosa Ranger District. 8:30AM - 4:00PM Details
5/22/13 Animas River Days Fundraiser. Discovery Museum, 6:00PM - 10:00PM Live Entertainment/Silent Auction Details
6/1/13 The Dolores River Festival. A fun-filled community celebration of the Dolores River. Details
6/6/13 Animas River Days Film Night and Kick-off Party. Adventure films to benefit SJCA. Details
6/6/13 - 6/9/13 Animas River Days. Annual celebration of the Animas River in Durango. Details
6/11/13 RPW Piedra River Workgroup. Ross Aragon Community Center. 5:30PM - 8:30PM Details
We are seeking local photos and videos to include in Animas River Days Film Night and Kick-Off Party!
Do you have a great photo or video you'd like to submit? If you do, let us know!
Submissions may be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org
Animas River Days Film Night and Kick-Off Party
Celebrating Wild Rivers
Thursday, June 6th
Doors open at 5:30, Films start at 6:30
For more information, please contact Marybeth at 970 259-3583 or email@example.com
In the News - Articles
Why Public's Oversight Role Shouldn't be Cut, Durango Herald, May 9, 2013
Hermosa Creek Picks Up Speed, Durango Telegraph, May 2, 2013
Bills Would Protect Watershed, Durango Herald, April 26, 2013
San Juan Wilderness Act Gets Hearing, Durango Herald, April 26, 2013
Hermosa Watershed Plan a "Beautiful" Thing, Durango Herald, April 24, 2013
Why Moratorium on Shale Drilling is Necessary, Durango Herald, March 27, 2013
Babbling Brooks and Bottom Lines, Durango Herald, March 19, 2013
Delay in Lynx Recovery Plan Spurs Federal Lawsuit, Independent Record, March 15, 2013
Boggy Glade Appeals Denied, Cortez Journal, March 13, 2013
Times They Are A Changin'; When Does It Matter?, Durango Herald, March 13, 2013
Click here for Fall 2012 Newsletter
Featured Story: Lessons from a Raging Fire Season, by Jimbo Buickerood, Public Lands Coordinator. The summer of 2012 will be remembered for Colorado's large and severe wildfires; yet we face the harsh reality that this past fire season may not be an anomaly. Read the Article
"...It slipped by me that we had not paid our yearly dues. We can never make meetings, but we support all of you who devote your lives to green issues. We are political conservatives, but we believe deeply that we are destroying this planet. Big business and corrupt politicians are doing in the planet...Again, thank all of you for the hard work you do!!"
-- Linda and Paul Lerno, Pagosa Springs
The San Juan Basin possesses some of the richest oil and gas reserves in North America. While their development benefits both the national and local economies, all of the negative effects are borne by the people and land of the San Juans. Our goal is to protect people’s health and land.
SJCA works to permanently protect our last free-flowing streams, enhance our rivers’ water quality and promote democracy in water policy.
Durango - Main Office
P.O. Box 2461, 1022 ½ Main Ave.
Durango, CO 81302
Phone: (970) 259-3583
Fax: (970) 259-8303
P.O. Box 1513
Cortez, CO 81321
Phone: (970) 565-7191
108 North Behrend, Suite I
Farmington, NM 87401
Phone: (505) 325-6724