The meetings are open to the public and comments will be accepted Thursday evening from 5-7 pm. This is a critical opportunity for us to voice our experiences and concerns with oil and gas development in our community. The majority of meetings will be held on the front range. Show up and ensure western Colorado is heard! Please see below for more details and talking points.
On September 18th, the House Committee on Natural Resources significantly amended the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protections Act, the consensus-based language our community's diverse stakeholders created to protect the watershed. See below for more information and how to take action.
Governor's Oil and Gas Task Force meets in Durango
Opportunity for PUBLIC COMMENT
Be Heard. Be Seen.
This Thursday and Friday the Governor's Oil and Gas Task Force is meeting in Durango.
Big business and their lobbyists (like the American Petroleum Institute) are working hard to swamp the meeting with pro-fracking/anti-environment talking points, and they've got the money to do it.
It's time to balance money influence with people influence.
Come tell the task force what you think about oil and gas drilling in southwest Colorado.
What: The governor's Oil and Gas Task Force Meeting and Public Comment Period
Where: The Holiday Inn, 21363 Hwy 160 West, Durango
When: Meetings open to the public Thursday, October 9th from 12-7 pm and Friday, October 10th, 8:30 am-12 pm
Public Comment Accepted Thursday, October 9th from 5-7 pm
House Committee Fails to Honor Local Hermosa Watershed Consensus
We are reeling from how quickly the House Natural Resources Committee pulled the rug out from under the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act. Revealing the amended bill just 36 hours prior to their September 18th vote, they swiftly undermined six years of community effort creating consensus among diverse stakeholders. Local officials, stakeholders, businesses and individuals are outraged that such significant alterations were conducted behind closed doors. Until these amendments were made, the bill was a model for local consensus-driven lands protection legislation.
Despite rhetoric from Republicans that local communities, not Washington, should be making land management decisions, their actions indicate ideology trumps democracy. The already eroding credibility of representatives in Washington is now in serious doubt in a community where they they have replaced harmony with discord. The implications are huge as the efforts of our community to come together to support protection of a beloved watershed are being rebuffed by Washington power brokers.
HD Mountains are Under Siege...Again
San Juan National Forest is trying to open 7 new drilling sites in the HD Mountains without doing an environmental assessment as promised. Rather than evaluate the environmental impact of this drilling - or let the public have input - the agency is trying to approve the drilling using an internal administrative action called Categorical Exclusion. We are submitting comments to insist on an environmental assessment. Join us! Comments DUE FRIDAY, JULY 25th. Learn more. Details from the Forest Service
SJCA Submits Comments on Deeply Flawed Draft EIS of Four Corners Power Plant
San Juan Citizens Alliance joined Sierra Club, Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, Center for Biological Diversity and Western Environmental Law Center in submitting comprehensive comments cataloguing alarming deficiencies in the Draft EIS. Read the Press Release
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
The Fort Lewis Environmental Center hosts a screening DamNation, followed by a discussion with Director Ben Knight and local resource managers. Free food, beer and rootbeer floats provided by Carver Brewing and a live auction featuring deals from local businesses. Doors open at 5 pm, film starts at 6 pm. Tickets $12.
In the News - Articles
Wells creep toward Chaco, Durango Herald, October 10, 2014
Four Corners a methane hotspot, Durango Herald, October 9, 2014
Energy task force draws crowd, Durango Herald, October 9, 2014
Caldwell: So much for a shared vision on Hermosa Creek, Denver Post, September 22, 2014
Killing Consensus, Durango Herald, September 17, 2014
A Big Bet on Coal, Durango Herald, June 18, 2014
Sunset on the Weminuche, The Durango Telegraph, June 12, 2014
Plans for Lower Dolores River Draw Criticism, Durango Herald, January 15, 2014
The River Runs Through It - The Durango Telegraph, December 5, 2013
Coming up with a Plan, The Durango Telegraph, October 3, 2013
BLM Narrows Proposed Chaco Drilling Sites to Four - Durango Herald, September 5, 2013
By Rose Chilcoat
Letter to the Editor, Durango Herald, 9/29/13
Recently, I attended the membership meeting of San Juan Citizens Alliance – one of the true organizational treasures of our region. I was reminded of, and impressed with, the important work the alliance alone does organizing people to protect our water and air, our lands and the character of our rural communities in the San Juan Basin.
Most people living here benefit from the alliance’s efforts, but only a few of us support it financially. In a region with a population approaching a quarter of million people, there are only about 500 folks who are members of the alliance, investing in conserving the places we love.
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.
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Durango, CO 81302
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