Speak Up - Oil & Gas Task Force Meeting in Durango THURSDAY

Speak Up - Oil & Gas Task Force Meeting in Durango THURSDAY

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.

Changes to Hermosa Bill Threaten Protections

Changes to Hermosa Bill Threaten Protections

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.

Victories and Challenges

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

Details and Talking Points


 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.

Learn More:

Take Action

Talking Points


  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

Read Full Comments



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

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


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10/23: DamNation Movie

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. 

10/24 - 11/15: "An Enduring Wilderness" at the Durango Arts Center
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act; Annual Members Exhibition on display October 24th through November 15th.  Opening reception on October 24th from 5-7 pm.  Details
10/29 - "Solo in the Southwest: Going Out and Coming Back and the Wilderness Within" 
The Great Old Broads welcomes Andrew Gulliford as part of the Durango Wilderness 50 Lecture Series.  Doors open at 6:30 pm in the Pullman Room of the Strater Hotel for cash bar, book signing, and a chance to buy raffle tickets for the Broads Wilderness 50 Commemorative Quilt.  Talk starts at 7 pm.
11/6: 'A Wilderness Under Siege' lecture
The Durango Arts Center (DAC) welcomes naturalist, writer and filmmaker, Doug Peacock, for a lecture, "A Wilderness Under Siege" on November 6th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the DAC Theater.  Tickets are $10, available at DAC, Backcountry Experience and Maria's Bookshop. Details


11/12: Green Business Roundtable
Gabe Preston of RPI Consulting will present on 'Relating Economic Development to Open Lands and Outdoor Lifestyles,' on November 12th at the Henry Strater Theater, 699 Main Avenue, Durango from noon until 1 pm. RSVP to  Cost is $15 at the door for a delicious locally produced lunch.  


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 ConsensusDurango Herald, September 17, 2014

A Big Bet on CoalDurango Herald, June 18, 2014

Sunset on the WeminucheThe 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

Read More


Member Comments

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.

Read More

Where We Work
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Wild San Juans

For the past twenty years, San Juan Citizens Alliance has engaged in a multi-pronged effort to protect the 2.5 million acre San Juan National Forest and adjacent tribal, BLM, private and state lands.

Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act

Map Protection of Dolores Canyon San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act Protection of Dolores Canyon Tracking minerals and natural gas extractions Rico West Dolores Travel Management Area San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act Restoration of wetland fen at Ophir Pass Citizens Wilderness Proposal Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act Mixed Conifer Working Group Pagosa Ranger District Travel Analysis Protection of Wolf Creek Canyons of the Ancients La Plata Canyon / Junction Creek Travel Management Plan HD Mountains Chaco Canyon


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.

Map Developed the Citizens Management Plan for Canyons of the Ancients. Inclusion of Perins Peaks State Wildlife Area and Animas City Mountain in mineral withdrawal for Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act. Citizens Proposed San Juan Master Leasing Plan (Public Lands Center, Durango). HD Mountains New Clean Air Act regulations by EPA for oil and gas development. Fought for an EIS for the Four Corners Power Plant Complex. San Juan Generating Station. Litigation filed challenging drilling in HD Mountains, 2008. SJCA supports the concept of a buffer zone around Chaco Culture National Historic Park to prevent energy development projects from impacting the park.


SJCA works to permanently protect our last free-flowing streams, enhance our rivers’ water quality and promote democracy in water policy.

Map Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Plan for “A Way Forward” process to protect native fish Potash mining near Dove Creek Dolores River Dialogue Plateau Creek FERC Permit application Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act Animas River Protection Workgroup Vallecito Creek/Pine <br>River Protection Workgroup Piedra River Protection Workgroup San Juan River Protection Workgroup

Our Offices

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

Map Cortez (970) 565-7191 Durango (970) 259-3583 Farmington (505) 325-6724