SJCA Works to Protect Chaco Culture NHP

SJCA Works to Protect Chaco Culture NHP

SJCA's work includes fighting proposals to drill natural gas wells on state land on the boundary of Chaco Culture National Historical Park, battling an attempt by San Juan County to pave the main access road to Chaco Culture NHP without complying with the National Environmental Policy Act (even though the county received federal funds), and opposing numerous oil and gas leases by the BLM/Farmington Field Office (BLM/FFO) on lands in close proximity to Chaco Culture NHP and outliers.

Act Introduced to Protect Hermosa Creek

Act Introduced to Protect Hermosa Creek

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.

New Plan to Protect Dolores River Native Fish

New Plan to Protect Dolores River Native Fish

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.

Future of Coal Plants in Question

Future of Coal Plants in Question

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.

"Pillage at Wolf Creek" Rises Again

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.

Victories and Challenges


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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Get Involved

Join   Contribute    Volunteer for Events

8/27: Colorado Water Plan and Southwest Basin Implementation Meeting
Wednesday, August 27th from 6-8:30 pm at the Durango Public Library (1900 E. 3rd Ave).  The agenda includes updates, group discussions and opportunity for public comments on the development of the first ever statewide water plan and Basin Implementation Plan for the Dolores and San Juan River Basins.  See Talking Points from the conservation community here or a more detailed briefing here.  Comments can also be submitted online - click 'Get Involved' and 'Submit General Input Form.'
9/3: Our Annual Member Meeting!
Join us on Wednesday, September 3rd from 5-7 pm on the back lawn of the Smiley Building.  Meet our new employees, Executive Director Dan Olson and Outreach Coordinator Erika Brown, check out our new office space, vote for new board members, and get updates on our campaigns.  Potluck style - so bring a favorite dish to share.  Let us know your coming on Facebook or just show up!


9/18-9/19: Switch Energy Project Film
Thursday, September 18th at the Smiley Building.  Doors open at 5:30, the film starts at 6 pm.  Dinner provided by Linda's Local Food Cafe, suggested donation of $12.  Beverages available at cash bar. A panel discussion with energy experts to follow. Friday, September 19th at Fort Lewis College, Noble 130.  Doors open at 6:30, film starts at 7 pm.  Suggested $7 donation to support 4CORE.  The Switch Energy Project is a groundbreaking film, video and education program uniting diverse audiences in a shared understanding of energy and promoting efficiency.  Film Details
9/23: EPA availability session to discuss water quality issues in the Upper Animas River
Tuesday, September 23rd, 6:30 pm at the Silverton Town Hall.  A short presentation will be given, but there will also be ample opportunity to informally discuss Animas water quality issues with representatives of EPA. For more information on the issues, see the Animas River Stakeholder Group.
9/24: EPA availability session to discuss water quality issues in the Upper Animas River
Wednesday, September 24th, 6:30-8:00 pm at the County Courthouse in Durango.  There will be a public meeting with the La Plata County Board of Commissioners in their regular meeting room to learn more about water quality issues and EPA's activities on the Upper Animas.  The Animas River Stakeholder Group will be giving a short presentation at the beginning to provide history and context about the issues.   
9/27: Wilderness 50th: Walk for Wilderness and Family Fun Fair
The walk will begin at the La Plata County Fairgrounds and continue on the Animas River Trail, ending back at the Fairgrounds where there will be live music, a kids education center, a primitive tool demo, food, drinks and more. Details
10/6: Wilderness 50th: John Fielder Slide Show
Fielder, who has photographed all of Colorado's wilderness areas, will do a slide show at the Powerhouse Science Center in celebration of 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.  Images will be displayed from Oct 7 - Nov 1. More details to follow.
Comment on the Forest Service's Draft Rule for Over Snow Vehicles (OSV) 
Snowmobiles should be managed similarly to off highway vehicles (OHV), 'Close Unless Designated Open.'  Unfortunately the Forest Service is proposing the designation be 'Open Unless Designated Closed.' See our Alert.  Details
What issues get you riled up? How do you want to be involved?  What do you think of our work?  Don't make us guess - take 5 minutes to let us know and we'll enter you to win $50 at 2nd Ave Sports.  Thanks! Take the survey
The HD Mountains are under siege...again
The San Juan National Forest is trying to open 7 new sites to gas drilling in the HD Mountains WITHOUT doing an environmental assessment as promised.  Tell them that drilling in old growth forest and critical habitat warrants a thorough environmental assessment.  See our Alert.  Details
8/4-8/5: Southwest Old Growth Forests Conference
Leading scientists and naturalists will examine old growth forest issues.  There will also be a celebration of ancient forests and trees with poetry, music, and Native American culture. Details  


In the News - Articles

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.

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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