Save World Heritage Site from Oil Drilling


Target: Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior

Goal: Stop the plan to frack right outside of Chaco Canyon National Historic Park

Chaco Canyon, New Mexico is an ancient and splendid site of Native American culture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unfortunately, oil and gas companies want to start fracking right outside the National Park, which could threaten the fragile ecosystem and landscape of the Ancient Pueblo peoples.

The Bureau of Land Management has written a new plan opening up a multimillion acre area of New Mexico to fracking and oil drilling. This area contains the Chaco Canyon National Historic Park, which has the most dense and beautiful collection of Ancient Pueblo buildings in the American Southwest. The park was made to preserve one of the most exceptional and important pre-Columbian areas in the United States—the buildings in this area were the largest in North America until the 19th century.

The Chaco Canyon area contains many sites that remain sacred to the Hopi, Navajo, and Pueblo peoples. Chaco Canyon has been called “The American Cradle of Civilization” and consists of a series of villages interlinked by perfectly straight roadways. Many of the Great Houses and the roadways are aligned with either the north-south axis or east-west axis.

Not all of the Chaco Canyon buildings lie within the National Park. Around 35 of the Great Houses of the Pueblo people are located outside of the park and are in even more danger than the buildings inside it. These magnificent remnants of an ancient Native American culture could be lost forever if the land around them is opened up for fracking and oil drilling. In place of these remnants would be nothing but a desolate wasteland of industry and pollution. Please urge Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to use her authority to preserve one of America’s greatest vestiges of its Native past.


Dear Secretary Jewell,

Chaco Canyon National Historic Park is one of America’s most culturally, historically, and spiritually important Native American sites. By allowing oil and gas corporations to drill in this area, you are threatening this magnificent and sacred place. Chaco Canyon contains the largest concentration of ancient Native American buildings in the United States and is full of places holy to the Hopi, Navajo, and Pueblo peoples.

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chaco Canyon should be safe from the clutches of greedy corporations. With your authority as Secretary of the Interior, you can make sure that Chaco Canyon is preserved. Do not allow big oil companies to encroach on this unique and exceptional place and transform it into an industrial wasteland. Please stop the Bureau of Land Management from fracking Chaco Canyon and help us save this wonderful remnant of America’s Native past.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: QT Luong via Creative Commons

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  1. Stan Benton says:

    Isn’t it time we saved all American land from fracking?

    • Stan Benton, yes it is! Nothing good comes from fracking. It’s the worse thing the oil companies have come up with. And to do it on land that is so sacred to the American Indians is a crime. It’s bad enough that their treated like aliens in Their country ,but to invade their sacred places to drill is a real crime against humanity. The oil companies aren’t going to be happy until every corner in America is destroyed. And the fact that they refuse to let us know what their using to do this is all the more reason to see that it ends. Obama has turned into Sarah Palin with her “Drill, Baby, Drill”! What good has come out of it? A couple yrs. ago oil was our biggest export. He doesn’t even think about trying to give the American people a break at the gas pump. Prices have done nothing but climb since he’s been in office and that sure isn’t the Hope & Change I voted for. We might as well of elected Romney, we’re getting screwed just as bad by Obama. God forbid if Hillary gets elected as it will be more of the same!

      • lisa thompson says:

        Please stop with the political rhetoric. So sick of hearing partison arguments that have nothing to do with the matter at hand. Are you stupid enough to think the republicans are going to save the planet??? The repubs are for BIG OIL, dumb ass. Remember Bush? NEITHER PARTY IS GOING TO SAVE THIS PLANET. IT IS GOING TO BE CITIZENS FORCING THE GOVERNMENT TO DO WHAT IT IS,SUPPOSED TO. GET YOUR HEAD OUT of YOUR ASS.

  2. Jane Morrow says:

    World Heritage status means an area of cultural signficance to everyone in the world. Has the culture of the Native American people not been destroyed and disrespected enough already? I’m so sick of mining and drilling interests riding rough-shod over the things on this earth that really matter. Sadly it’s happening all over the world, even here in New Zealand. It’s a constant battle.

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