January 2013 Update

San Juan County has officially abandoned all efforts to improve the road into the park. The NEPA process has ended. While this is a victory for all of us who have devoted time and effort protecting Chaco, the action came in spite of the fact that the County had already agreed to a compromise. Their consultants (URS) had begun work on an Environmental Assessment that would have improved the road with gravel, but not chip seal. Surprisingly, San Juan County walked away from any improvements although they have long held they were concerned about the local Navajo and road safety. As the history below makes clear, the Chaco Alliance has never opposed improvements to the road as long as there was no paving. We continue to research why the County commissioners made the decision to give up. The Updates and links below document the long battle to stop the paving of the Chaco road. In particular, we thank the Hopi and the San Juan Citizens Alliance for their efforts in this regard, and we continue to work closely with both in the on-going effort to protect the park from encroaching oil and gas leasing.

Unfortunately, the General Management Plan Amendment EA referenced in the March 2012 Update has been approved despite lengthly written objections submitted by the Chaco Alliance and the San Juan Citizens Alliance. As is now clear, we correctly challenged the validity of the Purpose and Need for any amendment because the road was not going to be paved. In addition, we are not aware of any effort the park has made to deal with the eyesore created by the new water tank. We continue to work toward a resolution of this issue.
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