May 18 Farmington Mancos-Gallup Draft RMPA/EIS Virual Public Meeting

THERESA ANCELL: Goodmorning, everyone. Welcome to theVirtual public meeting for the Farmington Mancos-GallupResource Management Plan Amendment an EnvironmentalImpact Statement. My name is Theresa Ancell, andI will be your moderator today. Just a little bit about me. I was born and raisedin the Four Corners, and I work for a localenvironmental consulting firm, and have been doing work in theSan Juan basin for the past 17 years. We’ll go over somemeeting logistics here, in just a few minuteswhile we’re waiting for some participants to join. So at this time I will mutemyself, and stop my camera so that we can givefolks just a few more minutes to tojoin the meeting. Thank you. Good morning, everyone. We want to welcome you tothe virtual public meeting for the Farmington Mancos-GallupResource Management Plan Amendment and EnvironmentalImpact Statement.My name is Theresa Ancell, andI will be your moderator today. Just want to give you a littlebit of information about me. I was born and raised inthe Four Corners area, and I work for a localenvironmental consulting firm. And I’ve been doing work in theSan Juan basin for the past 17 years. We’ll go over somemeeting logistics while we wait for otherparticipants to join. We want to make sureeveryone has the opportunity to access the virtual platform,or call in on the phone. So you can jointhe online webinar from the Zoom application onyour computer, phone or tablet, using the log ininformation that was provided during registration.We also have a phone-in optionshould your computer, tablet, or phone not have thecapabilities to run the online Zoom application. The number for today’swebinar is 1-346-248-7799. And the password is9-5-9-3-3-2-3-6-3-2-0. Again, for a call in option thephone number is 1-346-248-7799. And the password is9-5-9-3-3-2-3-6-3-2-0. We’ll be repeatingthat information, and it is also displayedon your screen. If you registered online, youshould have a confirmation email that was provided to you. That also has the phone-inoption and information in it. If you registered usingour operator phone number, you’ll only have the optionto join on the phone. To have the best chanceat seeing and hearing the presentation, pleasedownload the Zoom application directly to your computer ifyou haven’t done so already, and use that insteadof the web browser. If you haven’t updated yourresume to version 5 or greater, I suggest you take thetime now, since it’ll be a few more minutesbefore we start the meeting. We’ll just give ita few more minutes here so that we can letthe individuals that are wanting to participate join. And we’ll start herein just a few minutes. Thank you. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to thevirtual public meeting for the Farmington Mancos-GallupResource Management Plan Amendment and EnvironmentalImpact Statement. My name is Theresa Ancell andI will be your moderator today. I’d like to take a moment andwe’ll come Jillian Aragon, she will be providingthe presentation today. Jillian? JILL ARAGON: Goodmorning, everyone. My name is Jillian Aragonand I am the Public Affairs Specialist for the Bureau ofLand Management Farmington District Office. We welcome and thank you forparticipating in the Farmington Mancos-Gallup ResourceManagement Plan Amendment and EnvironmentalImpact Statement virtual public meeting. For this presentation,we will refer to the project as the RMPA. The Bureau of LandManagement, BLM, and the Bureau ofIndian Affairs, BIA, appreciate you joining usvirtually as we navigate through these difficult times. Before we beginthe presentation, we would like totake this opportunity to go over somehousekeeping items to ensure that you are able to access theinformation we are providing today.The audience is joiningus today through a variety of different ways. Some are listening andviewing this online, others, joining by telephone. And some may be viewingthis presentation after the livesession has ended. During this presentation,all participants’ audio will be muted, with videostreaming turned off. Once the presentationis complete, we will begin the commentportion of this meeting. Additional instructionswill be given at that time.We want to inform you that thispresentation is being recorded, and will be madeavailable on the project’s e-planning website. Closed captioning is availablefor this presentation by clicking the CC button on theright hand corner of your Zoom screen. Transcripts of these commentswill be made available with the final RMPA EIS. If you are having technicalissues with the Zoom interface, you can let us knowthrough the QA chat box. You can do so by clicking the QAicon at the bottom of your Zoom window. We will also beusing the QA feature to address clarificationsabout the public meeting or draft RMPA EIS.More complex questionsabout the RMPA EIS should be submittedas formal comments. If it would be easier foryou to join by phone today, please use this phone number– 346-248-7799. You will be askedto use a webinar ID once you dial this number. The webinar ID fortoday’s session is 9-2-9-3-3-2-3-6-3-2-0. Additionally, thiswebinar presentation is being streamed live on BLMNew Mexico’s Facebook page. Those viewing thisfrom Facebook live need to know that any commentssubmitted via the Facebook live page are not consideredofficial comments on the draft RMPA.At the end of thispresentation, we will be providinginformation on how you can submit thosecomments as formal comments. Now we will hear fromthe BLM New Mexico State director, Tim Spisak, and theBIA Navajo regional director, Bart Stevens. TIM SPISAK: Good morning, andthank you for joining us today. My name is Tim Spisak,and I’m the State Director for the Bureau of LandManagement New Mexico. With me is BartStevens, the director of the Bureau of IndianAffairs Navajo Regional Office. The BIA has teamedup with the BLM as co-lead for this EIS process. Now the BLM and BIA welcome youto the Farmington Mancos-Gallup Resource ManagementPlan Amendment virtual public meeting. We understand theseconversations are often preferred to be done in person,but right now it is critical that we do our part to keepthe American public, and BLM, and BIA employeeshealthy and safe.It is also important,though, that we maintain a capable and functioninggovernment to the greatest extent possible Duringthe COVID-19 outbreak. To achieve this, BLM and BIAare using current technology, where possible, to moveforward with important projects like this Farmington RMPA. Thanks to all of you who havejoined us for this meeting online or by phone today. We appreciate yourinterest and input. I’ll now turn it overto director Stevens, who has also prepared someremarks for this presentation. THERESA ANCELL:Director Stevens, you need to un-muteyour microphone, sir. BART STEVENS: Thank you. Good morning, everyone. This is Bart Stevens,and I’m the director of the Bureau of IndianAffairs Gallup Regional Office. I, too, want to welcomeyou all, and thank you for joining us today forthese meetings that are very important to all of us. We’ve all had to adapt tocope with this pandemic, and our commitment toensuring the health and safety of the public is paramount. And we are alsodedicated to fulfilling section 106 of the NationalHistoric Preservation Act and ourgovernment-to-government consultation responsibilities.We will continue to beavailable to consult with tribes throughout the EIS process. We look forward toour continued work together throughoutthis process. So during this crisis,there are many out there that continue to reportfor work and to ensure that the rest of theworld is able to get the things that theyneed to get through this. And they have beenselflessly getting up every day to make surethat we have all the things that we need. For that, we want to thankthose individuals that are doing that, andeveryone else that is either essentialor nonessential, and has struggled throughoutthis process or this pandemic. So in moments of crisis,we look out for one another to guide us through oneof the darkest times and heal us througha long recovery. And they are risking their livesfighting on the front lines of this pandemic. And for that, I’m referringto the medical professionals. And for that, we wantto say thank you. At this time, I’d likeyou all to join me in a moment of silenceto acknowledge and honor our communities that areexperiencing hardships during these difficult times.We are now going toswitch off the audio for the moment of silence. Thank you. JILL ARAGON: Thank youagain for participating. We will now review theagenda for the meeting. We will begin witha presentation, and then we will acceptcomments from the public. The presentation willcover the EIS team, the purpose of the meeting, theNEPA process, and the project overview. We expect this presentation tolast approximately 25 minutes. I’m going to go over somemeeting logistics at this time. As a reminder, this meetingis currently being recorded and will be availableafter the meeting. A Navajo recording ofa newsletter describing the project and thisprocess is available, and can be found on theproject’s e-planning website.If you are on the computer,feel free to ask questions in the Zoom Q&A featureduring the presentation, where BLM and BIA specialists willbe working to respond to you. Due to time limitations,these questions will not be readduring the meeting. And we are askingparticipants to submit more complex questions asformal comments on the RMPA EIS. Please be courteousto other attendees by not spammingor using profanity when utilizing the QA chat box. The public commentportion of this meeting will begin afterthe presentation. At the close ofthe presentation, individuals that signedup during registration can provide their comments. Once everyone who has registeredhas been given the opportunity to say their comments,the line will be open to anyone elsewishing to provide a comment.We do havetranslators available, so feel free to make yourverbal comments in Navajo. We are here today to help orientyou in reviewing the document and provide you anopportunity to submit your verbal or written comments. The BLM and BIA have placedadditional meeting materials on the project’s e-planningwebsite for your review. Beyond these meetings,comments will also be accepted throughe-planning, or by mailing them to the Farmington fieldoffice, or to the BIA Navajo regional office.Now, on to thepresentation that will be facilitated by theBLM Farmington District Manager, Al Elser. AL ELSER: Good morning,and thank you, and hello to all of our participants. My name is Al Elser and I amthe BLM Farmington District Manager. Your participation inthis process is valued, and I appreciate youtaking the time out of your days to join us aswe look for innovative ways to continue ourmission while ensuring that our community remains safe. The BLM is preparing this draftEIS due to changing oil and gas development patterns inthe Mancos shale and Gallup sandstone, collectively knownas the Mancos-Gallup formations, including innovationsin horizontal drilling technology and multi-stagehydraulic fracturing. The BLM will use this EIS toconsider amending decisions in the 2003 RMP relatedto impacts of oil and gas development as wellas rights-of-way, lands with wildernesscharacteristics, and vegetation.It’s important to remember thatthe BLM’s 2003 RMP is still valid, and that thisamendment could provide the agency with additionalmanagement tools within the decision spacedefined for the draft RMPA EIS. The BIA does not currentlyhave an RMP for these lands, so they will be using thisEIS to evaluate alternatives and resource impacts relatedto its authority over mineral leasing and associatedactivity decisions within the planning area. The BLM and BIA are preparingthe draft EIS in accordance with the National EnvironmentalPolicy Act of 1969, NEPA, which requiresfederal agencies to assess the environmental effectsof proposed federal actions prior to making decisions. While preparing thisdocument under NEPA, the BLM and BIA wererequired to comply with all applicablefederal regulations. Examples include the EndangeredSpecies Act, National Historic Preservation Act, andthe Clean Water Act. Our project managersfor this project are Sarah Scott from the BLM,and Robert Begay from the BIA. We also have a team of resourcespecialists from both agencies, collectively known as theInterdisciplinary Team. This team assisted in thedevelopment of the draft environmental impactstatement, or EIS, and they are joining us todayto help provide clarifications to the draft. They will be doing sothrough the Zoom Q&A function noted previously.This draft EIS wasdeveloped based on input from agency staff,cooperating agencies, and the comments we receivedduring our public scoping process. There are 23 cooperatingagencies in total, including federal, state,and local governments, tribes and pueblos, and NavajoNation chapter houses. This slide provides anoverview of the NEPA process. The first step is to publishthe notice of intent for the EIS in the Federal Register. For this EIS, the BLM publisheda notice of intent in 2014. After the publicationof the notice of intent, the BLM conducted publicand internal scoping to identify issues, provideresource and other information, and develop planning criteria toguide preparation of the draft document. In 2016, after theBIA joined as co-lead, another notice of intentwas published in the Federal Register, followed byan additional round of public scoping. After the completion ofscoping, the agencies began preparing the draft EIS. Scoping input from thepublic and ongoing work with cooperating agencies,resource specialists, and other stakeholders,help the BLM to develop a rangeof alternatives and establish a frameworkfor our analysis.The notice of availabilityfor the draft EIS was published inthe Federal Register on February 28 of this year. This began the 90-day publicreview and comment period, and is the step we are currentlyon for the NEPA process. The agencies will be acceptingcomments on this document through May 28. After the 90-daypublic review period, the BLM and BIA will review thecomments that were submitted and begin to incorporatethem into the final EIS document as appropriate.Once the final EIS documentdevelopment is complete, we will publish anotice of availability announcing the finalEIS, which will begin the 30-daypublic protest period. The draft can be found onlineat ww.BLM.gov/NM/Farmington. Hard copies havebeen distributed throughout northwest New Mexico. Please contact usand we can direct you to the nearest location. There are four volumesto the draft EIS. Volume 1 containsthe draft itself. It introduces the project andexplains the purpose and need. It also describesthe alternatives, the effected environment,and the consequences of each alternative. The executive summaryin this volume will give you a brief overviewof the purpose of the project and what to expect tofind within the document.Tables 2.2 and 2.3 offer alook at the specific range of alternatives for whichresource management updates are being considered. Volume 2 includes aseries of appendices with a variety ofsupporting information including maps and figures. And volumes 3 and 4 aresupplemental reports that describe in more detailthe affected environment and the environmentalconsequences of each alternative. The map that you are seeingnow is the state of New Mexico. Highlighted on this map, in thenorthwest corner of the state, are the lands referredto as the planning area. As we zoom into thatportion of the state, we are showing theplanning area that is being covered by BLM’s analysis.The boundaries of this areaexpand from the Colorado-New Mexico boundary to the north,down the south near the Becenti and Pueblo PintadoChapter House areas, and from the area known asthe Hogback to the west, reaching to the eastern edgeof the Jicarilla Apache Nation border. The planning area includes SanJuan, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and McKinley counties, coveringalmost 4.2 million acres, with the BLM and BIA responsiblefor managing approximately half of those acres. However, the decisionarea, or those lands that are affected by thisRMPA, is much more focused and does not include all landswithin the planning area. The map is now showing the BLM’sdecision area for the RMPA EIS effort.Only the areas inyellow on this map are subject to the updatedmanagement prescriptions being considered in the document. Existing leases willcontinue to operate under their currentterms and are subject to the decisionsoutlined in the BLM 2003 RMP. Once the final decisionon this document is made, any new lease issued wouldbe subject to the land use allocations and managementdecisions of the RMPA EIS. Next we’ll showBIA’s decision area. Similar to the BLM,only the areas shown in brown on this map aresubject to the considerations in the document. We will now merge the twomaps to show the decision area for both agencies. As you can see, the agenciesare working together to manage a complex,overlapping landscape. The alternatives thatthe BLM and BIA developed offer a range of possiblemanagement approaches for the decision area. We have each identifiedfive alternatives, including eight BLM sub-alternatives,that would apply specifically to fluid mineralleasing management around the boundary of ChacoCulture National Historic Park. The draft EIS presentsthe varying degrees to which resourcescould be impacted under each alternative. This will be dependent onthe theme of the alternative, the nature of the resource,location of the resource, and the proposed action,and other factors. While each agency developedits own range of alternatives, the general themes of eachwere similar across agencies.The no-actionalternative consists of continuing current managementoutlined in the 2003 RMP. Alternative A emphasizesnatural ecosystems. Alternative B places anemphasis on Chacoan and cultural landscapes. Alternative Cemphasizes land health and traditional andcultural life ways. And finally, AlternativeD places an emphasis on maximizing resourceproduction while minimizing impacts to surrounding areas. The BLM and BIA are responsiblefor signing their own record of decision for thisproject, and both agencies are recommending AlternativeC as a preferred alternative. The goal behind the agenciesidentifying a preferred alternative at this pointis to get the public to provide morefocused comments. It is important to understandthat even though the agencies have both indicated apreferred alternative, they are not obligated norrequired to select Alternative C for their final decisions. They may selectanother alternative, or the final decisionmay include components of each alternative, providedthe impacts of the management tools are consistent. In accordance with NEPA, thenext step in this process will be to reviewthe comments we receive during thispublic review period and prepare the final EIS. A notice of availability will bepublished when the final EIS is ready for public review. This will begin the30-day public protest period for the plan. Upon completion of theprotest resolutions, the agencies willprepare and sign their own records of decisionfor the approved RMPA. The BLM and BIA will each signtheir own records of decision for this process. Once signed, theupdated management tools would become availablefor use by the agencies. Our goal is to signthese records of decision in early 2021. This wraps up the presentationphase of this meeting and we will now be shiftinginto the public comment portion. I’m going to transition backto Jill so that she can provide you with further instructions. Thank you. JILL ARAGON: As Alstated, we will now begin the public commentportion of this session. If you have not had theopportunity to review the draft EIS, you can find the documenton BLM’s e-planning website where you can alsoprovide comments.The comments youprovide on the draft EIS can assist theagencies in ensuring that we have completeda thorough analysis so that we are prepared tomake an informed decision. Substantive, specificcomments are the most useful for this process. These comments couldinclude new information about the proposed action,alternatives or analysis, identify factual correctionsor flaws in the analysis, or provide information ondifferent sources of research that could betterinform the analysis. Examples of comments that arenot substantive and may not help us change the draft EISwould include the following. Those in favor of or against theproposed action or alternatives without providing any rationale.Agreeing or disagreeing withagency policy or decisions without justificationor supporting data. Not being relevantto the decision area or proposedmanagement decisions. Or vague, oropen-ended questions. Here are someexamples of comments. A poor example might be,this document is terrible and I am against it. A better comment could be,this document is terrible, and that you do not adequatelyaddress x impacts that this may have on x resources. The best type of commentthat you can provide to us is, this document is terrible,and that you do not adequately address x impacts that thismay have on x resources. I’m attaching theresults of studies that were conducted for your review. As we are shifting intothe comments session, a comment moderatorwill be assisting by announcing speakers andensuring that the phone line is un-muted for commenting. We will be takingcomments in the order that requests were receivedduring registration. Online registrants first,and then phone registrants.When it is your turn tocomment, the moderator will announce you by thename you registered under. If you are on theweb application, when you hear your name, pleaseuse the “raise hand” feature so themoderator knows you are available and readyto offer your comment. For commenters that arejoining us by phone, the moderator will identifyyou by the last four digits of your phone number. When you hear your phone number,press star 9 and the moderator will un-mute your line. Once all registeredcomments have been given, and if time allows,we will open the floor to anyone wishing toprovide additional comments. We will offer this tocallers on the phone first, and then offer tothose joining by Zoom. If a person is cut off, ordoes not get an opportunity to comment, they’re welcometo submit their comment via the means on this screen. This informationwill also be provided at the end of this meeting. To ensure that we are able toreceive as many comments as possible, we are limiting eachcommenter to three minutes.After three minutesare complete, the commenter’smicrophone will be muted and we will moveto the next person. If anyone is speakingin their capacity as a government official, or hasbeen asked to provide comments on behalf of agovernment official, we ask that they please let usknow when they start speaking so we can make note of that. We will initially provideeveryone three minutes of time each, but there maybe additional time at the end of themeeting to return to you for additional comments.The agencies will do theirbest to provide additional time for government officials. We want to remind commentersthat they are being recorded, and to please becourteous to the audience by not using profanity whileproviding your remarks. We ask that once it is your turnto speak and your line is open, to please state bothyour first and last name, and then spell them for us. We would also liketo remind commenters that the BLM and the BIA arehere to take your comments. However, we will notbe responding to them at this time.Responses to commentswill be included in the commentreport that will be published with the final EIS. As a reminder, we do have50 resource specialists available to respond toquestions that are submitted to the QA chat box. Theresa will now welcomeour first commenter. THERESA ANCELL: Thank you, Jill. At this time, I’m going to calloff the next three speakers so that that will giveeveryone the opportunity to raise their hand. And when I say,raise your hand, what I mean is, if you’re on thephone, you can use the star 9. You can use star 9, andthat will raise your hand to where we can see that you’reavailable for your comment. If you’re on thecomputer, again, you’d navigate down to the”participants” tab, click on it, and there youshould see the “raise hand” feature there. Our next three commenters areRebecca Sobel, Thomas Cassidy, and Donna Knapp.So first off, wehave Rebecca Sobel. Rebecca, you should beable to test your audio. REBECCA SOBEL: Can you hear me? THERESA ANCELL: I can hear you. Thank you. REBECCA SOBEL: Great. Thanks, Theresa. Can I first ask if there’sanybody representing any public or tribal officialsthat wants to speak before me? THERESA ANCELL: Absolutely. Do we have anyone on the phone? You can raise your hand ifyou’re a representative, tribal or government representative. Hey, Rebecca, I don’t seeanyone raising their hand. And based on the registrantlist of commenters, I don’t see anyone. But if there’s anybody on thephone or on the application itself, please feel free toraise your hand right now and Rebecca would liketo offer her spot. Well thanks, Rebecca. I’m not seeing anyonethat would like to take the opportunity right now. REBECCA SOBEL: All right. Sure. Can you still hear me? THERESA ANCELL: I canhear you well, thank you. REBECCA SOBEL: My nameis Rebecca Sobel– R-E-B-E-C-C-A,S-O-B-E-L. All right. I am a senior climateand energy campaigner for Wild Earth Guardians. I’m based in SantaFe, New Mexico, and I am privilegedenough to have access to broadband, to be ableto attend these meetings. This is the fifth virtualmeeting that I have attended, which means I’ve been toevery single one of them. And I can say that not asingle person has commended BLM and BIA for this process. In fact, I believeevery single person has condemned this process. So I am shockedand appalled when I read comments thatsays BLM is pleased with the results ofthese virtual meetings. I am one of thosepeople that have read the definitions ofenvironmental racism, environmental justice,the United Nations Declarations of the Rights ofIndigenous People Article 32, the Rights of Free, Priorand Informed consent, and decried BLM’s woefullyinadequate attention to this process.This drilling plan is alreadyoffensive to communities, and the process meant toengage quote “focused comments” deliberately excludesand alienates those. And nobody– I mean,I’ve heard a dozen and a half peoplesay that they’re giving comments under protest. So the fact thatBLM can use a double speak to pretend thatthese meetings are a success is not onlyinsensitive, it’s deplorable. And I feel compassionfor those that are trying to facilitatethese meetings online, but people have been playingsongs literally titled, We’re Not Going to Take It,and BLM says this is a success. This plan is bullshit. This process is bullshit. And I I’m sorry forall of those that have to listen to deadair, and I hope, I mean, that the BLM would extend thisprocess is the minimum request. But to move forwardwith this sham and pretend that we’repleased with this, that’s demonstrative of the fact thatthere are no real decision makers paying any attentionto these phone calls.I cede the rest of my time. THERESA ANCELL:Thank you, Rebecca. Thank you, Rebecca. We will now move onto Thomas Cassidy. After Thomas, Donna Knappand then Alison Kelly. Thomas, if you’re available,please raise your hand by hitting the star 9, orhitting the “participants” tab and the “raise hand” icon. Thomas Cassidy. TOM CASSIDY: Thank you. THERESA ANCELL: Are you Thomas? TOM CASSIDY: Shall I start? THERESA ANCELL: Yeah. If you don’t mind just statingyour name again, and spelling it for the audienceon the phone, that would be really great. And then your3-minute timer will start once you’ve done that. Thank you. TOM CASSIDY: So I am TomCassidy, T-O-M, C-A-S-S-I-D-Y. So I am the Vice President– shall I begin? I am the Vice Presidentof Government Relations for the National Trustof Historic Preservation. The National Trustis a privately funded non-profit organizationchartered by Congress in 1949 to involve the public inhistoric preservation. We have a long interest, andwork in this area of Chaco. We provided commentson the RMP Amendment both in 2014 and 2016. We are also participatingas a consulting party under section 106 of theNational Historic Preservation Act.We have provided grantsfor study in the area, including a LIDAR survey, avideo documentary of Chaco roads, and recent grants forethnographic study involving the Pueblos of Acomaand Zuni Pueblo. Plainly, we are in a stateof national emergency. And while the National Trustis able to, and appreciates the opportunity to come invirtually during this time when in-person meetings are notpossible, many parties– especially Pueblosand tribal members– do not have the abilityor capacity now, to participate in this process. We strongly believe thiscomment period should be extended by atleast 120 days, and any decisionsdelayed until the public has had adequate opportunity. We made this ask formallyin a March 27 letter that was signed by my organizationand numerous other preservation and conservation groups. The New MexicoCongressional Delegation has requested this120-day extension. The state of New Mexico Energy,Minerals, and Natural Resources Department has madesuch a request, and the All PuebloCouncil of governors requested that same periodof time for a delay.Furthermore, it’s clear BLMneeds additional information on cultural resourcesin the planning area. Congress recentlyprovided $1 million for a culturalresources investigation to identify culturally andhistoric significant areas within the Chacoregion, and directed BLM to not offer oil and gasleasing on federal lands within the proposed withdrawalarea around the park until that is completed. THERESA ANCELL: 40 seconds. TOM CASSIDY:Finally, to be clear, none of the alternativesconsidered in the BLM are what we would have drafted. But of the alternativesBLM has considered, we would recommend AlternativeB as the most appropriate. It would prevent oiland gas development within the 10-mile protectionarea around the park as is set forth in legislationthat has passed the House and is now pendingin the Senate. Thank you. THERESA ANCELL: Thank you verymuch for your comment, Tom. We will now list thenext three in line. Donna Knapp, Alison Kelly,and Karen Nakakihara. Again, please hit the star9 if you’re on the phone. And if you’re online, you canhit the “participants” tab and the “raise hand” icon. Donna Knapp, Alison Kelly,and Karen Nakakihara.Excuse me. OK. I’m not seeing Donna,however I see Kelly– I mean Alison Kelly. So Alison Kelly shouldbe next in line. If you want to ask verynicely if we could avoid using any profanities please. Thank you so much. Alison should be– ALISON KELLY: This is Alison. Can you hear me? And no, I’m not using profanity. So don’t worry. THERESA ANCELL: I didn’t– that wasn’t directed at you. I’m sorry. ALISON KELLY: I’m anadult. I’m a professional. My name is Alison Kelly– A-L-I-S-O-N, K-E-L-L-Y, andI’m a senior attorney with the Natural ResourcesDefense Council.Can you hear me OK? I’m assuming yes. Despite– THERESA ANCELL: Yes. ALISON KELLY: –thereaching implications of this plan amendment forgreater Chaco over the next two decades, BLM has so far refusedto extend the public comment period to ensure that everyoneaffected can participate. Since BLM released the RMPA,Native Americans, including All Pueblo Council of Governors,in addition to the New Mexico Delegation, conservationorganizations, among others, have urged BLM to extendthe public comment period due to theCOVID-19 global pandemic. Communities in greaterChaco are suffering due to the COVID crisis. In fact, the highest numberof cases in New Mexico are located in the northernpart of the planning area, near population centerslike Farmington.Native Americans, inparticular, are experiencing unusually large numbersof COVID cases, which highlights the urgent need toextend the May 20th comment period to ensure that everyaffected person’s voice can be heard. Those lacking the resourcesto submit comments online may be unable toparticipate at all. Most notably, inthe plan amendment BLM defers analysis of thelevel and intensity of impacts on nearby environmentaljustice populations to future permittingdecisions, citing insufficient information. Impacts on these populationsinclude long-term impacts on visual setting, increasednoise, vehicle traffic, exposure to hazardous materials,and adverse health effects from poor air quality.This virtual meetingand the failure to extend the publiccomment period are stark examples ofthe complete failure to considerenvironmental justice. Despite the region’scultural and archaeological significance, around90% of its lands have already been leasedfor oil and gas drilling. There are already1 million acres of land open, 37,000 wells. Nonetheless, exploration,development, leasing would continue underthe planned amendment– over 3,000 new wellsin the planning area, 18 hundreds of those BLM. BLM concedes thathydraulic fracturing with horizontaldrilling technologies may result in different impactsthan those anticipated in 2003. This RMPA wassupposed to disclose the impacts of drillinghorizontal drilling and fracking to the publicand address tribal concerns, but it is deficientin several ways. First, the preferredalternative fails to permanently protect landsaround Chaco Cultural National Historical Park consistentwith the Cultural Heritage Area Protection Actpassed by the House and awaiting actionby the Senate.Second, BLM’spreferred alternative is over a systemproposed alternative that included a suiteof measures designed to maximize protectionof the landscape in nearby communities. Third, BLM’s acknowledgmentthat plan amendment will affect climate. It still fails todisclose to the public the cumulative impacts ofgreenhouse gas emissions and their significancefor the climate. It also refuses to useavailable tools to do so, such as the social costof carbon, in particular. While touting the benefitsof this plan to the economy, it fails to disclose the costs. Additionally, there arepublic health and safety risks that would increasefrom current levels, despite the COVID crisis. Based on the foregoing, weask that BLM withdraw the plan amendment and prepare a planthat adequately addresses tribal and public health, airand water quality, climate, wilderness area concerns,after the COVID pandemic is behind us.Thank you. THERESA ANCELL: Thankyou very much, Alison. We appreciate your comments. At this time, I’ll list thenext three that we have on deck. Karen Nakakihara, KendraPinto, Michael Casaus. Karen, are you available? Star 9 on your phone, orthe “participants” tab, click on it, and there’sa “raised hand” icon. There we have Karen. You may have to un-muteit on your side, Karen. It shows you havethe microphone. Karen, you may have to go toyour app and click on it again, and it should giveyou a notification to enable speaking. We lost– try raisingyour hand again, Karen. ART: We may have just lost her. So hopefully, she’llcome back and join us. THERESA ANCELL: Yeah. I don’t see her on the list. ART: We’ll help her walkthrough that process to un-mute her microphone, OK? THERESA ANCELL:That sounds great. Thanks, Art. OK. While we wait for Karen, we haveKendra Pinto, Michael Casaus and Shaina Oliver up next. Kendra? Kendra Pinto? If you’re on the phoneKendra, you can hit star 9. Or you can hit the”raise hand” feature on your Zoom application. I don’t see Kendra in our list. So star 9 on your phone, Kendra. OK. It doesn’t look likeKendra’s on yet, so we will go onto Michael Casaus. Michael, are you on? I’m not seeing Michael. I am getting a message– ART: No, Michael is there. MICHAEL CASAUS: Hi,can you hear me? ART: Yeah, Michael’s there. THERESA ANCELL: Oh, there we go. Thanks, Michael. If you could just state yourname and spell it, please. And then after you’redone with that, your time of threeminutes will begin.MICHAEL CASAUS: Thank you. Good morning, my nameis Michael Casaus– M-I-C-H-A-E-L, C-A-S-A-U-S.And I am the New Mexico State Director for theWilderness Society, whose mission is to unitepeople to protect America’s wild places. Today, the Wilderness Societyhas over one million members and supporters fromacross the country. It’s outrageous for the BLM toconduct these virtual meetings at a time when NewMexicans are focused on keeping their families safe. Tribal nations shouldnot have to defend their ancestral homeland duringan unprecedented pandemic. While local communitiesand tribal governments are focused on humanhealth and safety, the BLM is shamefullyrushing forward with a plan forenergy dominance that will result in morehealth and climate impacts for vulnerable communities. The BLM must extendthe comment period at least until the threatfrom COVID-19 has subsided. I am joining herefrom Albuquerque, where me and my familyare, fortunately, healthy, we’re able to staysafe, and importantly for this particularsituation, I have access to broadband internet.Regrettably, some of the mostdirectly affected communities– the Navajo Nationand the Pueblos– disproportionately lackinternet connectivity and have been hit extremelyhard by the COVID-19 pandemic. And therefore, are mostlikely unable to join. Considering these circumstances,these virtual meetings should not be happening. On March 27th, theWilderness Society and several otherconservation organizations sent a letter toSecretary Bernhardt requesting an extensionto the comment period due to the pandemic. We have yet toreceive a response.In fact, nobody that Iknow of that has formally requested that thecomment period be extended has received a response. Not the All PuebloCouncil of Governors, not the numerousindividual Pueblos who’ve sent letters, not theState of New Mexico’s Energy, Minerals and NaturalResources Department, not even our entire NewMexico Congressional delegation who sent theirletter to Secretary Bernhardt on March 20th. That’s nearly two monthsago with no response. This is not acceptable. Since the first virtualmeeting last Thursday, I have heard reports ofpeople unable to provide public comment. There have been dropped callsdue to poor cell phone service. There have been numeroustechnical difficulties, including difficultiesin un-muting commenters. Several people that I know wereunable to get on to the meeting despite pre-registeringbecause there were issues with log-in credentials.And we’ve already seentoday, problems with people being unable toun-mute themselves. THERESA ANCELL: 20 seconds. MICHAEL CASAUS: Theonly way to ensure public engagementand a genuine process is to extend, or suspend, thepublic comment period until it is once again safefor in-person meetings and the federal, state,and local authorities lift restrictions aroundpublic gatherings and social distancing toallow for in-person meetings. Thank you. THERESA ANCELL: Thank youfor your comment, Michael.We appreciate your feedback. After Michael, wehave Shaina Oliver. Shane Oliver, then PamelaGilchrist and Hannah Millsap. OK, it looks like we havea person on the phone with their hand raised. SHAINA OLIVER: Hi,I’m Shaina Oliver. THERESA ANCELL: Hi, Shaina. Perfect, thank you. We can hear you. If you could pleasestate your name and spell it for theaudience, and then you can start your comment. SHAINA OLIVER:S-H-A-I-N-A, Shaina. And then Oliver,O-L-I-V-E-R. Good morning. My name is Shaina Oliver,I am a tribal affiliate of the Navajo Nation. I’m a mother of four children. I am a descendant ofthe genocide, known as the Long Walk of the Navajo. And the BIA andthe BLM have always stated they are helpingthe tribal nations, but never educate thetribes of the truth of environmental impactson water infrastructure, quality of air, and thedegradation of soil. So are these industriesever able to restore the damage contributed bycoal, uranium, oil and gas? This industry andthese agencies need to ensure the repayment ofdamages on tribal lands, and invest in restoringour groundwater, soil, and air quality. My family’s historyof displacement has not just started, buthas started back in 1598 after the foundation ofthe colony of New Mexico. A year after Don Juan de Onateattacked the Acoma Pueblo people, killing over 800men, women, and children, forcing Acoma peopleto flee north. Then in 1864, our ancestorswere forced at gunpoint by American soldiers to leavetheir lands between the four sacred mountains and walkto Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Many died, andindigenous people have a long history of injusticesthat still persist today. Navajo reservationshave long been targeted by polluting industriesfor extraction of coal, oil, uranium, and natural gas, now. This environmental injustice,coupled with weak air pollution protections, violates theNavajo community’s right to clean air, water, and land. Indigenous people have some ofthe highest rates in asthma, diabetes, cancer, heart disease,leukemia, mental illness, adverse birth outcomes,and premature deaths than the general population.I was born on theNavajo reservation prematurely, low birth weight,and with a birth defect. And I’ve been diagnosedwith asthma since infancy. Scientists haveknown for decades that air pollution is harmfulto the respiratory system and reduces our body’sability to fight infection. Even though recent studies byHarvard University found that exposure to air pollution isassociated with increased risk of death from COVID-19, we areseeing the inequity playing out with the coronavirus in ourstate, in our community’s– THERESA ANCELL: 10 seconds.SHAINA OLIVER:–people of color. So I am demanding that, as atribal member of the Navajo Nation, that you extendthe comment period and actually serve to protectthe land and communities, and not earth-destroyingindustries. And the fact that ourchildren deserve better than that you are providing. Thank you. THERESA ANCELL:Thank you very much. We appreciate your comment. After Shaina, we have Pamela. Pamela Gilchrist,Hannah Millsap, and Brandon Velivis Pamela? Maybe on the phone. Let’s see here, just a moment. OK. Our phone caller with the last– oh, I think that was thelady we just heard from.I’m sorry. OK. Do we have Pamela? Pamela Gilchristand Hannah Millsap? There’s Pamela. Pamela, you shouldnow have the ability to click on your Zoomapp and it should let you un-mute your microphone. ART: Yeah. Pamela, I saw itun-mute briefly. So if I don’t know if you’reon a phone, or a tablet, or if you’re on acomputer, but there should be a microphoneicon that you can find, and then just press it once. And then thatshould un-mute you.We see that you have amicrophone right now, we just need to find out– we just need to haveyou un-mute that for us. And if you touchyour device, you should see it appear whereyou could then un-mute it. And it looks likemaybe we lost Pamela. Oh no, she’s right there. So Pamela, we’ll try to allowyou to talk one more time here. And let’s see. She’s down on the list. No, I don’t I we haveher on anymore, Theresa, so we might need to move on, OK. THERESA ANCELL: Thanks, Art. She did submit her commentin the Q&A, just now. ART: OK. Understood. THERESA ANCELL: Perfect. Thank you so much. Next on board, we have HannahMillsap, Brandon Velivis, and Felina Romero. Hannah, if you’re on thephone you can hit the star 9.Oh, we have Hannah. Hannah, welcome. HANNAH MILlSAP: Thank you. My name’s Hannah Millsap, that’sH-A-N-N-A-H, M-I-L-L-S-A-P. And I’m here as a concernedcitizen of the Four Corners region commenting under protest. First off, I’d like to thank themoderators and those at the BLM and BIA who are still workinghard to do something to include the public in the process. I know there are alot of good people with good heartsin both agencies that genuinely try to do rightby the people who own land. That being said, Ido find it appalling that this projectis being put forward in the midst of aglobal pandemic. I understand very wellthat in government work, things have to gothrough a lot of channels and change is slow to happen. But given thecircumstances, it is disturbing to continuepushing this project forward while the communitiesthat will be affected most are literally fightingfor their lives. It is vile to put triballeaders in a situation where they must choosebetween fighting for their sacredspaces and fighting for the survivalof their people, especially when it iswell-known that they are one of the hardest hitcommunities in the nation.Our country has a very poor,and bloody track record of interacting withits native people. Even just by allowing thisprocess to continue virtually is a travesty. As many people have mentionedin previous meetings, a lot of our tribal neighborshave disproportionate access to the technology needed tocontinue their participation in this process. If you truly value our voices,you must listen to us now. Please put this on pause andextend the public comment period until afterthe pandemic subsides. Otherwise, you are affirming thesuspicion that you have already made up your minds, andthis appeal to the public is nothing but afarce designed to make us feel like we have a sayin how our public land is used when we do not. Beyond that, why are we soeager to see more countless pump jacks invade ourbeautiful homes? Are we really readyto embrace a future where we have to equipourselves with H2S monitors to be able to go outsideand enjoy our public lands without fear of actual death? If new wells are drilledwithin a mile of Chaco Park, this will be a seriousthreat to public health, as wells are known to releasethe extremely toxic hydrogen sulfide gas.Are you prepared to beresponsible for the poisoning of the preciouswater supply that give life to thegreat Navajo Nation and allows them tocontinue to occupy their ancestral homeland? Because I’m not. The people of thiscountry are remembering that our voices carry powerand when joined together. I implore BLM leadershipand project managers to think long and hardabout what side of history you want to be on, anduse the power that you have been given for the goodof the people you represent. Thank you. THERESA ANCELL: Thank youfor your comment, Hannah. We appreciate your feedback. After Hannah, we have Brandon. Brandon Velivis, if you canraise your hand on your device. Hi, Brandon. You should be able to speak now. BRANDON VELIVIS: Goodmorning, Theresa. Hi. THERESA ANCELL: Good morning. BRANDON VELIVIS: My nameis Brandon Velivis– B-R-A-N-D-O-N, V as in Victor, Eas in echo, L-I-V as in Victor, I, S as in Sam.And I am the Communityand Economic Development Advisor for Ojo Encino Chapter. These comments are on behalfof Ojo Encino Chapter. My other title as of probablythe end of March, early April, is the Section’s Planning Chieffor the Ojo Encino Chapter’s Incident Command System. As some of thefederal employees know who have had to go throughyour FEMA training, when an emergencyhits you have– generally speaking, an instantcommand system is established. As of March 13th, both theUnited States Government and the Navajo NationGovernment declared emergencies due to the pandemic.The state of NewMexico, I believe, actually issued one March 11th. So the comments thatare being made here are going to revolve more aroundthe process and its legitimacy, as opposed to substansivecomments regarding directly the RMPA. During these situations,leadership and character are incredibly important. And I have to ask thehead leadership who spoke in the beginninghere if they actually believe that thisprocess is a good process to be continuing forward. I’m asking this personally,but also Ojo Encino Chapter is asking this as anentity as well, too– both the BLM and the BIA.We have a hard timeunderstanding the logic, especially from theBIA’s perspective, on how this processcan continue. From the BIA’s openingsalvo from Mr. Stevens, believing in the healthand safety of the public is paramount. However, currently,at this very moment, you are divertingnecessary resources that should be allocated towards thispandemic towards this process which has been delayedfor years and years, and now all of a sudden hasto be urgently concluded. Not quite sure if thelogic is holding through. I believe that Mr.Stevens does believe in the health andsafety of the public, and of the tribal communities,and in certain, the Navajo Nation itself. However, that is notlogically following through to policy actions that theBIA seems to be taking along with the BLM. So the question is, how isthe BIA, at this moment– THERESA ANCELL: 30 seconds. BRANDON VELIVIS: [INAUDIBLE]out for the tribe.I’m sorry, as OjoEncino Chapter, and we’ve nowdiverted resources, I’m going to take a coupleextra minutes here because I am representing the interestsof the Chapter itself, and of the broader community. We had a moment ofsilence, now the question is, can we have amoment of pause? We need time to be able toadapt to what is going on. Counselor Chapter neighborsare being hit incredibly hard. This exploitativepattern has to change when it comes down to it. THERESA ANCELL: Brandon? I’m sorry to interruptyou, Brandon. We will be able tocome back to you, sir. We have directions that wehave to limit it at 3 minutes. We’re extending the governmentextension of the time, but we only have afew more commentors so you will be able to come backand provide as many comments as you’d like. Thanks Brandon. OK. Next up, we have FelinaRomero, Stephen Platt, and Loreen Rafael. Felina? Here we are, Felina. FELINA ROMERO: It’s FelinaRomero, F-E-L-I-N-A, R-O-M-E-R-O. So I had recentlyseen a video of a farmer who lives in Pennsylvania, and hesaid that 10 of his cattle have died because ofthe poisoned water.People in the statehad actually turned on their faucet, and their– I literally seen theirwater turn on fire. And we do not need to have thistype of impact in New Mexico. That’s very devastatingand very scary to see water literallybeing lit on fire. I want to also bring upwhat this guy had said. When you put pressure alongwith the lubrication inside, under the ground, that providesdisruption under the surface. So when you put thepressure, it literally– [REVERBERATION] oh, sorry. My computer went off. When you put the pressure, itliterally messes up the form below the surface. And along with that, youguys also place lubrication, so you basically pollute justso it could basically sink. So that’s– well, not sink,but it’s how the sinkholes and the earthquakescontinue to happen, because you guys disruptthe underground surface. We need to leavethe surface alone, and it should not betouched or messed with. And this is a formof genocide itself. Like I’ve been saying, back inthe day when Hitler had placed the Jews in the gaschambers, he was doing that to annihilatethe race, a form of genocide itself.And you guys are placingthese oil gas chambers in front of thesepeople’s homes, which is providinggenocide itself. Like my sister hadsaid earlier, she was born with a birth defectand premature weight loss. This could have been her. She could havebeen a miscarriage because of what you’vedone in the past and what you guyswant to do now. It is a form of genocideitself, and you guys need to stop poisoning peopleand transition this dependency on this fossil fuel. You guys are stealing thisoff to another country just so they can putit in their cars, despite what’shappening to the people. It’s time to put people’slives over the profit of these industries. THERESA ANCELL: 30 seconds. FELINA ROMERO: Howwe all wake up.Because it is timefor us all to wake up. We don’t want to takethis waste any more, as you’ve been hearing. You guys are literally creatinga new form of genocide itself. Have you heard the reactions? Have you seen whathappens to people who are born in poisonous water? I mean, who were heldin poisonous water inside their wombs? They’re affected.THERESA ANCELL:Thank you, Felina. FELINA ROMERO: Thank you. THERESA ANCELL: We appreciateyour feedback, Felina. Up next, we have Stephen Platt. After Stephen, we’ll haveLoreen Rafael, John Blue Eyes, and Jeremy Nichols. OK. Stephen, if you’reavailable you can hit star 9 to join, or toraise your hand on the phone. There’s Stephen. Good morning, Stephen. You may have to un-muteit on your side. STEPHEN PLATT: OK. How’s that? Yes sir we can hear you now. Thank you. STEPHEN PLATT: Canyou hear me now? THERESA ANCELL: Wecan hear you, sir. That sounds great. If you could state your nameand spell it for the audience. And then after that, yourthree minutes will begin. Thank you. STEPHEN PLATT: Canyou hear me now? THERESA ANCELL: I can hear you. STEPHEN PLATT: I’mnot sure if I’m on. THERESA ANCELL:Yes sir, you’re on. Can you hear me Stephen? STEPHEN PLATT: Try that. Here we go? THERESA ANCELL: Yes, sir. I can hear you. STEPHEN PLATT: Hello? THERESA ANCELL: Hello, Steven.You should be able to– STEPHEN PLATT: OK, hi. I’m a Midwesterner, Ilive in St. Louis area. What I want to say hasto do with, probably, the more important, which isprotecting national treasure. I’d like to offerthe idea that if we were about to be drilling inaround the Washington Monument would crumble, Mt. Rushmore could crumble. None of that wouldbe considered OK. I’ve been to Chaco twice. I’ve sat in Pueblo Ganado, I’vehiked above the canyon wall. And this is a very specialplace and can never, ever be reconstructed or replaced. We could rebuild Washingtonmonument, or even Mount Rushmore, but youcan not replace, ever, what is an Chaco Canyon. This is a very important andsacred place to the Nations, to our Indian Nations that werehere, and developed this land, and were the forerunners ofwhat was to become America. I am a business man, retired. The products I helped producehave sold billions of dollars, so I do understand theimplication of business, of the need for energy. But I would like to offer,when we start running out– truly running out of energy– then we should think about– and if we are desperate,we’d think about areas that we have protectedfor all these years.But I don’t foresee thatas coming for centuries. So I would like to simplyoffer my heartfelt condolences to the Pueblo Nations whohave withstood the onslaught of commercial needs. They have every same rightas every other American, as I do sittinghere in St. Louis, and we need to honor that. We need to support that. There is plenty of oiland gas to be found, and minerals, besides in thatFour Corners area and the Chaco Canyon area. THERESA ANCELL: 30 seconds. STEPHEN PLATT: Forthose of you that would like to see a symphonywith videos dedicated to Chaco, to understandand learn more about it’s important andsacred, you can go to YouTube and look at Symphony Chaco,a Journey of the Spirit, by Gary Gackstatter. Symphony Chaco, aJourney of the Spirit, and you will be really blessed. Let’s do this the right way.Thank you. THERESA ANCELL:Thank you, Stephen. Appreciate your comments. OK. At this time, I wouldlike to announce that Al Elser from the BLMhas asked that we go ahead and extend Brandonthe microphone again so thatBrandon can continue his conversation, or hiscomment, without interruption. Thank you for yourpatience with this as we navigate thesedifficult times. I apologize, and wewould like to have– Brandon, you should be able tohave the microphone, please. BRANDON VELIVIS: Hey Theresa. The– THERESA ANCELL:Brandon, we can hear. BRANDON VELIVIS: I guess I’lltry to– you can hear me? OK. THERESA ANCELL: Yes, sir. We can hear you. I’m sorry. Yeah. You should be to state your nameand spell it again, and then begin your comment. And we’ll pause thetimer there, for you. OK, Brandon? BRANDON VELIVIS: Sounds good. Thank you. THERESA ANCELL: Thank you. BRANDON VELIVIS: My name isBrandon Velivis, B-R-A-N-D-O-N, V as in Victor, E as inecho, L-I-V as in Victor, I, S as in Sam. And the Ojo Encino Chapter’sCommunity and Economic Development Advisor.Also their Planning SectionsChief for their Incident Command System, at themoment as well, too, due to the SARS COV-2 pandemic. So as I was sayingto you before, Counselor community isbeing hit incredibly hard right now, with thepandemic, along with the rest of the Navajo Nation. I know that that’sdiverting resources at the Navajo Nation level. Because it’s certainly divertingresources at our local, regional level at theOjo and Tri-Chapter level as well, too,as we’re trying to take this pandemicvery seriously because it is hitting our communitiesat a disproportionate rate.Also would liketo remind everyone that the changes in developmentpatterns for which this plan was derived also has hit theCounselor community incredibly hard as well, too. So the questionis, why do we have to choose where we allocateour limited resources? Why are we creatingthis triage situation in which we have to allocateresources towards this plan while we need to be allocatingthose precious, limited resources towards the pandemic? A deadline extension is simple. It’s easy. All it takes is oneleader to stand up, to have backbone andcharacter, and state that this is incorrect and thatwe need to do the right thing. I believe that theleadership on this line know what the right thing is. The question is, is how can theydo it, and what do they need? What help do theyrequire in order to be able to executethe correct decision in this situation? Particularly with the BIA.The BIA, especiallythe Navajo region, is completely and totallyaware of how horrendous this pandemic is hittingour communities out here. And it is beyond mewhy the BIA would continue to participate in thisprocess, even if they disagree. Participation at thispoint, I always worry, means that we’re condoningthese activities. After conversations with theChapter president, Chapter leadership, andothers, Ojo Encino decided to make commentson this final day in order to just, atleast, formally log our protest to thisprocess continuing under the current conditions. It’s a simple decision– deadline extension. It’s easy. Nature doesn’tdecide that, we do. Nature decides a lot of theother things that are going on, that are outside our control. This one is easily within thepurview and control of humans. All you have to do is justmake that deadline extension. I know that this isstill being considered. The Chapter is aware that thisis still being considered. However, the factthat you are delaying to extend this deadline meansthat now, precious resources are being directedtowards this process.Whereas before, you couldhave just easily extended the deadline when anational emergency to deal with a globalemergency was declared by– technically, who’s your boss? The President ofthe United States. To log just a fewother elements, we don’t believethat Alternative C is balanced forthe community needs of the Tri-Chapter region. Additionally, previouslypassed resolutions by most of the EasternAgency Chapters, and the EasternNavajo Agency Council requested a specific planningarea for the Eastern Agency BLM lands. This was completely discardedby the BIA and the BLM. And to us, this just indicatesthat this planning process never really was interested inadapting fundamental planning initiatives andalternatives that would address theexploitative issues which occur within Eastern Agencydue to the checkerboard nature of the area. For right now, I’ll goahead and read some excerpts from a resolution that waspassed by Ojo Encino Chapter. Currently, Chapter meetingsare being conducted by the leadership,and the public is not able to attend themeetings due to the pandemic.However, since we wereunder the understanding that you guys are stillcontinuing forward with these meetings, we thoughtthat it would be important for us to formally put aresolution of protest forward regarding this processthat is ongoing. Resolution OJOE05-12-20/003. I’ll read a couple excerptsfrom the whereas clauses. Number 9, per 40 CFR subsection1503.2, Ojo Encino Chapter, as a cooperatingagency, is not satisfied that its views have beenadequately reflected in the draft RMPA foreither the BIA or BLM.And 10, the BLM hasrefused the option of non-leasing oftribal trust surface federal mineral underlyinglands or a less restrictive suggestion of nosurface occupancy, because it has commencedin the wholesale leasing of such estates withinthe Navajo Eastern Agency with the BIA’s consent,starting since January 2017 lease sale, which flagrantlyviolates 40 CFR subsection 1506.1 and 40 CFRsubsection 1502.2 F, thus reducingpotential alternatives. And number 11, theBLM has refused to entertain alternativesthat incorporate the Eastern Agency as a planning areawithin their RMPA, which has special planning needsto its unique planning environment. Therefore– now I’ll readthe therefore section. Number 1, the Chapterinsists that the BLM BIA must delay thedeadline for comments for the RMPA and accompanyingprogrammatic agreement so that cooperatorsand the public can sufficiently being involvedin the planning processes.And 2, this delay mustbe sufficient to allow for the pandemic topass, and to allow for appropriate andreasonable resource allocation by the Chapter andNavajo Nation government. And number 3, theChapter is disappointed in the leadershipof the BLM and BIA for allowing suchplanning activities to continue while such anunprecedented global-scale emergency is ongoing. And 4, the Chapter is furthersaddened and disappointed in the callousness of thefederal government’s decision to continue such planningefforts with no delay while the Navajo people arebeing infected and dying at some of the highest rateswith SARS COV-2 anywhere seen on the planet. And 5, the Chapterbelieves that this is part of a patternof abusive behavior by the federalgovernment in regards to its resource exploitationof the Eastern Agency area. And the pandemicemergency further illustrates the illegitimacyand inappropriateness of the BLM’s publicplanning processes for this area ofthe United States. And 6, lastly, theChapter believes that the BIA has capitulatedto demands by the BLM and Secretary of Interior,although the BIA leadership knows and understands that itis not acting in good faith, in the interest ofthe Navajo people.I just want to say this has tobe a very hard time for folks that are working in the federalgovernment, and I feel for you. Decisions are beingmade that I know are putting people intohaving to do things that they know is wrong. I just want to say, I hopefor the best for everybody, and I hope that you cando the things that you know are morally andethically correct, in spite of beinggiven directives which are opposite to that. There are peoplethat need your help. These people live inthese areas that will be affected by this planning. They have been affectedalready by these changing patterns of development. Those changing patterns ofdevelopment were intense. Things have slowed down abit now, up in Counselor. We don’t hear the deepwhining sounds of the pump jacks going all night long. That is more of an economicreason, why that’s changed.However, we know that things godown and things come back up. We’ve still sufferedthe consequences of improper planning for thosechanging development patterns. And that properplanning is going to be needed in the futureto help mitigate even more impacts to the communitiesthat live out in these areas, and to othercommunities as well, outside the Eastern Agency. Thank you all. I have a good deal ofrespect for you all and I know you’retrying your best. But right now is a time for realleadership and real character. And these are the timesthat bring that out in us, and I hope that those arebrought out in a good way. Thank you. THERESA ANCELL:Thank you so very much for all of your feedbackand your comment, Brandon. We really appreciate it. We will go on withour comment list. Right now, we havethree more signed up. After we’ve finished with ourparticipants that previously registered to give a comment,we will open the floor again for those that weren’table to register to sign up for that comment,but we will open the floor.Right now, we havethree individuals left– Loreen Rafael, John BlueEyes, and Jeremy Nichols. OK. Loreen, you should beable to un-mute yourself. LOREEN RAFAEL: Hello? THERESA ANCELL:There you are Loreen. We can hear you. LOREEN RAFAEL: Could you hear? OK, thank you. This is just in regards to whateverybody’s commenting about. I live in the Lybrookarea, we call it Twin Pine. And we own interest out in theChaco area and the land parcels out there. And I’m just speaking onbehalf of some of my family, and some of my neighborsthat do own land down there. And we have every right to dowhat we will with our property. We’ve established patentson our properties, so I believe that the outsideentities that come in, that give their opinion on howthe BLM should continue– should not continue with theprogression of oil and gas– is going to hurt a lot of usthat depend on that as revenue. Back in January of 2020, theNavajo Nation 24th Council agreed to this as well. Legislation resolutionnumber NABIJA-05-20, legislation number 0366-19,and it states here, “complete.” Plain and simple, theyoppose HR2181 and S1079. So I don’t see howanybody could even say that they careabout indigenous people, Native Americans,if they are trying to take out the rights for thosepeople that do own land there. So the history ofChaco for Navajos, we hear it from our elders. We don’t hear it fromthe books, textbooks. And this is what– I’m going to readthis real fast. The most prominentstory about Chaco Canyon is about the gambler. In Navajo oral history,enslaved Chacoan people and forced them to buildthe structure that’s at Chaco Canyon. The gambler may be a personor a group of people. THERESA ANCELL: Seconds.LOREEN RAFAEL: In anycase, [INAUDIBLE].. The challenger at defeat,the story of the challenger goes far west as Rainbow Bridge,north of Navajo Mountain. The teaching about gamblerplaped an important role in the public discussion ofthe Navajo Nation’s venture into casinos morethan 20 years ago. So with that history, weknow that the Chaco area was built, basically, by a trader. It wasn’t built by the Pueblosand the Chacoan people. So I really hope youguys do your studies. THERESA ANCELL:Thank you, Loreen.Thank you, Loreen. We appreciate your comments. Next on board, we have agentleman that just joined us from the ZuniPueblo, and we’d like to extend the courtesyof allowing him to go. So, on the phone, wehave Arden Karcute– sorry, Arden, aboutyour last name, there. Arden, if you’reavailable on the phone, can you please pressstar 9, and that will allow us to seeyou on the phone, there. If you’ve joined, inthe meantime, online– there we are.Maybe this is Arden. ARDEN KARCUTE: OK. Can you hear me? THERESA ANCELL: Wecan hear you, sir. ARDEN KARCUTE: Thank you. Thank you, [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. Hello, my name is ArdenKucate, A-R-D-E-N. Last name isspelled K-U-C-A-T-E. I serve as the Tribal Councilmanfor the Pueblo of Zuni. I have been authorized byGovernor Val R. Panteah to make these comments onbehalf of the Pueblo of Zuni. The leadership ofthe Pueblo of Zuni is not able toattend this, or any of these virtualpublic meetings, because currently,we must remain laser-focused on addressingthe urgent health and safety needs of ourcommunity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, the Pueblo of Zunihas significant interest in the RMPA due topotential impacts to the sacred landscape ofthe greater Chaco region, which contains many ofour cultural resources, including traditionalcultural properties.The Pueblo of Zuni, inaddition to other Pueblos, maintain a significantand ongoing connection to the greater Chaco region. It is a vital part ofour present identity, which we interact throughsong prayer and pilgrimage. Now more than ever, connectionsto our public identities are a source of strengthin difficult times. We must ensure that theseconnections will not be irreparably severed,but remain intact for future generations thatwill surely follow this crisis. Because of our deepconnection and responsibility to this sacred landscapeand future generations, we and other Puebloshave thus far been deeply engaged in the RMPA. The All PuebloCouncil Governors, individual Pueblos,and the Pueblo of Zuni, including the entirety ofthe New Mexico Congressional Delegation, state agencies,impacted communities, conservation organizations,and many others, have submitted requestsfor a pause in the RMPA, including processes relatedto the draft RMPA and the EIS in section 106. We have not responded– we have not received any kindof response from those requests. The situation onthe ground has only grown more dire sinceour first request.At present, San JuanCounty and McKinley County have the highestrates of COVID-19 in the state of NewMexico, and in the country. The Pueblos andthe Navajo Nation have also significant COVID-19cases in our communities, threatening the verylives of our people, and including our elders. Our elders oftenplay a critical role in advising ourtribal governments on cultural resource issues, asignificant area of evaluation under the draft RMPA and EIS. For this reason, we,and other stakeholders living in theseaffected communities are in no position to focusour attention on the RMPA. You are required bymultiple federal statutes, your tribal consultation duties,and the trust obligation, to pause this RMPA so that wecan meaningfully participate in commenting on it. And although I amparticipating in today’s virtual public meeting,I want to make clear that our Pueblo has not hadthe resources necessary, and meaningfully, to commenton the draft RMPA and EIS.A critical document suchas the draft RMPA and EIS requires extensivereview, internal convening and dialogue, and technicalexpertise in drafting comments. It is not possible tomeaningfully convene and internally developcomments at this time, due to our capacityfocused on the critical and life-threateningresponse measures. We are opposed to thedecision by the BLM and BIA to host these virtualpublic meetings on the draft RMPA and EIS, and wereiterate our request for a pause, includingan extension of the May 20th deadline toprovide comments on the draft RMPA and EIS.In addition, the All PuebloCouncil Governor Chairman Chavarria in a meeting withkey officials from the BLM, BIA, and Assistant SecretaryIndian Affairs Office in February, inWashington DC, requested government-to-governmenttribal consultation on the draft RMPA and the EIS. We reiterate this request,formally requesting on behalf of ourPueblo in person, full and meaningful tribalconsultation on the draft RMPA and the EIS at a timewhen tribal, state, and federal publichealth directives indicate it is safeto meet in person.Public meetingsare no substitute for a government-to-governmenttribal consultation. And the Pueblos intend tocomment on this important draft of the RMPA and EIS to ensurethe final RMPA contains the culturalresource protections necessary to protect theirreplaceable sacred landscape of the Greater Chaco region. Your unwillingnessto pass the RMPA, including by extendingthe comment deadline, is putting us in aposition right now that is limiting ourability to do so. So in closing, it’s simplyunconscionable to continue with the currentschedule for the RMPA. And on behalf ofthe Zuni Pueblo, that we urge you to immediatelyhalt the current schedule, and work with the tribesand other stakeholders on developing afeasible timetable. And we thank you for your time. Thank you very much. THERESA ANCELL: Thank you verymuch for your comment, sir. We really appreciate it. Up next, we have a couplemore registered folks. And then we do have Mr.Richard Begay on the line. So Richard is a representativefrom the Navajo Nation, and we’d like to extend himthe opportunity right now to provide some information,and some comments.Richard, you should beable to use your audio now. ROBERT BEGAY: Can you hear me? THERESA ANCELL: I canhear you, Richard. ROBERT BEGAY: Good morning. This letter wassent to Rick Fields, the field manager of theFarmington Field Office this morning– or I guess it was on May 15th– by Navajo Nation President Nez. It’s just a very short letterand I’ll read it verbatim. “Dear Mr. Fields. We understand that the USBureau of Land Management is moving forward to finalizethe resources management plan, RMPA, of theEastern Navajo Agency by holding virtual hearings. Although Bureauof Indian Affairs advised BLM to consider Navajoinput to the greatest extent possible, in light of the fact– a fact of ourconcern, Navajo people do not have the means toprovide virtual input. BLM is just movingforward without regard for this consideration. We are greatly affectedby this pandemic, and public healthemergency orders have been issued by the NavajoNation and the state of New Mexico to protect our citizens.In consideration ofthese protections, virtual hearings may limit inputby the Navajo people concerned about the RMPA, and theremust be other options to gather input fromthe Navajo people. BLM knows that thereis a very limited telecommunication connectivityfor communities in the RMPA areas, yet BLM is continuingwith these virtual meetings. We object to BLMgoing forward with the ill-prepared and unworkablevirtual hearings at this time, during a pandemic. We respectfully request BLMto halt the virtual hearings so that we maydiscuss alternatives to accommodate input of theNavajo people and others. Thank you. And should youhave any questions, please reach out to Mr.Milton Bluehouse Junior, Deputy Chief of Staff atMBluehouse@Navajo-NSM.gov with the office of the presidentand vice president. Sincerely,” and it issigned by Jonathan Nez. Thank you. THERESA ANCELL: Thankyou very much, Richard. We appreciate your comment, andthe comment of President Nez. Next in line, we have John BlueEyes, Jeremy Nichols, and then Loreen Rafael had arequest for Dolores House to use her platformto give a comment.So John Blue Eyes,if you’re available you can raise your handusing the “participants” tab and the “raisehand” icon, or you can hit star 9 on your phone. John had indicatedthat he was going to send in a writtencomment, so maybe we’ll move on to Jeremy Nichols. I don’t see John’s hand. Jeremy? There we are, Jeremy. JEREMY NICHOLS: Hi there. Good morning. Am I coming in OK? THERESA ANCELL: Hi, Jeremy. JEREMY NICHOLS: Hi there. So I appreciate theopportunity to comment again. My name is JeremyNichols, again, Climate and EnergyProgramming director for Wild Earth Guardians. I spell my nameJ-E-R-E-M-Y, N-I-C-H-O-L-S.And I’ve participated at a fewof these hearings that have been held overthe past few days, and I just want to reiteratehow disappointed that we are in the Bureau of Land Managementfor not listening to people– not listening to people inthe slightest, it seems like. The messages is delivered tothe agency over the last– well, throughout this virtualpublic meeting process. I mean, they’ve beenresoundingly critical, and have definitely delivereda very powerful message that the Bureauof Land Management is really off-coursewhen it comes to providing an opportunity formeaningful public involvement, and way off-coursein terms of meeting its obligation totribal communities that are impacted by thisresource management plan amendment. It’s astonishing that theBureau of Land Management is pressing ahead, stillplaying out this meeting and not providingany kind of signal, any kind of response regardingthe numerous requests for extending thepublic comment period and for suspending this processwhile tribal communities are struggling to deal withthe COVID-19 health crisis. It’s been very discouraging too,just the lack of interaction. This is so far away from whata public meeting would be like.It’s laughable for the BLMto call this a public forum. I’m talking to mycomputer screen right now. I can’t see anybody elsewho’s involved here. I don’t know whoelse is involved. I can’t see anyBLM official, they refuse to show their faces. They won’t interactwith the public. I mean, this is a joke. And for the Bureauof Land Management to say, as they did ina recent news story, that these are successful– that is outrageous. These are not successful. If anything, they’rejust underscoring that the Bureauof Land Management is completely out tolunch, and completely– acting completely contraryto the public interest.The agency should be ashamed. And I’ve got to sayAl and Tim, you guys should be incredibly ashamedand embarrassed about how this process is unfolding. And I’m sorry to be harshlike that, but you guys– you guys are professionals. You guys are supposed tobe doing this for a living, serving the public andstewarding public resources, and this is whatyou’re doing now? This is beyond outrageous. And I hope thatyou guys might be able to exert someleadership in this process and turn things around,because this is off the rails at this point. This is a complete– acomplete train wreck. So Tim, Al, and otherofficials who the BLM says– the people say thatyou guys are listening, you guys are paying attention– THERESA ANCELL: 20 seconds. JEREMY NICHOLS: –we haveno confirmation of that. You refuse to show your faces.You refuse to respondto any comments. I mean, for all we know thereis nobody from the BLM watching or paying attention. And you know, to the extent thatthe consultants say otherwise, that’s bullshit. Bullshit. This is a bullshit meeting,a bullshit process. You guys, you’ve gotto get this fixed. THERESA ANCELL: Thanksfor your comment, Jeremy. [COUGH] Pardon me. Up next, we have Dolora Hesuse. Lorena Rafael had senta chat that Dolora would like to speak. Lorena, if you’reon the phone still and you have Doloreswith you, you can raise your hand byhitting star 9 on the phone, or you can also– DOLORA HESUSE: Hello,can you hear me? THERESA ANCELL: There you are.We can hear you now, ma’am. DOLORA HESUSE: All right,I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Delora Hesuse– D-E-L-O-R-A, H-E-S-U-S-E.First of all, I would like to let you all knowthat [AUDIO OUT] you have land within the ChacoCanyon buffer zone. I own land near Lybrook,New Mexico, as well. We Allottees familyrelatives in our area have never been consultedwith these laws that were being in place. They never cameand talked to us. We never met with anyof the leaderships. It just seemed tohave taken place without us, the Allotteesthat live in the area. We have all thesepeople saying that they had taken our voices inconsideration, but not have [INAUDIBLE]. When the people metover in Chaco Canyon– the legislationpeople, the leadership, the democratic leaders– they totally ignored Allotteesand [AUDIO OUT] really sad to [AUDIO OUT] miles to SanteFe when [INAUDIBLE] in Santa Fe, again. Once again, we were ignored. [AUDIO OUT] where I was worriedabout resources for Allottees within the area. We’ve been totally ignored.They say that these peoplemeet with us, but they haven’t. I’ve even asked Russell Begay,the former Navajo Nation President, at a Departmentof Interior Meeting in Albuquerque in[? 2018, ?] how are you going to help[AUDIO OUT] the 106. There has never been aone-on-one consultation at all. So I’m hearing that thesepeople, even the Pueblos, they say that they have metwith the leaders of the Navajo Nation. You’ve got to remember, welive on the checkerboard area, and those laws don’t apply. We do have [AUDIO OUT]talk to people in the area of Ojo Encino,Counselors, and Nageezi as well. The elderlies are worriedabout their income that we get from theresources from oil and gas. THERESA ANCELL: 25 seconds. DOLORA HESUSE: Hasanybody come out to consider our revenue now thatthe oil prices have gone down? No. So we’re going toact on our own, and speak forourselves, once again. And I would like totell you all that I have been attending theseRMP meetings in Gallup and Farmington.Thank you. THERESA ANCELL:Thank you, Delores. It’s good to hear from you. We appreciate your comment. DOLORA HESUSE: Delora. Yeah, OK. THERESA ANCELL: That concludesour registered online participants. I do see a last-minuteregistration from Adele– Adele Bernadette. Adele, if you’reon the line you can hit star 9 on your phone to tryto provide a verbal comment. We’ll give Adele justa few seconds here. She may not be online yet. At this time whilewe’re waiting for Adele, I’d like to announcethat we will continue to accept yourverbal comments until 11:00 AM this morning. You can also submitcomments, written comments or verbal comments. And Jill will be providingthat information later down the line here. We’d like to continue toleave the phone line open. And if anyone thatdidn’t sign up for a comment, if you havechanged your mind or would like to comment, we areaccepting commenters for the next, about 15 minutes.So again, if you’re on thephone you can hit star 9, and star 9 will allow us to seethat you’ve raised your hand. If you’re on an onlineversion you can also comment. I do have a commenterin the queue. OK, the commenter with the phonenumber last four digits 3531. REBECCA REPPERT: Hello,this is Rebecca Reppert. THERESA ANCELL: OK, Rebecca. REBECCA REPPERT: Yes. My name is– THERESA ANCELL: Youjust spell your– REBECCA REPPERT:Spelled R-E-P-P-E-R-T. I enjoyed hearingall the comments. But I want to inquireif they have directed some of their remarks totheir elected state officials, and also to the oil andgas companies themselves. I used to live inFarmington five years ago, and I lived 15 years onthe Navajo reservation, and I have visited Chaco. I’m very concernedabout these things. I now live in Pennsylvania,but I wanted to participate, to voice my supportfor what was said.But also that thetribal youth should be encouraged to go intopublic administration so they can also be thepolicy makers of this. And that I hope there isgood, or improved feelings between the BLMand the people they must work with becauseyou’re all breathing the same air out there. The future of ourcountry is green. We do not need more oil wells. And I understand theconcerns of the people living right in the area there. But this has been going onfor a long, long time and now it’s time to open the comment. I think this internetopportunity was a very good one, and I do hopeyou will consider extending the deadline for others. THERESA ANCELL:Thank you, Rebecca. You still have aminute 40 remaining if you’d like to continue, oryou can end your comment there. It’s up to you. REBECCA REPPERT: Thank you. I did type in– I wasn’t sure if itwould register that way. But anyway, I will say[NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] to everyone, walk in beauty. And again, some of theanger and frustration I hope will be communicated to theoil and gas people themselves. They are the ones whoneed to hear that.Those are sacredsites around there, and also people’s homesteads. And all the things thathave already been said are quite valid, I think. I hope that in thefuture, we will move in a more cleardirection towards green energy and just not even be dependenton oil and gas anymore. So good luck to allthose who live out there. And those of us whoused to live there, I certainly wish you the best. It’s a difficult situation,but everyone can and should be heard. THERESA ANCELL: Thank you, Re– REBECCA REPPERT: Thiswas a good format. This was a good format. THERESA ANCELL: We appreciateyour feedback, Rebecca. You do have 20 seconds, Idon’t mean to cut you off. But if you want to continue. REBECCA REPPERT: Oh, thank you. I was a teacher there. So again, I encourageyoung people to get involved inthis whole process. And that’s it, so thank you. THERESA ANCELL: Thank you. We really appreciateyour feedback and input. At this time, I showAlicia [INAUDIBLE].. Alicia? There we are, Alicia.I hope I’m sayingyour name right. I apologize if I’m not. You should be ableto state your name and spell it for us, please. Excuse us just amoment, it looks like we’re workingthrough a little bit of a technical glitchhere with Alicia. Thanks to everyonefor your patience. OK, Alicia. Try again. ART: Let’s– I’m going to tryone more thing real quick. So let me just see if I canhelp the situation here. THERESA ANCELL: Thank you, Art. We do have a phone number thathas their hand raised as well, and so we can– ART: So what we havegoing on is, Alicia is using an olderversion of Zoom so we’re not able toactivate her microphone as a result of that. So if she is the phonenumber that is 6228, then she can un-muteherself and talk.But we may haveto ask her to call in, and when she does, toraise her hand in order to be– so we can hear her. Because she is using anolder version of Zoom that won’t allow us tohelp her at this moment. THERESA ANCELL: OK. Alicia, if you canhear us, hopefully you heard Art’s directions there. We do have a phone number, 6228. 6228, you should havethe ability to talk. ART: And if you have thatnumber handy, Theresa, you might want to giveit to Alicia real quick and then she can try to call in. THERESA ANCELL: Absolutely. ART: Yeah. Thank you. THERESA ANCELL: Thank you, Art. Alicia, if you’re still onthe line and you can hear me, you may need to callinto phone-in option. It looks like you needto update your Zoom, it’s not allowing it. So the phone number to callin, again, is 346-248-7799. And the password forthat, the meeting ID, is 9-5-9-3-3-2-3-6-3-2-0. Again, 346-248-7799. And the password is9-5-9-3-3-2-3-6-3-2-0. While we’re waiting for Aliciato log back in or call back in, we are still accepting comments. And I would welcome anyone thatwould like to either comment again– if you’vealready commented, you’re welcome tocomment again– or if you would like tocomment for the first time. Again, if you are using the Zoomapp on your phone, computer, or tablet, you hit the”participants” button and there’s a “raise hand”icon under that button. If you’re on the phone, youhit star 9 and that will also raise your hand. We’ll give everyonea couple minutes to– oh, it looks like we dohave a call-in number. Last four digits ofyour number are 9 588. And please go ahead and stateyour name and spell it for us. Thank you. MARK LECLAIRE: Yeah. My name is Mark Leclaire,L-E-C-L-A-I-R-E. THERESA ANCELL: Thank you, Mark. MARK LECLAIRE: I’m calling infrom Albuquerque, New Mexico. And honestly, I’mjust frustrated with this whole process.And I just want to speakfor myself, for my children, for all my relatives out there. You know, I think at thispoint it’s abundantly clear that we’re all stakeholders. Every American is a stakeholderbecause the climate impacts from the drilling that’s goingon in New Mexico are global. And it’s also reallyclear to all of us– we’ve read the mission statement. We know what you’re supposedto do, and it’s clear to us that it’s just not true. It’s just a bunch of bullshit. You guys are notacting as if you really are preserving thisland for our children, for the commongood of all people. It’s crystal clearthat you guys are only serving the interestsof the oil and gas. And it’s also crystal clearto anybody with half a brain the cliff that we’re areabout to walk right over, and there is no plan for that. We see oil priceshave collapsed. We know there’s going to be amassive issue with abandoned wells. We know– we know those wellswill continue to gush methane, and air pollution, butane,chemicals I cannot even pronounce into the air.And there is no plan inplace to remediate that, or to protect the communities,and to protect all of us. Because methane is an extremelypowerful greenhouse gas. This whole thing is a sham. And how dare youall get on the phone and talk all politeto us, to our faces? Thank you very much. We really appreciateyour comments. That’s fucking bullshit. You don’t give a shitabout our comments. This is all just a sham.And I cannot believe that we’reall just participating in it, because we’re heading towardsour own destruction with this. And some of youdo have a spirit. Some of you do have a heart,and I know some of you are bothered by this. And you know what? Stand up. We need you. We’re praying for you. We’re begging foryou to stand up. You don’t have to followwhat comes down from Trump. You don’t have to. THERESA ANCELL: 30 seconds. MARK LECLAIRE: Youhave a choice in this. You have power. You all could standup and say, hey, there hasn’t beenadequate consultation. This virus is making itso no one can comment. We need to wait. And you could justbe real with us. How many commentshave you received stating opposition to this? How many? I know I’ve been involvedin this for a long time, and you all have received tensof thousands of comments– THERESA ANCELL: Time. MARK LECLAIRE:–opposing more drilling. Tens of thousands, and you’regoing to sit there and say, thank you very much sir.We appreciate your comment,it’s so meaningful to us. Fuck that. THERESA ANCELL: Thank you, Mark. At this time we’regoing to carry on with anybody else that wouldlike to raise their hand and speak again. We do have a phone caller. Last digits are 8836. ALICIA: Hi, this is Alicia. I’m calling in fromNew York, New York to say that this is bullshit. You are killing people. You are risking thelives of communities. Fracking is an extraordinarilyharmful process to the environment andto the people around it. You are poisoningwater supplies. You are causing stillbirthsin indigenous communities, and you are not giving any sayto the people most directed. These meetings arefucking bullshit. So many people areunable to access them, and the people that are,aren’t taken seriously. As the last caller said,you can tell us so politely, thank you for yourcomments, and not do fucking shit [INAUDIBLE]. THERESA ANCELL:Alicia, can I please ask that you refrainfrom using profanities? We do have a lot offolks on the line, and we would like to showmutual respect to our folks on the line.Thank you. ALICIA: There’sno mutual respect to the people whosecommunities you’re destroying with fracking. You have thousandsof comments coming in telling you not todesecrate sacred sites, not to ruin communities. You’re fucking killing people. You are destroyingpeople’s lives. There is no accountability. You are cowards,you are colonizers, and you’re killing people. THERESA ANCELL:Alicia, you do have a minute 45 seconds remaining. Oh, she hung up. Felina Romero– Felina,you’re next in line. And then after Felina wehave Mabel and Wayne Senger. Hey, Felina. CHILD: Hold on, Mom. FELINA ROMERO: It’s FelinaRomero, F-E-L-I-N-A, R-O-M-E-R-O. Unfortunately,right now I’m supposed to be attending and finishing upmy last courses so I could graduate. But I have toattend this meetings so I have to fight forour land, for our water, and for the peopleof New Mexico. I find it very, very disturbingthat you held these meetings at 9 AM in the morning.Two of these meetings actuallywere held from 2:00 to 4:00 PM– that was on the first day. Only one of the daysyou provided two frames for you to leave comment, from9 AM to 11:00, and 2 PM to 4 PM. That was what Imeant by the comment. It is very– it is a literalway to silence people by placing it a9:00 in the morning. The other day I was not evenable to comprehend and actually speak because it’s so damagingand devastating to know that, at any moment, my watercould literally be poisoned. Like I said before, I seen waterbeing poured out of the faucet and people literallylit it on fire. The other day I made a commentabout how my friend Penny lives 100 feet from a frackingrig in Hobbs, New Mexico, and her dog haddrank the water– the water, the rainwater that came down, and it was filledwith toxic chemicals.Her dad died, unfortunately,a few days after this water. He was seizing, and he washaving some very bad timing, and shitting all over theplace because his body was not able to handle these chemicals. And this is what you’regoing to do to the people. You have to understand thewhole cycle of the water. The methane is literallymelting the Arctic ice. And since the Arcticice is melting, more methane is being produced. And the methane is literallythinning our ozone layer that protects us fromthe sun radiation, so now you’re goingto cause more skin cancer to happen, along withlung cancer and respiratory issues. This whole industryis literally set up to make the wholecycle of life fail. You know, the circle of lifeyou learned about the Lion King, where everything is connected? Everything is connected.And what I learnedin school, energy can never bedestroyed– it’s only transformed or transferred. So you transfer these chemicalsinto the animals, the plants, and the people, andinto the clouds– THERESA ANCELL: 30 seconds. FELINA ROMERO: –which comedown and bring it down. And I don’t appreciateyou saying 30 seconds, because we canobviously see the time. And that’s just a wayto throw everybody off, and I don’t like that either.And we need to heldmore of these meetings at different timeframes so people could come to these meetings. It’s very important foryou to realize that this is a form of genocide itself. Placing gas chambersin people’s homes is a way that Hitler organized. Do you want to be represented ina book that has Hitler himself? THERESA ANCELL:Thank you, Felina. We do appreciate your comments. Next on board, we haveMabel and Wayne Senger. Mabel and Wayne, if you’dlike to give a comment now. MABEL SENGER: Hi, yes. Mabel Senger fromSalina, Kansas. And I wanted to ask a questionabout the damage from the oil, whatever you guys aretalking about, to the land, and where and when? Like I just don’t understand.It’s there– I mean. WAYNE SENGER: Youown land in the area. MABEL SENGER: Iown the land there, and I get provided from it. WAYNE SENGER: And this is Wayne,also here with my wife Mabel, who has relatives, family there. And the family experience,there in the Lybrook area with the oil companiesis that they’re more careful nowthan ever protecting environmental andhistorical resources, and have actually refusedto drill in certain places where environmental or ahistorical resource was there and identified, and hadto move someplace else.But, and no evidence ofwater pollution in that area. We live in Kansas now, wherethere is also oil drilling. Fracking has not been documentedto produce water pollution here in Kansas, so that’s not aconcern that we’re aware of. In the meantime, the family hasbenefited from the development of these resources. And the radiusaround Chaco would tend to support the five mileversus the 10 mile radius. And also, on the options,would actually support option D, which is beingable to open up resources for the localpeople so they can benefit from that financial,understanding that the green, renewable energyalso needs to be developed. Our need for petroleum’s goingto last a good long time yet, but in the process,look at other options.That’s not a problem. But in the meantime, blockingoil drilling and that is blocking resourcedevelopment for the families who have, in the past, livedbasically, in poverty, but now can pullthemselves out of that. What else? Also, still noting avery minimal amount of number of people fromthe area able to respond. Therefore, also extendingthis and setting up an environment wherepeople can respond locally, either through a group internetthing, which is not desirable, or through actualface-to-face meetings. So we would advocatefor that as well. But the family there has workedclosely with oil companies to make sure that environmentaland new technologies have decreased the footprintout there in the family’s experience. And other family members onlinecan respond regarding that as well, if they want. Anything else Mabel? MABEL SENGER: That’s all. WAYNE SENGER: That’s it for now. Thank you. MABEL SENGER: Thank you. THERESA ANCELL: Thankyou, Mabel and Wayne. We really appreciate yourcomments and your feedback. At this time, I wouldlike to thank you all– I would, from thebottom of my heart.Thank you forparticipating and having patience with this process. I know that it mustbe frustrating, but we appreciate you. And we appreciate your commentsand all of your feedback. At this time, I’m going toswitch back over to Jill, and Jill’s going to givesome closing remarks with additional informationon how you can still submit comments. So you can submit them,she will give you those. So if you need, grab apencil and some paper, and she will provide those. Jill? JILL ARAGON: Hi, everyone. [AUDIO OUT] JillianAragon, and I work for the Bureauof Land Management. And on behalf of the 50-plusBLM and BIA ID team members and management team thatare here with us today, we want to thank you foryour time and comments. So BLM and BIA valueyour input, and we’ll continue to accept yourcomments on the draft EIS through May 28th.Any comments receivedor postmarked after the May 28th datemay not be considered. Please note thatthe May 28th date is a deadline for public comments. However, the BLMand the BIA will continue to consult withtribes, consulting parties, and cooperating agenciesbeyond this date and throughout the EISdevelopment process. I will be sharingthe information that you can use to provideyour formal comments and who to contact directly ifyou need further assistance. You can go to the e-planningtab on the online portal at wwwblm.gov/NM/Farmington. Or, you can leavea voicemail comment by calling 720-213-5786. You can also mail your commentsto either project manager at the following addresses. For BLM, ProjectManager Sarah Scott at 6251 College Boulevard, SuiteA in Farmington, New Mexico, 87402. Or BIA ProjectManager Robert Begay at 301 West Hill Avenue inGallup, New Mexico, 87301. If you would like to follow-upwith additional questions, please contact SarahScott at 505-564-7689, or Robert Begay at 505-863-8515. This concludes thescheduled virtual meetings for the Farmington Mancos-GallupDraft Resource Management Plan Amendment and AssociatedEnvironmental Impact Statement.Thank you for joining us. Have a great day and stay well.

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