Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Video/Petition short doc "Fracking Threatens Chaco's Sacred American Heritage" (United Nations World Heritage Site) Dir. Anna Sofaer and Matt Dibble

Watch "Fracking Threatens Chaco's Sacred American Heritage - an United Nations World Heritage Site" 14 minute short documentary film narrated by Peter Coyote. The descendant Pueblo people and Navajo people speak of the spiritual significance of the "roads" that connect the Great Houses with places of power in the landscape. John Roney, whose great knowledge of "roads" gained from decades of study, sensitively informs our efforts to protect these remote and fragile features. Adriel Heisey's aerial cinematography reveals ancient roads and sites in stunning imagery. And using state-of-the-art remote sensing technology, Rich Friedman helps us visualize the thousand-year-old Chacoan constructions.

This video was made in response to the Bureau of Land Management’s announcement to facilitate leasing of 6.2 million acres of the Chaco region of New Mexico to oil companies for fracking and horizontal drilling, Chaco is a uniquely integrated landscape of built environments. It was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and is considered one of the most important ancient sites of the Americas. The BLM-designated leasing area contains 35 ceremonial “Great Houses” and many fragile ancient earthworks known as “roads.” These constructions are quite subtle, have not been fully researched, and we fear that they could easily be destroyed before they are documented or understood."

Thank You to the Filmmakers (and petitioner creators) and Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Albuquerque New Mexico USA.

To: The United States of America Bureau of Land Management
From: Citizens of the World
Please join with your support before May 28, 2014 the end of the “scoping period” for "public input" on fracking and drilling around and on this designated UN World Heritage Site, Native American sacred site.

PETITION Statement of INTENTION:"It’s unconscionable that the Bureau of Land Management is already leasing land for fracking around New Mexico’s Chaco Culture National Historical Park (Chaco NHP). It’s even worse that the BLM is now proposing to expand drilling through a vast new area --- potentially extending to millions of acres. This region contains thirty-five Chaco Great House ruins and a network of subtle and fragile ancient roads, sites held sacred by Native American descendants. Don’t allow fracking near Chaco NHP.

Why is this important?
The BLM has proposed massively expanded fracking on land surrounding New Mexico’s Chaco Culture National Historical Park. We cannot allow the BLM to turn Chaco’s invaluable historic landmark into an industrial wasteland.

The BLM is accepting public comments until May 28, 2014 on this deeply irresponsible proposal. We have to act now to urge the BLM not to frack on the lands of the Chaco culture and to make it clear that America’s national parks are worth far more than the dirty oil and gas underneath them.

A thousand years ago, Chaco Canyon in northern New Mexico was the ceremonial center of ancestral Pueblo Indians, whose culture encompassed 75,000 square miles of the Southwest. Today, Chaco Canyon is a World Heritage Site, and one of the most important archaeological sites in the Americas. However, the Chaco cultural expanse reaches beyond this center into unprotected land on the verge of a blanketing of energy development, driven by new oil and gas extraction technologies.

The land now threatened by the BLM’s leasing plans holds irreplaceable information about the Chacoans’ culture.  For many Pueblo people, whose Chacoan ancestors used no written language, these traces on the landscape are their history.

In 1977, while on a research project near the summit of a towering butte in Chaco Canyon, I discovered a spiral rock carving now known as the Sun Dagger site, a ritual calendar marking with light the cycles of the sun and the moon.  My colleagues and I, through the Solstice Project, then went on to discover that twelve massive Chaco buildings are also aligned to the sun and the moon, establishing Chaco Canyon as an center of major astronomical achievements.

Now, in urgent response to the BLM’s proposal to expand fracking, we want to share our startling new findings about the ancient “roads” that exist throughout the vast Chaco region. The Chacoans engineered hundreds of miles of wide and astoundingly straight linear features which archaeologists are now clearly showing were not utilitarian. Native American people have expressed the profound spiritual significance of these features. For instance, the thirty-five mile Chaco Great North Road symbolizes for Pueblo people the connection to the North, their place of emergence. But oil and gas companies are now building access roads that crisscross the Great North Road.

The entire Chaco world is one of cosmological connections manifested in beautiful architectural and astronomical works. Chaco's roads and their associated shrines and ceremonial Great Houses define this greater Chaco world. These subtle features have been only minimally documented but the BLM has claimed there is little in cultural resources to be protected.

We created this petition to the Obama Administration to take responsibility to halt fracking on any further lands in the Chaco region. Please join with your support before the end of the “scoping period” for public input ending May 28th 2014.

One by one we chose to care and share.

Related post on "historical significance of Chaco Canyon Star Navigation Astronomy sites"

Films by Anna Sofaer and Matt Dibble:
Sun Dagger Video of Interactive Exhibit
'The Mystery of Chaco Canyon" Trailer: "The Mystery of Chaco Canyon"
"The Sun Dagger"