The Jemez Mountains are seen from the Pueblo of Jemez in New Mexico. Photo: Chris Lewis
Tribal opposition leads to decision against geothermal development
The U.S. Department of Agriculture won't allow geothermal development on 194,900 acres of the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico after tribes raised objections.

Developers sought access to about 36,000 acres of federal land, according to a record of decision published on Thursday. But the supervisor of the forest blocked off a much larger area in order to protect sacred sites in the Jemez Mountains.

"The Jemez Mountains are sacred to Native Americans, serving as both sanctuary and a place of worship. The tribes are committed to preserving their cultural ties to this sacred landscape. They made it clear that they will not sanction man-made disturbances at the scale required for energy production."

According to the record of decision, the U.S. Forest Service, an agency at the USDA, consulted 31 tribes as part of the process. The All Pueblo Council of Governors, which represents the 20 Pueblo tribes in New Mexico and Texas, passed a resolution opposing development. Other tribes submitted comments in opposition.

More documents can be found at www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=46886

Read More on the Story:
New Mexico national forest says no to geothermal drilling (The Associated Press June 15, 2018)
Geothermal development blocked for areas within the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico (Think GeoEnergy June 15, 2018)