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New Mexico

Chihuahuan Desert Rivers

© Gosia Allison-Kosior

Highlighted Value

Climate Adaptation

Southern New Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert, a vast expanse of rolling grasslands dotted with remote desert mountains, is a unique and highly threatened ecosystem. South of Carlsbad, the public lands around Carlsbad Caverns National Park are home to a thriving Chihuahuan Desert river system.

The Threat

Oil and Gas Drilling

The federal and state lands surrounding the rivers are largely leased for oil and gas. Twisted among the wells and pads is a spider web of pipelines and roads that contribute to habitat loss and fragmentation. The Permian Basin in southeastern New Mexico is one of the most developed oil and gas regions in the western U.S., and continues to rapidly expand.

According to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) own analysis, the Carlsbad area is expected to see 800 new oil and gas wells per year moving forward. These developments show no sign of slowing as large companies flock to this production hot spot.

Riparian areas in the Chihuahuan Desert, while rare, are some of the most biologically rich places in North America.
Tell the BLM to protect New Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert Rivers from reckless drilling

The federal and state lands surrounding the Chihuahuan Desert Rivers are a spider web of pipelines and roads that harm one of the most biologically rich places in North America, and spill could devastate the region. The Bureau of Land Management has a chance to adopt a better approach to leasing and revise its resource management plan for the area, but the agency needs to hear from you! Please sign below to show support in revising the Carlsbad management plan to limit drilling near the Chihuahuan Desert Rivers and put a more balanced plan in place.