Monday, November 30, 2009

Northern Group of the Sierra Club’s Rio Grande Chapter Letter to the Mora County Commissioners

Subject: Mora County letter
1807 2nd St, Santa Fe NM 87505
The Honorable Peter Martinez, Chair, (Laudente Quintana, Gino Maes)
Mora County Commission
Mora, NM
October 22, 2009

Dear Commissioner Martinez (Quintana, Maes):

On behalf of the Northern Group of the Sierra Club’s Rio Grande Chapter, I write to urge you to prevent oil and gas
exploitation of Mora County and to maintain the County’s current development guidance system (DGS).

Based on extensive analysis of proposed oil and gas drilling in Santa Fe and Rio Arriba Counties, we feel certain that oil and gas drilling in Mora County, especially if the DGS is not followed, would be detrimental to the land, water, tradition
and cultural dynamics of the area.

We also ask that the County require perspective drillers in pristine areas to first make the case that there is a strong
likelihood of finding substantial oil and gas recoverable resources prior to any drilling and water well analysis of the
extent of hydrocarbons in well water. There are many non-destructive techniques for assessing oil and gas potential
other than drilling wells. Such an assessment might include analysis of prior attempts to find oil and gas, aerial
investigations, 3-D seismic exploration, geological modeling, and water well analysis of the extent of hydrocarbons in well water.

You should be proud that Mora County’s DGS has been recognized by land use planners as the best rural development
guidance system in New Mexico. Use of the system means that land can remain available for uses such as hunting, fishing, agricultural irrigation, grazing, wood gathering, camping, wildlife viewing, and just soaking up the scenery. Drilling threatens each of these traditional uses.

We recognize there has been overwhelming public support for protection of Mora County, illustrated by public meetings held in the past two years in the County against the concept of drilling in Mora County.

Your prevention of unbridled oil and gas drilling exploration and development in Mora County and maintenance of the
Development Guidance System is truly appreciated.

Ken Hughes,
Conservation Chair