In 1992 I was diagnosed with ‘terminal lung cancer’.  While going through treatment in Midland, Texas, I would return home every weekend, a beautiful Desert Oasis, a place of healing, to allow my mind, body and soul to rest and recuperate!  

Surviving ‘terminal lung’ cancer taught me that, along with our spiritual belief, the environment we live in plays an important role in the healing process and our continued health.  Knowing the quality of the air I breath could affect my now fragile lungs, my husband and I decided this is the where we wanted to live out our lives.  We felt protected here on this land that I deemed sacred, and believed this Desert Oasis was the one place in Texas that would be safe from exploitation! 

In September 2016, Apache Corporation announced the discovery of a new oil and natural gas resource play called Alpine High which extends over 60 miles and stretches across the southern half of Reeves County, Texas.  Sadly our land, Balmorhea State Park, San Solomon Springs, Phantom Springs and Giffin Springs are all located within the Alpine High Play.  I was devastated! They would soon begin “shattering this sacred ground” and not only would the air I breath no longer be clean, our fresh water supplies would face the very real possibility of becoming polluted or disappearing, forever! 

Soon there was a fracking rig along the banks of Balmorhea Lake, a reservoir fed by San Solomon Springs.  One afternoon while sitting in my back yard I could hear the constant grind of the bit, the fracturing of the ground beneath. I  realized how destructive the force of fracking is and how this destruction affects the inhabitants of the land.  Witnessing the animals strange behavior and how confused they seem to be made me very sad.  Someone had to take a stand, speak out, be their voice in an effort to protect their home, and also fight to protect the water, land and air we breathe for our future generations. 

Shattering Sacred Ground Documentary Film is the story of how my family and I were and continue to be directly affected by the harmful effects of oil and gas extraction in this area, and the ongoing battle to protect San Solomon Springs, Giffing Springs and Phantom Springs and this beautiful Desert Oasis, our home.

Neta Rhyne | Writer | Director | Producer