Biden plans to ban new drilling around Chaco Canyon in New Mexico

Chaco Canyon Park, an area of ​​approximately 30,000 acres in the high desert mesas of northwestern New Mexico, was established in 1907 b...


Chaco Canyon Park, an area of ​​approximately 30,000 acres in the high desert mesas of northwestern New Mexico, was established in 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is home to a vast network of pre-Columbian ruins. Between the 9th and 13th centuries, the area was home to a large, complex society of Pueblo culture, with multiple settlements of multi-story houses and sacred sites. But over the past decade, Pueblo and other indigenous groups have expressed concerns that oil and gas development is encroaching on the park’s boundaries.

While Congress enacted short-term drilling bans around the park, there has been no long-term or permanent policy to block drilling at its edges.

The new plan to protect the area around Chaco Canyon will be implemented by Home Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American cabinet secretary. Ms Haaland, a former environmental activist, is a citizen of Laguna Pueblo, a sovereign nation near Albuquerque.

“Chaco Canyon is a sacred place that has deep meaning for the indigenous peoples whose ancestors lived, worked and prospered in this high desert community,” said Ms. Haaland. “Now is the time to consider more sustainable protections for the living landscape that is the Chaco, so that we can pass on this rich cultural heritage to future generations. I appreciate and appreciate the many tribal leaders, elected officials and stakeholders who have persisted in their work to conserve this special area.

The administration recently proposed tough new regulations for oil and gas producers, and industry representatives immediately raised questions about the new decision.

“There does not appear to be any scientific or environmental justification for this 10 mile radius,” said Robert McEntyre, spokesperson for the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association. “And given the role that oil and gas play in the economy of this region, we shouldn’t have an arbitrary number that would limit the economic opportunities, perhaps the only economic opportunities, in this part of the state. . “

“No one is saying that we want to develop within the park or that we have to be directly within its boundaries,” McEntyre added. “But the 10 mile number seems to be arbitrary. Especially over such a long period which could have generational consequences. “

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Newsrust - US Top News: Biden plans to ban new drilling around Chaco Canyon in New Mexico
Biden plans to ban new drilling around Chaco Canyon in New Mexico
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