Luján Applauds Interior Dept. Plan To Protect Chaco Canyon

View of Chaco Canyon Courtesy/BRL 

View of Chaco Canyon Courtesy/BRL

From the Office of U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján:

NAMBE — U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) issued the following statement on Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s announcement that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will initiate consideration of a 20-year withdrawal of federal lands within a 10-mile radius around Chaco Culture National Historical Park from new federal oil and gas leasing:

“This sacred landscape at Chaco Canyon was once the center of commerce and faith for the Pueblo peoples, and remains a sacred site to this day. This landscape is at the center of so much rich history and heritage for many Tribes in New Mexico. That’s why it’s crucial that Chaco is protected for generations to come. Secretary Haaland’s announcement is important news – and the most significant action announced by any administration to protect this sacred site.

“The 10-mile buffer zone is the result of years-long negotiations with Tribal leaders and advocates. And it’s a sensible compromise. This announcement, as my legislation makes clear as well, protects the rights of Navajo allottees and only pertains to federally owned land. Together with the Biden administration and my delegation colleagues, I will continue working to permanently protect and preserve Chaco.”