(November 2, 2017)—Much has transpired in the last few weeks in our efforts to protect the Greater Chaco Landscape. Here is a summary of recent happenings.
In early September, Archaeology Southwest compiled a short report (opens as a PDF) on recent and ongoing research across the Greater Chaco Landscape (GCL). The goal was to highlight for the media and the New Mexico Congressional Delegation the importance of Greater Chaco to archaeological research and why it is so critical to protect what remains of the ancient landscape. My colleagues GB Cornucopia, Sean Field, Richard Friedman, Carrie Heitman, Anna Sofaer, Ruth Van Dyke, Rob Weiner, and I summarized current archaeological work across the GCL. This work, and other ongoing projects, clearly demonstrate the incredible research value of the landscape and the critical need to protect the remaining pieces. The group held a telepresser call with members of the media (link to audio).
Archaeology Southwest and its partners (The Wilderness Society and New Mexico Wilderness Alliance) submitted comments on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)-Farmington office’s plans for a March 2018 oil-gas lease sale. One of the parcels, no. 30, is close to the Pierre’s Chacoan outlier and the Great North Road, and we are very concerned about additional development in the area. Moreover, we raised concerns about the lack of recent ethnographic research across the GCL. In particular, Traditional Cultural Properties (TCPs) and other sacred sites important to Pueblo people have not been considered by BLM as they continue to lease in the GCL.
Read that formal comment letter here. (Attachments that were included with our letter are linked at the bottom of the page.)
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) recently passed a resolution calling on the Department of the Interior to issue a moratorium on all oil and gas permitting and leasing in the Greater Chaco Canyon Region to protect TCPs and sacred sites in the region until the BLM and Bureau of Indian Affairs initiate and complete an ethnographic study of cultural landscapes across the Greater Chaco region and finish the management plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). We support the NCAI’s resolution and amplify their call for a moratorium on new oil-gas development across Greater Chaco.
Each opens as a PDF
- The Great North Road, A Cosmographic
- Resolution No. APCG 2016-17
- Recent Efforts to Reserach, Preserve, and Protect the Greater Chaco Landscape
- Pierre’s Viewscape & Soundscape Report – Van Dyke
- NM Mar. 2018 Draft EA comments — Arch. Southwest, TWS, NMWA – 10-20-17
- Flats #1 Natural Gas Well Chaco Roads
- Chaco Landscapes, by Van Dyke, Lekson, and Heitman
- APCG Resolution, 2015, with Changes
- APCG Chaco Resolution, 2014
- Calling for Moratorium on Permitting and Leasing Greater Chaco Region