Taos, N.M. (September 27, 2019)—On Thursday, September 26, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies put forward a $35.8 billion spending package for fiscal year 2020. The bill includes language directing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to refrain from issuing oil and gas leases within a 10-mile buffer zone around Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and the bill provides $1 million for a survey of cultural resources in the broader Chacoan region.
Paul F. Reed, Chaco Scholar and Preservation Archaeologist at Archaeology Southwest, issued the following statement:
“We are elated with the current Senate Interior-EPA spending bill that includes language to protect the Greater Chaco Landscape from oil-gas development in the 10-mile cultural protection zone around Chaco Culture National Historic Park. This area is so important, as it protects more than a dozen Chacoan great house communities, ancient roads, and numerous sacred sites that surround the Park, as well as retaining the profound experience of this ancient and living cultural landscape. Thank you Senator Tom Udall for all your efforts.”
The bill is now headed to the full Senate.
About Archaeology Southwest
Archaeology Southwest is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Tucson, Arizona, that explores and protects the places of our past across the American Southwest and Mexican Northwest. For three decades, Archaeology Southwest has fostered meaningful connections to the past and respectfully safeguarded its irreplaceable resources. Learn more at archaeologysouthwest.org.
Banner image by Paul Vanderveen