Taos, N.M. (Feburary 28, 2020)—Today, the Bureau of Land Management Farmington Field Office and the Bureau of Indian Affairs Navajo Regional Office released a joint Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment (RMPA) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for lands surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
Preservation Archaeologist and Chaco Scholar Paul F. Reed issued the following statement on behalf of Archaeology Southwest:
“We are very disappointed in the BLM and BIA’s Resource Management Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement, released in draft form today. The All Pueblo Council of Governors, Archaeology Southwest, and many other groups have strongly encouraged the Agencies to protect Chaco Culture National Historical Park by not allowing additional oil-gas leasing within the 10-mile Chaco Protection Zone.
“Instead, the Trump Administration’s preferred alternative in this plan envisions opening the entire Chaco Protection Zone to leasing, including lands that directly border the National Park. Even where protections are proposed for Chaco, they will do little to protect the Park, other nearby Chacoan cultural resources, and the Native people who live on the landscape surrounding the Park.
“For example, the administration suggests that it might close Federal lands within 4 miles of the Park to leasing, but there are few Federal lands in this area, as the vast majority of Federal lands within Chaco Protection Zone are located between 5 and 10 miles out. It is this zone, specifically—roughly 5 to 10 miles from the Park—that oil companies are currently targeting for intensive drilling.”
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.
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Paul F. Reed, email@example.com