Taos, N.M. (November 10, 2020)—Today, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies released a draft of the FY2021 Interior Appropriations Bill. It does not include the current language that prohibits leasing inside the Chaco buffer zone.
On behalf of Archaeology Southwest, Preservation Archaeologist Paul F. Reed has issued the following statement:
“We are appalled and disappointed that Senator Murkowski and Senate Republicans have removed protections for Chaco from the Senate appropriations bill and are playing politics with the requests of Native American communities. This approach is being taken at the behest of the oil and gas industry, which has long opposed any effort to limit drilling around Chaco Canyon, and cuts against the requests of the Pueblo Tribes and Navajo Nation, who have asked that leasing be deferred until the Chaco cultural study is completed.”
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.