Taos N.M (March 25, 2021)—This afternoon, the Department of the Interior held a public forum as part of its comprehensive review of the federal oil and gas program. The forum highlighted perspectives from industry, labor and environmental justice organizations, natural resource advocates, Indigenous organizations, and other experts.
Preservation Archaeologist and Chaco Scholar Paul F. Reed attended the forum on behalf of Archaeology Southwest. Here are his comments:
“After years of reckless oil and gas leasing that crept closer ever-closer to sacred landscapes like Chaco Canyon, it was encouraging to watch the Biden administration seriously commit to reforming the leasing system in this public forum. Speakers highlighted just how broken the leasing program is—and how important it is for the administration to act on reform, to update its policies and procedures for the 21st century and to work with Congress to modernize the century-old laws.
“Pueblos and other Tribal communities have tried to make their voices heard for years, but were effectively muted in favor of oil and gas interests. We support the administration’s ongoing efforts to prioritize robust public participation and the protection of culturally important lands.”
Banner image: Pump jack near Pierre’s site, which is on the hill in the distance.
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.