Taos, N.M. (November 15, 2021)—Earlier today, at the administration’s first White House Tribal Nations Summit, President Biden and Secretary Haaland announced that the Department of the Interior will take action to protect the Greater Chaco Landscape in northwest New Mexico. Secretary Haaland has directed the Bureau of Land Management to begin a process that should result in a withdrawal of federal lands within a 10-mile protection zone around Chaco Culture National Historical Park. New federal oil and gas leasing in that zone would be prohibited for 20 years.
Preservation Archaeologist and Chaco Scholar Paul F. Reed has issued the following statement on behalf of Archaeology Southwest:
“After so many years of effort from the Pueblos and their allies, we are gratified by President Biden and Secretary Haaland’s announcement today to withdraw public lands around Chaco Canyon from future oil and gas leasing. This area is of great importance to the Pueblos and Tribes, and many other groups, and requires exactly this kind of protection. Thanks to the Biden administration for its foresight and hard work.”
About Archaeology Southwest
Archaeology Southwest is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Tucson, Arizona, that explores and protects heritage places while honoring their diverse values. For three decades, Archaeology Southwest has worked to break down barriers to understanding, respecting, celebrating, and finding inspiration in these places. Learn more at archaeologysouthwest.org.