New Film Showcases Broad Support from Tribal Leaders for Protecting Federal Lands Surrounding Chaco Canyon
Taos, N.M. (May 2, 2022)—We are pleased to announce the public premiere of “Protecting Chaco’s 10-Mile Zone,” a mini-documentary produced by Paul Reed and Archaeology Southwest, and filmed and edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist David Wallace (David Wallace Visuals). Thanks to Istara Freedom for production assistance.
In their own words, Pueblo leaders Chairman Mark Mitchell (All Pueblo Council of Governors and former Governor of Tesuque Pueblo), Governor Michael Chavarria (Santa Clara Pueblo), Governor Randall Vicente (Acoma Pueblo), cultural leader Octavius Seowtewa (Zuni Pueblo), former Vice-Chairman Clark Wayne Tenakhongva (Hopi), and Diné conservation leader Reyaun Francisco, speak to the living and vital connections their communities have to the Greater Chaco Landscape.
In the film, Reed explains how people can help achieve the goal of respecting and protecting those connections by sending formal comments to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in support of a 10-mile protection zone around Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Archaeology Southwest has been advocating for such a zone for a decade as oil and gas development has steadily encroached.
Reed also provides insights into the abundant heritage resources that are located in the proposed zone even beyond the boundaries of the Park.
The threat of oil and gas drilling continues to loom over Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the ancestral home to both the Pueblo and Navajo peoples. Tribal communities have fought for decades to protect the Greater Chaco Landscape and its cultural resources and safeguard the health of their families from nearby drilling.
At the start of 2022, the Department of the Interior initiated a process to administratively withdraw roughly 351,000 acres of federal lands and minerals surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park from future oil and gas leasing for a period of 20 years. Now, the Bureau of Land Management is accepting public comments on the withdrawal until May 6, 2022.
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.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2022
Press Contact: Paul F. Reed