PLACITAS, N.M. (KRQE) – Over 4,000 acres of land could see federal protection from oil and gas development if a U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposal moves forward.

“Today we’re responding to call from Tribes, elected leaders, and community members who want to see these public lands protected,” U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a press release. “We look forward to hearing more from the public to inform decisions about how activities, like gravel mining, may impact these lands, including the important cultural and natural resources.”

The public has 90 days to comment on the proposal that would withdraw four tracts of land from federal mineral leasing. Those tracts contain historical and archaeological resources, the Department of the Interior says. The land also contains outdoor recreation spaces and lands connected to Native American traditions.

A draft document for the proposal is posted online at this link. There will be a public meeting at the Placitas Library on November 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. More info can be found at the BLM website.