New Mexico lawmakers introduce Chaco Cultural Heritage Protection Act

New Mexico

The fight to prevent oil and gas drilling at historic Chaco Canyon has reached Congress. 

Tuesday, members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation reintroduced a measure to prevent future leasing or development on federally-owned land within 10 miles of the park. 

Supporters say they want to protect the sense of remoteness that comes with making the journey to the park, and fear drilling and development would damage the sacred site itself. 

“By introducing these protections for Chaco Canyon we’re going beyond protecting a beautiful piece of New Mexico…we’re recognizing the special significance Chaco Canyon holds for Native Americans and all New Mexicans,” Rep. Deb Haaland, (D) New Mexico, said. 

The structures in the park date back to between 850 and 1250 AD. 

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