US officials cite ‘balance’ as goal for Chaco oil plan

New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N .M. (AP) – The preservation and protection of Native American cultural sites would be a priority of U.S. land managers under one of the options up for consideration as they work to revamp an outdated guide for management of oil and gas drilling across northwestern New Mexico.

U.S. officials on Friday indicated their preference for an alternative that would “balance community needs and development” while limiting impacts on the cultural way of life of residents. The area is home to Chaco Culture National Historical Park, which has become the focal point of tribes, environmentalists and archaeologists who want to halt development beyond the boundaries of the World Heritage site.

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