Chaco Canyon and its surrounding landscape in northwest New Mexico hold remarkable examples of ancestral Pueblo ceremonial buildings, distinctive great houses, and an elaborate network of engineered roads. Yet this incredible landscape—designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and included on the National Trust’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list in 2011—is threatened by encroaching oil and gas development.
Fortunately, the New Mexico congressional delegation has introduced legislation, the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act (H.R. 2181 / S. 1079), to prevent new oil and gas development on federal public lands within a roughly 10-mile radius of Chaco Culture National Historical Park. This bill would codify a longstanding practice of avoiding new leasing on federal lands in these sensitive areas. The House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act (H.R. 2181) on October 30. The bill must now be considered by the Senate.
Contact your senators today to urge support for this important legislation!
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