Native American leaders push for Chaco area protections

Chaco Culture National ParkALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Native American leaders are meeting with land managers as the Biden administration considers prohibiting new oil and gas development on nearly 550 square miles of federal land in northwestern New Mexico.

Top officials with the All Pueblo Council of Governors said Tuesday they will reiterate their support for the proposal during tribal consultations this week.

The U.S. Interior Department will accept comments on the proposal through May 6. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who is from New Mexico, cited the cultural significance of the area surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park when she first proposed the withdrawal in November.

She has said many tribes in the Southwest have a connection to the area.

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