New Mexico tribes pressure feds on drilling in Chaco region

By The Associated Press

Leaders from the nation's largest Native American reservation and pueblos throughout New Mexico are putting more pressure on federal land managers to curb oil and gas development in the northwest corner of the state.

 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Leaders from the nation's largest Native American reservation and pueblos throughout New Mexico are putting more pressure on federal land managers to curb oil and gas development in the northwest corner of the state.

The Navajo Nation has sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management seeking a moratorium on drilling and lease sales across a wide swath of land surrounding Chaco Culture National Historic Park.

The All Pueblo Council of Governors also has raised concerns, and Democratic lawmakers have introduced memorials calling for more consultation among tribes and the federal government.

The BLM has already established a 10-mile buffer around the park and is developing a new management plan for millions of acres in the region. Federal officials have agreed to consider the cultural significance of sites scattered throughout the area as part of that effort.

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