Nambé, N.M. – Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the U.S. House Assistant Speaker, issued the following statement on U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt’s announcement directing the Bureau of Land Management to extend the public comment on Farmington Mancos-Gallup Resource Management Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement. The extended public comment period will allow for greater participation on issues surrounding the Chaco Culture National Historical Park and the greater Chaco Canyon region.
“Extending the public comment period during the current pandemic for the Farmington Regional Management Plan is critical toward ensuring that the voices of Tribal leaders, conservation advocates, and New Mexicans are heard in the fight to protect the greater Chaco Canyon region. It’s crucial that the Trump administration use this extension to listen to the concerns regarding the threats to this treasured landscape and ancestral homeland.
“I am glad that the Trump administration is heeding the call of the New Mexico delegation and Tribal leaders to extend the public comment period. In the House, I led the effort to pass the bipartisan Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act to establish permanent protections for the greater Chaco Canyon region and safeguard the religious, cultural, and linguistic value of this sacred site. I will continue fighting alongside my colleagues and Tribal leaders to ensure that our voices are heard and that the Chaco landscape is protected for generations to come.”
Congressman Luján and the New Mexico delegation called on Secretary Bernhardt in March to extend the public comment period by 120 days to keep communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Luján led the House effort in October to pass the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act.