Congressman Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the U.S. House Assistant Speaker, along with U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), applauded the House passage of an amendment to protect the integrity of the Chaco Canyon region. Introduced by Congressman Luján, the amendment establishes a one-year moratorium on oil and gas drilling on federal lands near the Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
Luján led the House effort in October to pass the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act.
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science will present “Revealing Untold Told Stories of Chaco Canyon: Archaeocosmology” on December 12th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Author Anna Sofaer, and researchers Richard Friedman and Robert Weiner will discuss their latest findings on the Chaco Culture.
Introduced in April by the New Mexico Delegation, the Chaco Cultural Heritage Protection Act would withdraw 316,076 acres of minerals owned by the federal government from future leasing and development located within the Proposed Chaco Protection Zone, an approximately 10-mile protected radius around Chaco.
“This bipartisan bill – which makes key investments to benefit and strengthen New Mexico, Indian Country, and the entire nation – is a great example of why the difficult work of the appropriations process is worth it. The bill provides strong resources to protect our public lands and the thriving outdoor economy they fuel, as well as funding key programs for Native and rural communities.