Oil Companies Want To Drill Next To Chaco Canyon

October 20, 2016
Courtesy of the National Park Service
The great kiva in the plaza of Chetro Ketl is one of the many archaeological sites preserved at Chaco Culture Natural Historic Park.

Oil and gas companies want to drill next to Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, an area with the largest concentration of pueblos, or ancient dwellings, in North America. A two-month public comment period starts Oct. 21.

A thousand years ago this valley on the eastern edge of the Navajo Nation was central to ancestral Puebloans. Archaeological evidence of that history still stands today.

About 4,000 prehistoric and historic archaeological sites represent 10,000 years of human cultural history. Many southwest Indian communities see it as a critical stop along their clan’s sacred migration path today.

That’s why federal agencies are working with the Navajo Nation to update the management of the area that overlaps onto public and tribal lands.

Eight public meetings will be held on the Navajo Nation to discuss oil and gas leasing and development proposals on the land adjacent to Chaco Canyon.

The Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Affairs would like all comments submitted by December 20.