Home Arts Biden administration bans fuel and mineral extraction within ten miles of ancient Pueblo sites in New Mexico

Biden administration bans fuel and mineral extraction within ten miles of ancient Pueblo sites in New Mexico

by godlove4241
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On Friday, June 2, U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, a member of Pueblo de Laguna, announced that new oil, gas and mineral extraction on federal lands within ten miles of Culture National Historic Park Chaco in northern New Mexico would be banned for 20 years.

THE Chaco Canyon Cultural Regionwhich was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, includes sites affiliated with various ancestral Pueblo cultures that were active between 850 and 1250. In addition to the many archaeological sites in the Chaco Culture National Historical Park, the area located outside the boundaries of the park which has now been protected from resource extraction for 20 years includes more than 4,700 known archaeological sites.

An alternative plan that had been considered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) – the agency responsible for overseeing federally owned lands – which would have created a five-mile buffer zone around the national park rather than a buffer zone than ten miles would have left about 2,800 of these sites vulnerable to the deleterious effects of mining.

“Today’s announcement marks an important step in ensuring Indigenous voices help inform the management of our public lands,” BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning said in a statement. statement. “The exceptional landscape of the Grand Chaco region has profound cultural significance.”

Chaco Canyon and the surrounding desert landscape are home to a network of pre-Columbian archaeological sites affiliated with a civilization that dominated a large region of what is now the southwestern United States from the 9th to 13th centuries. Some of the sites include multi-storey structures and multi-room houses made of intricate masonry and masonry. Elaborate roads that are still visible today connected many communities.

US President Joseph Biden’s administration first announced plans to expand protections for the Chaco Canyon region in November 2021. In total, new extraction activities will be blocked on just over 336,404 acres. The ban only applies to federal lands, not properties controlled by the New Mexico state, tribal nations or private owners. Existing extraction operations on federal lands can continue for the 20-year period, and new oil wells can even be erected on land that the federal government has previously leased to drill wells.

The ban on resource extraction on federal lands around Chaco Canyon follows years of activism and pressure from the All Pueblo Council of Governors, which represents the 19 Pueblo communities located in New Mexico. In 2019, the state government stopped leasing its lands around Chaco Canyon for mining activities.

“Efforts to protect the Chaco landscape have been ongoing for decades as tribal communities have expressed concerns about the impacts new development would have on areas of deep cultural ties,” Haaland said in a statement. “Today marks an important milestone in fulfilling President Biden’s commitments to Indian Country by protecting the Chaco Canyon, a sacred place that holds deep meaning for Indigenous peoples whose ancestors have called them home since time immemorial.”

Last year, a report by the preservation group Archeology Southwest and the organization Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks urged US authorities to revision of permit and rental policies governing the extraction of oil, gas and minerals, lest protected parks and monuments become little more than “islands in a sea of ​​development”. A key feature of the bill to raise the US debt ceiling that passed the House and Senate this week, and which Biden is expected to sign into law shortly, is a set of provisions this will make the permitting process for energy development projects, whether fossil fuel or sustainable source based, less rigorous.

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