US lawmakers move to protect historic Chaco Canyon from mining and drilling

first_img Language in the report would prevent the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from leasing or proposing new leases within a 10-mile radius of Chaco Culture National Historical Park.The fiscal 2020 language is additional insurance against any oil and gas leasing around Chaco, home to countless ancient ruins and artifacts and the cultural center for Ancestral Puebloans.Earlier this month, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that BLM has improperly relied on an outdated environmental review to support development of thousands of northeastern New Mexico wells projected in a 2014 “reasonably foreseeable development scenario” (Energywire, 8 May).Green groups and the New Mexico congressional delegation cheered the decision, considered a victory for protecting the sacred region of Chaco.In February, BLM deferred roughly 1,500 acres it was considering offering in a 28 March oil and natural gas lease sale within 10 miles of the park, the third time the Trump administration has made such a move. BLM and the Bureau of Indian Affairs currently are working together on an updated management plan for the area.”The Committee further directs the Bureau to prioritize planning updates for the region, increase cultural resources inventories in cooperation with the State of New Mexico and tribes to ensure well-informed land management decisions, and engage in meaningful government-to-government consultation with tribes, including conducting ethnographic studies outside of the 10-mile radius,” the spending bill report said.New Mexico lawmakers, including Democratic Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, reintroduced legislation in April that would establish a 10-mile buffer around the Chaco Culture National Historical Park and ban new drilling or mineral extraction from the protected federal lands. It would not apply to minerals in the area owned by private, state or tribal entities.Udall is the ranking member of the Senate Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, so the language is likely to show up in the Senate’s Interior spending bill.Late last month, New Mexico State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard stopped further oil and natural gas development on New Mexico trust lands near Chaco.Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2019. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.netPast coverage on ScienceInsider:Drilling boom threatens web of ancient roads in Southwest Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Originally published by GreenwireAppropriators in the U.S. House of Representatives would ensure federal lands around Chaco Canyon in New Mexico are protected from new energy and mineral development.The House Appropriations Committee released a report to accompany its Interior-EPA bill up for markup tomorrow (E&E News PM, 14 May). Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) U.S. lawmakers move to protect historic Chaco Canyon from mining and drilling By Kellie Lunney, E&E NewsMay. 21, 2019 , 3:25 PM Read more…last_img read more