In­di­ans ex­press con­cerns about Chaco drilling plans

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By The As­so­ci­ated Press

al­bu­querque» Lead­ers from sev­eral Amer­i­can In­dian com­mu­ni­ties want fed­eral land man­agers to con­sider the cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance of a large swath of land sur­round­ing Chaco Cul­tural Na­tional His­toric Park as they plan for more oil and gas de­vel­op­ment in north­west­ern New Mex­ico.

The All Pue­blo Coun­cil of Gov­er­nors re­cently passed a res­o­lu­tion call­ing for the Bureau of Land Man­age­ment to make per­ma­nent a 10-mile buf­fer around Chaco park.

They’re also ask­ing for the fed­eral agency to de­velop a mas­ter leas­ing plan that takes into con­sid­er­a­tion the sig­nif­i­cance of the re­gion.

The gov­er­nors stated they un­der­stand the need for en­ergy de­vel­op­ment but that drilling should not threaten “our an­ces­tral grave­yards, sa­cred sites or wa­ter sources.”

The res­o­lu­tion comes as the Bureau of Land Man­age­ment and the Bureau of In­dian Af­fairs held the last of sev­eral pub­lic hear­ings Fri­day on the Navajo Na­tion as part of an ex­panded re­view of man­age­ment in the area that was sparked by oil and gas de­vel­op­ment con­cerns.

Some Nava­jos have been out­spo­ken about de­vel­op­ment in the San Juan Basin, one of the largest nat­u­ral gas fields in the na­tion. They have at­tended the pub­lic meet­ings, armed with signs that state “No leases, no pipe­lines, no drilling.”

They’ve also voiced their sol­i­dar­ity with the hun­dreds of pro­test­ers fight­ing a pro­posed pipe­line in North Dakota.

“Wa­ter pro­tec­tors up north are show­ing the world the true power we have al­ways held as Na­tive Amer­i­cans,” said Ken­dra Pinto, Navajo com­mu­nity leader and Twin Pines res­i­dent.

“We know we must protect Mother Earth.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.