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Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham

Representing the 1st District of New Mexico

Rep. Lujan Grisham Supports BLM Decision to Suspend Certain Lease Sales Around Chaco Canyon But Joins APCG to Continue to Call for Permanent Protections

Oct 23, 2018
Press Release

Rep. Lujan Grisham Supports BLM Decision to Suspend Certain Lease Sales Around Chaco Canyon But Joins APCG to Continue to Call for Permanent Protections

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Lujan Grisham released the following statement to Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) announcement that the agency would suspend the sale of several leases within 10 miles of Chaco Canyon. Rep. Lujan Grisham had previously urged BLM to maintain a 10-mile protection zone around Chaco Canyon and to not include it in any future lease sales.

“Despite this announcement, I remain concerned that if BLM does not take additional precautions, important archeological and cultural resources in the area could be damaged and destroyed by hasty development,” said Rep. Lujan Grisham. “The 10-mile zone around Chaco Canyon should be permanently protected from oil and gas development to safeguard both the archeological sites of ancient civilizations in the area and present-day communities. But we cannot stop there.  In order to fully protect Chaco, the BLM must suspend all lease sales including the active March leases until BLM completes a comprehensive cultural resource study in coordination with impacted tribes.”

“While the BLM has removed parcels for the December lease sale near Chaco Canyon, the March 2019 lease-sale is still on the horizon. BLM’s delay is a step in the right direction but we must ensure that there are long-term protections put in place for the Greater Chaco landscape. Our ancestral homelands remain at risk and the All Pueblo Council of Governors continues to call on the administration to protect this UNESCO world heritage site and all cultural sites in the region,” said All Pueblo Council of Governors Chairman Edward Paul Torres.

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