Posts Tagged ‘Chaco Culture National Historic Park’

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering allowing a private company to build a 130 mile pipeline and greatly increase drilling near Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Chaco is a World Heritage Site known for magnificent architecture built 1000 years ago by the ancestors of today’s Pueblo Indians. There is concern among archaeologists that damage could occur to the wider cultural landscape around the canyon, erasing part of the legacy of these fascinating ancient people. Mike Eisenfeld of San Juan Citizens Alliance takes us on a tour of the exploratory drilling already underway.

This photo shows Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon, in northwestern New Mexico, about a 2½-hour drive south of Durango. Just four of 38 parcels requested for leasing by gas and oil companies in the area have been approved. The nearest lease site is about 10 miles from Chaco Canyon, the center of the ancestral Pueblo culture that flourished from the 800s to the 1100s.

This photo shows Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon, in northwestern New Mexico, about a 2½-hour drive south of Durango. Just four of 38 parcels requested for leasing by gas and oil companies in the area have been approved. The nearest lease site is about 10 miles from Chaco Canyon, the center of the ancestral Pueblo culture that flourished from the 800s to the 1100s.

Energy companies had nominated 38 parcels for leases

By Chuck Slothower, The Durango Herald

Opponents of drilling near Chaco Culture National Historic Park in New Mexico have received a reprieve from proposals to drill on U.S. Bureau of Land Management parcels bordering the park, which is home to ancestral Puebloan ruins.

The BLM this week released an environmental assessment that proposes to lease four of 38 parcels that were nominated by gas and oil companies.

None of the parcels recommended by the BLM’s preferred alternative to go forward is among the nominated parcels closest to the park. One nominated parcel was less than a quarter-mile from the park boundary.

The closest of the four parcels in the preferred alternative is about 10 miles from the park, and all four parcels are in an area that already is home to gas and oil activity.

Chaco Canyon is about a 2½-hour drive south of Durango.

A coalition of environmental groups wants the parcels nearest to Chaco Canyon permanently protected. Some of the parcels have been nominated repeatedly for leasing to gas and oil companies and deferred by the BLM.