Biden will lift a 20-year ban on oil and gas mining near Chaco Canyon

This area, a national park and the UNESCO World Heritage Site in northwestern New Mexico, has a rich history in Pueblo and other Indian tribes.

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President Joe Biden on Monday plans to propose a 20-year ban on oil and gas mining in the 10-kilometer Chaco Canyon, a national park and UNESCO World Heritage site in northwestern New Mexico that has significant history for Pueblo members as well. other Native American tribes.

Biden plans to announce the proposed program on Monday during the United Nations General Assembly at the White House, for the first time since 2016.

The Pueblo and other Native Americans in Arizona have expressed concern about these oil and gas mining projects that encroach on their land, which is rich in cultural and sacred sites dating back more than a thousand years.

The White House has said that although Congress has passed a law to temporarily suspend new land leases, the management plan will consider a 20-year ban on such mining in the region, which contains about 4,000 prehistoric and archeological sites.

The ban "will not apply to Individual Individual or Indigenous Territories in private, state, and tribal areas" and will not "impose restrictions on other developments, such as roads, water lines, transmission lines, or buildings," the White House said.

The remote Chaco Canyon area has large stone structures known as the Great Homes built by the Chacoan people in the mid-800s, according to the National Park Service. The area became a “military, administrative, and economic center of the San Juan Basin” in 1050, according to the NPS.

“The Pueblo dynasty says Chaco was a special gathering place where many people and families came together to share their traditions, customs, and knowledge. Chaco is the foundation of many Navajo ethnic and cultural festivals, ”he said on its website.

Biden plans to announce the proposed program on Monday during the United Nations General Assembly at the White House, for the first time since 2016.

The Pueblo and other Native Americans in Arizona have expressed concern about these oil and gas mining projects that encroach on their land, which is rich in cultural and sacred sites dating back more than a thousand years.

According to The Wilderness Society, Chaco Canyon is full of oil and gas leases and their projects create noise, light, water and air pollution, which threatens nearby communities.

The San Juan Citizens Alliance, an advocacy group, said the region had been under increasing pressure from the oil and gas industry since 2014 due to "horizontal mining and hydraulic cracks in the shale formation."