ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Democratic members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation are pushing federal officials to uphold an agreement that limits oil and gas leasing on public land near Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
The Bureau of Land Management previously agreed to defer all leases within a 10-mile radius around the park as the agency works to update its resource management plan for northwestern New Mexico. The agency is also working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs on how to best protect archaeological and cultural sites in the region.
Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan say the Bureau of Land Management recently began the process of leasing areas within the buffer zone. They’re asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to maintain the buffer until the planning process is complete.