US Officials To Put Off Oil Leases Near Sacred Tribal Land

"ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has agreed to put off oil and gas leasing for a year on land that Native Americans consider sacred surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico.

The decision comes after Bernhardt visited the site Tuesday and met with leaders of the Navajo Nation and Pueblo tribes that have been fighting to protect culturally significant sites beyond the park, with its stone structures that were used by an ancient civilization.

The area has been central to an ongoing dispute over drilling in the San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico and southwestern Colorado, one of the nation’s oldest production areas."

Susan Montoya Bryan reports for the Associated Press May 29, 2019.

Source: AP, 05/30/2019