The Biden Administration is implementing an withdrawal of 20 years that prohibits oil and gas development beyond the boundaries Chaco Culture National Historical Park, located in northwest New Mexico.
Friday, the Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland announced the actions taken in the nation’s second-largest oil producing state. The announcement was made Friday. It was to protect the cultural and historical resources which tribal communities hold sacred.
The order will cover all public lands, federal minerals and federal lands within a 10 mile radius.
In November 2021 , President Joe Biden proposed this ban at the White House Tribal Nations Summit.
The withdrawal only applies to federal public land, and not to private, state, or tribally owned entities. Existing leases will not be affected either.
It is a great victory for the members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation, who have been trying to stop oil and gas production permanently.
Democrats introduced legislation last month to formalize the same buffer surrounding the park. The park would cover more than 490 acres of federal land.
Navajo Nation has also done its own study and advocated for a smaller land area, given the impact a withdrawal could have on both the tribe and the individual Navajo Landowners whose allotments will be landlocked.