US Interior boss, tribes celebrate 20 year ban on oil drilling near Chaco national park

By Susan Montoya Bryan THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -It’s a homecoming of sorts for U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, after her agency spent many months hosting public meetings and talking with Native American leaders about curbing the pace of oil and gas development in the San Juan Basin and protecting culturally significant sites. Her return to Chaco Culture National Historical Park on Sunday is meant to celebrate the Biden administration’s recent decision to enshrine for the next 20 years what previously had been an informal 10-mile (16-kilometer) buffer around the World Heritage site. Haaland’s own pueblo of Laguna, about 100 miles to the south, is among those that have fought to protect a broad swath of land beyond park boundaries. Haaland has called Chaco a sacred place that holds…

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