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More Call For Pause As US Weighs New Mexico Drilling Plan

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AP Photo/Eric Draper, File
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Environmentalists want federal land managers to suspend efforts to amend a plan that would guide oil and gas development and other activities near Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

They sent a letter Thursday to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, saying the coronavirus pandemic has prevented meaningful in-person consultation with Native American tribes and others who would be affected by the decision. Officials held five virtual public meetings earlier this year and extended the public comment period to Sept. 25. Four more meetings were held in August, but critics say those too were inadequate. Legislation that would make federal land within a 10-mile radius of the park off-limits is pending in Congress.

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