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Secretary Haaland meets with New Mexico leaders to discuss oil and gas leasing at Chaco Culture Natural Historic Park

chaco culture national historical park

U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland met with state and tribal leaders Monday in northwestern New Mexico where a battle has waged for decades over oil and gas development.

Haaland reflected on actions her agency took last week to curb new leasing around Chaco Culture National Historic Park. She says the celebration was "millennia in the making."

While Navajo leaders support preserving parts of the area, they say individual Navajos stand to lose a source of income if a proposed buffer is created.

The area holds significance for many Indigenous people in the Southwest. Haaland is a member of Laguna Pueblo.