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Tribal leaders push for Chaco area protections against new oil and gas drilling

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Tribal leaders are meeting with land managers as the Biden administration considers prohibiting new oil and gas development on nearly 550 square miles of federal land in northwestern New Mexico near Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

Top officials with the All Pueblo Council of Governors said Tuesday they will reiterate their support for the proposal during tribal consultations this week.

The U.S. Interior Department will accept comments on the proposal through May 6.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, who is Laguna Pueblo from New Mexico, cited the Indigenous cultural significance of the area surrounding Chaco when she first proposed the withdrawal in November. She has said many tribes in the Southwest have a connection to the area.