Regional
3:49 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

No Drilling Leases To Be Issued Near Chaco Canyon

Credit National Park Service

Federal land managers say no parcels near the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwest New Mexico will be up for bid during the next oil and natural gas lease sale.

Bureau of Land Management officials confirmed the decision Friday.

The industry initially nominated 38 parcels totaling more than 19,000 acres. The BLM proposed limiting that to just a few parcels spanning 1,200 acres and then decided after further deliberation not to carry forward any of the parcels for the upcoming sale in February.

Environmentalists consider the decision a win for park, which is a World Heritage site.

A coalition of environmentalists and archaeologists has petitioned the agency to set aside more than 1 million acres around Chaco Canyon as an area of critical environmental concern.

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