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Interior head: Chaco protections ‘millennia in the making’

National Park Service

CHACO CULTURE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK, N.M. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is meeting with state and tribal leaders in northwestern New Mexico, where a battle has waged for decades over oil and gas development.

Haaland's visit Monday comes a week after her agency announced it would seek to withdraw federal land holdings within 10 miles of Chaco Culture National Historical Park. The surrounding land is part of the Navajo reservation.

While Navajo leaders support preserving parts of the area, they say individual Navajo allottees stand to lose a source of income if the buffer is created as proposed. The area holds significance for many Indigenous people in the Southwest.