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By Demis Foster, NM Wild Santa Fe Director
Albuquerque Journal, Letter to the Editor
April 17, 2012

THERE IS a reason that Chaco Canyon is honored as a World Heritage site. It is one of the unique, culturally significant landscapes in the world. It is also still considered a sacred site by virtually all of the pueblos as well as the Navajos.

In Leslie Linthicum’s recent article, “Tightening Down on Chaco Visits,” she points out that in the park’s new management plan they would require visitors to watch an orientation video before entering the park loop.

This is called “education.” I believe educating the public is a good thing and I am happy to be inconvenienced for a few minutes if it means people will understand just how fragile this environment really is.

Linthicum states that Chaco is currently “free to unencumbered rambling.” This is not the case. You can’t “hike over hill and dale” wherever you please in the park. There are already restrictions in place to stay on established trails and out of sensitive areas. And there is good reason for this. Even the most well-intentioned appreciator of Chaco can create damage to fragile areas by tromping through ancient ruins “unencumbered.”

Once-ancient walls have been carved, painted or walked on over and over. The integrity of that structure is compromised and will never be as it once was. I applaud the Park Service for having the foresight and vision to look toward the future as they revise their management plan because Chaco is worth it. We have a responsibility to future generations.

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News About the Chaco Canyon Campaign

  • Unprecedented Number of Appeals Filed to Defend Greater Chaco from Fracking

    The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to lease several parcels of land to oil and gas development right on the boundary of the 10 mile "buffer" area around Chaco Culture National Historical Park. BLM has been deferring leases in this zone for many years, but pressure from the Trump

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  • Senators Farmington Letter to BLM

    (Click Image to Read Full Letter)

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  • Native American tribes pressure feds on oil, gas drilling

    Native American tribes pressure feds on oil, gas drilling

    By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press
    Published: Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 at 8:45am

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  • BLM, BIA hold final scoping meeting in Shiprock

    BLM, BIA hold final scoping meeting in Shiprock

    The Daily Times, Leigh Black Irvin

    February 2, 2017

    SHIPROCK — A public scoping meeting presented at the Shiprock Chapter house today by local officials of the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Indian Affairs to address oil and gas development drew

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  • BLM should get its priorities straight in Chaco Canyon area

    Published Sunday, July 17, 2016
    Albuquerque Journal

    By Joelle Marier, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

    The recent request by the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) for the BLM to reverse its decision to postpone leasing of three oil and gas parcels in the greater Chaco area that were slated for an October

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