June 13, 2023

Chaco Canyon sign with oil and gas drillin background

Protesters near Chaco Canyon block Haaland from giving commemorative speech

KSUT | KSJD | By Clark Adomaitis

Protesters blockaded a road headed into Chaco Canyon National Park. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland was set to commemorate a new moratorium on oil and gas leasing near the park.

About 3 miles northeast of the (Chaco Canyon National) park, a few dozen protesters blocked a road in support of Navajo land allotment owners. The demonstrators oppose a June 2 moratorium on oil and gas development in the region.

The federal order bans oil, gas and mineral development on federal lands within 10 miles of Chaco. While tribal lands are not affected, Navajo allottees with land in the region say the ban effectively renders their alottments worthless.

Yesterday’s protest forced the Interior Department to relocate the event. Six and a half hours after the scheduled start time, Secretary Haaland held the ceremony in Albuquerque, according to Source NM.

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