By T. Destry Jarvis, US/ICOMOS Vice President
In 2020, US/ICOMOS joined with many of our preservation and conservation colleagues in opposing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s major oil and gas leasing plan for public lands that surround the Chaco Culture National Historic Park and World Heritage site that would even more negatively impact numerous Chacoan “outliers” that are archeological sites on BLM land also included in the World Heritage site boundary.
- We supported legislation to establish a 10-mile no-leasing zone on BLM lands around Chaco, which passed the House by a wide margin, but has thus far not moved ahead in the Senate.
- We helped raise awareness about the risks to Chaco in our September 10 World Heritage Webinar “World Heritage Site at Risk: Chaco Culture National Historical Park” (pictured above).
- In an effort to prepare the incoming administration, we have signed on to a memo entitled “Recommendations on Planning for and Managing Oil & Gas Leasing and Development in New Mexico’s Greater Chaco Region.”
We thank our members, partners and everyone else who has joined us in these efforts and will continue to keep you apprised of our actions. To gain perspective on these lands, their significance, and the threats they currently face, please read “A Sacred Space: a Contemporary reflection on ancestral ties” by Governor Brian D. Vallo, Pueblo of Acoma, and “With Gold in their Eyes” by Paul Reed, Preservation Archaeologist with Archaeology Southwest.