Haaland On BLM Decision to Extend Comment Period on Chaco Plan

May 21, 2020
Press Release

Albuquerque, N.M. – Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01), Vice Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, released the following statement after the Bureau of Land Management made the announcement that they would extend the comment period on the management plan for oil and gas leases near Chaco Canyon. The announcement from the Bureau of Land Management comes after public outcry after the bureau moved forward with virtual hearings. Haaland penned an OPED in the Albuquerque Journal calling for the bureau to change course.

“It shouldn’t take a huge public outcry for this Administration to do the right thing, however, I’m pleased that the comment period on Chaco has been extended. I will be watching carefully to make sure the process is accessible, transparent, and that tribal consultation is respected. I encourage everyone who cares for this landscape to participate in the public comment period,” said Vice Chair Haaland.

In March, the New Mexico congressional delegation sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt asking for the Department of Interior to extend the public comment period for the joint Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment (RMPA) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the area around Chaco Culture National Historical Park by at least 120-days due to the limited ability of the public to participate during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.