US land managers to host meetings on Chaco protection plan

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — Federal officials have scheduled a series of public meetings to gather comments on the U.S. Interior Department’s proposal to limit oil and gas development on federal land surrounding Chaco Culture National Historic Park.

Two in-person meetings will be held Wednesday in Farmington. A virtual meeting will follow Thursday evening.

It’s part of a process that aims to withdraw federal land holdings within 10 miles of the park boundary, making the area off-limits to oil and gas leasing for 20 years. New leases on federal land in the area will be halted for the next two years while the withdrawal proposal is considered.