Bureau of Land Management officials offer public meetings to solicit input on Chaco Culture plan

Two meetings set for Feb. 23; virtual meeting planned for Feb. 24

The Daily Times staff

FARMINGTON — Officials from the Bureau of Land Management have set a series of in-person and virtual public meetings next week to gather public input on a plan to protect much of the land around Chaco Culture National Historic Park from drilling and mining activity.

The plan would withdraw more than 350,000 acres of land surrounding the park from mining and mineral leasing laws. Those public lands are said to have a rich Puebloan, Tribal Nations and cultural legacy.

The in-person meetings will be held at 3 and 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23 in the Henderson Fine Arts Center on the San Juan College campus, 4601 College Blvd. in Farmington. To register for either of those meetings or to obtain more information, email sscott@blm.gov or call Sarah Scott at 505-564-7689.

The Bureau of Land Management will present three public meetings next week on its plan to remove much of the land surrounding Chaco Culture National Historic Park from drilling and mining activity.

More:Biden unveils proposal to remove federal lands in Greater Chaco from extraction activities

A virtual meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24 via Zoom. To register for the virtual meeting, visit https://blm.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_79HAmxoxQ-GXRVRBXl5U0w.

Those attending any of the three meetings must register in advance. Attendance at the in-person meetings is limited to 50 people, and COVID-19 protocols for large meetings set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be enforced.

The meetings are part of a 90-day public comment period on the plan that was initiated Jan. 5. Comments on the plan will be accepted until April 6 and may be submitted online or via the mail.

Federal officials have said they are considering holding other public meetings on the plan in the future.

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