Public comment period extended for proposal to create Chaco buffer

New public meetings on issue scheduled in Farmington, Albuquerque

The Daily Times staff

FARMINGTON — Officials at the Farmington Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management are extending the public comment period for a proposal that would restrict drilling and mining activity in an area surrounding Chaco Culture National Historic Park.

The public comment period for the proposal originally was scheduled to end April 6, but it has been extended to May 6. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland has proposed that more than 350,000 acres of land surrounding the park be withdrawn from consideration for leasing for drilling and mining activity.

The extension is designed to allow time for additional public comment on the proposal, according to a news release from the agency.

Additionally, BLM officials are planning two more public meetings to allow for oral comments on the proposal. The first meeting is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 27 in the Henderson Fine Arts Center on the San Juan College campus, 4601 College Blvd. in Farmington. The second meeting will be held at 8 a.m. Friday, April 29 at the National Indian Programs Training Center at 1011 Indian School Road, Suite 254, in Albuquerque.

Everyone attending one of the meetings must register in advance, and attendance is limited to 45 participants for each session. The meetings will follow the protocols put in place for large gatherings by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They also will have a Navajo language translator available.

To register for either of the meetings, call Sarah Scott at 505-564-7689 or email sscott@blm.gov.

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