Chaco Canyon area listed as an endangered historic place

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New Mexico has made it onto another list that it doesn’t want to be on. This time it’s the Chaco Canyon region and it’s on the National Trust for Historic Preservation annual list of endangered historic places. 

It’s not the park itself that is endangered. It’s the vast area around it, with hundreds of archaeological sites and ancient roadways. 

The National Trust advisor Theresa Pasquale said the threat comes from increased drilling for oil and natural gas. 

“The development of those resources cannot come at the cost of destroying such a rich and diverse heritage,” Pasquale said. 

Oil and gas industry leaders have argued for years that more limitations and restrictions hurt the industry and the economy, and increase energy costs. 

“Once an archaeological site is damaged or destroyed there is no restoring it the way it was,” said Barbara Burrell, a visitor at the Chaco Culture National Historic Park. 

Park visitor, Albert Lowenstein, said today’s society is very materialistic and very shortsighted. 

“I don’t know that we always recognize what we have while we have it until it’s gone,” Lowenstein stated. 

Other historic places on this year’s endangered list include a Confederate fort in Alabama, jazz musician John Coltrane’s house on Long Island, and a huge 19th century Pillsbury flour mill in Minneapolis. 

Author: Stuart Dyson | Source: KOB News [June 15, 2011]

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