Opinion: This wondrous place deserves our protection, and it’s one of many

It’s been more than seven decades, but I still remember our car being nearly a mile away. Wawona Tunnel and take in the famous views of Yosemite from Inspiration Point. I knew right away that I was somewhere special.

Since then, I have been fortunate to travel to national parks around the country. I even make movies about many of them. In doing so, I learned that our national parks protect not only our country’s most spectacular natural wonders, but also its stories and history.

Once I had a family of my own, I drove my children around the United States to experience these places for myself. One of our favorites is Chaco, a remote canyon in the American Southwest.

In Chaco we can discover what remains of what was once center of a flourishing and sophisticated Puebloan civilization that existed hundreds of years before Europeans first set foot on the continent. We are attracted by history of the area, where we’ll learn how Chaco’s famous ancient structures spread across a remote desert region, where many nations and tribal communities maintain positive relationships until nowadays.
Ruins of the house Pueblo Bonito built by the ancient Puebloans.
We explored the remains of structures built at least a millennium earlier, designs that would have stood taller and larger than anything built hundreds of years later. Moving through the sunny terrain, we’ll come to a remarkable place it was made for World Heritage of UNESCO.

This close-up of ancient history can make you feel small. And you feel your connection to the land while walking the path that others took over a thousand years ago to reach the center of their world, for them.

Today, we take a look back at their monumental achievements. Sometimes I wonder what they would think if they could look ahead and see how we have treated the natural world.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park protects its surroundings 33,000 acres in the area, but Chaco’s magic extends beyond that. The National Parks Conservation Association estimates that there are 5,000 sacred Chacoan cultural and historical sites lie beyond the park’s protective barrier.
In 2015 a view of the ruins of the Pueblo Bonito house built by the ancient Puebloans.

Unfortunately, the sacred and unprotected landscapes surrounding Chaco have long been a target for oil and gas drilling, which detracts from what was once the center of an ancient civilization. and is part of the history of our continent and our species.

I have feared for Chaco many times over the past few decades because of the proposal oil drilling on landscape is continuously granted. Temporary request Victory by tribes and conservation groups has blocked some proposals. But despite those efforts, sacred lands and important archaeological sites still become drilling sites, carry them with their access roads and heavy transport vehicles across more landscapes.
Here’s why this month’s announcement that the Biden administration is finally got it An important step to protect one of the world’s most culturally influential landscapes is crucial. The proposal for a new 20-year oil and gas drilling moratorium on federal lands within a 10-mile radius around Chaco Cultural National Historical Park is needed.
This landscape – and others like it – tell a story about the history of our country and humanity. Ancient people going to travel hundreds of miles to this cultural hub, which has left behind archaeological mysteries that continue to confound us more than a thousand years later. These sites remain sacred to the Pueblo and Navajo communities, and they must be vitally important to all of us.
Aerial view of Chaco . Culture National Historical Park

There are many places with such rich history around our people. And while I am grateful that Chaco Canyon will now receive the protection it deserves, we must do a better job of protecting the sacred ground of those who were here long before us.

NS Badger-Two Drugs the area south of Glacier National Park has been the spiritual home and cultural center of Blackfeet Country for thousands of years, but tribal members and many others are still fighting to heal forever and protect lands that were targeted more than 30 years ago for oil drilling.
Avi Kwa Ame in the Nevada desert is a sacred landscape for the 10 Yuman-speaking tribes, as well as the Hopi and Chemehuevi Paiute. For many in the region, it is where all life is made. It has petroglyphs that date back centuries, but it is regularly threatened by reckless proposals for new energy development.
Even the Grand Canyon – America’s most famous natural attraction – is not safe. The Havasupai tribe, who live in the Canyon on their traditional lands, bravely fight an epic battle to permanently protect their land from uranium mining on the lands around the menacing park only water source.

The United States is not even 250 years old. Meanwhile, these places are all home to thousands of years’ worth of history, culture and stories. We must preserve these lands.

Even when I was 11 years old in Yosemite, I knew immediately that I was somewhere inspiring and I still have that feeling to this day every time I visit Chaco Canyon. Some places are too special.


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