Irreplaceable cultural resources in New Mexico are among those areas targeted for expedited drilling – and conservationists say it’s ‘like losing pages and chapters of that history book’

In Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, it is still possible to wander the maze of rooms of an ancestral Puebloan village erected roughly 1,000 years ago.

Visitors use the same staircases and duck through the same T-shaped doorways as residents did at the time. A jigsaw puzzle of rocks form walls that stand several feet thick and multiple stories tall. Where rooftops are gone, windows now let in glimpses of sky. It’s a simultaneous experience of vast space and marvelous connection.

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