Legislative Purpose of Chaco Culture
Chaco Culture NHP was first proclaimed under the Antiquities Act as Chaco Canyon National Monument on March 11, 1907 for the purpose of preserving the significant archaeological features located in Chaco Canyon. The Presidential Proclamation (35 Stat. 2119, see Appendix A) states:
“…the extensive communal or pueblo ruins . . . are of extraordinary interest because of their number and their great size and because of the innumerable and valuable relics of a prehistoric people which they contain, and it appears that the public good would be promoted by preserving these prehistoric remains as a National Monument with as much land as may be necessary for the proper protection thereof.”
Over the decades, research and discoveries revealed that the prehistoric Chaco cultural system extended far beyond the national monument boundary. The need to protect this larger area was recognized. Accordingly, Congress passed Public Law 96-550 on December 19, 1980, changing the status from a national monument to a national historical park, enlarging the original monument boundary and mandating protection for selected Chaco sites on land administered by other public, tribal, and private entities. Under Public Law 96-550, Chaco Culture NHP and the Chaco Culture Archaeological Protection Sites Program were established for the purposes of:
Did You Know?
While the rocks at Chaco Canyon are the same type of rocks as found at Mesa Verde National Park, there are no large alcoves at Chaco Canyon. A layer of clay in the sandstone at Mesa Verde causes alcoves to form and that layer is missing in Chaco Canyon. More...