Press Release Jun 19, 2019

All Pueblo Council of Governors Receives National Conservation Award for Efforts Opposing Oil & Gas Development Near National Parks

The National Parks Conservation Association recognizes Pueblo group for protecting Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

Pueblo of Pojoaque, NM – The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) today honored the All Pueblo Council of Governors (APCG) with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Conservation of the Year Award for 2019. APCG received the award in recognition of their outstanding leadership in protecting the landscape surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park and other areas in the region from industrial development and pollution associated with rampant oil and gas leasing.

In recent years, the APCG engaged in efforts to oppose oil and gas development near many sacred sites in the southwest and has been successful in helping to achieve protections for places like Chaco Canyon, even leading to a historic collaboration with the Navajo Nation. Their tireless efforts have helped to shape a new narrative for these lands, which recognizes the importance of the entire cultural landscape connecting each of the park sites to one another. This larger vision for the region has led to a more widespread conservation approach designed to prevent further encroachment of oil and gas development.

“The All Pueblo Council of Governors is honored to accept the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award graciously presented from our partners at the the National Parks Conservation Association,” said E. Paul Torres, Chairman of the All Pueblo Council of Governors. “We are grateful for the recognition of the unified leadership established among our member 20 Pueblo sovereign nations in the spirit of collaboration and cooperation to protect the sacred sites, resources, and landscape in the Greater Chaco Region from the impacts of rampant oil and gas development for continued use by present and future generations. The Greater Chaco Region is depended upon by our tribal communities as a vital part of our present identity through active pilgrimage, story, song, and prayer passed to us from our ancestors who’s footsteps we follow today. The cultural and historical resources held by this region are not only important to the living story of our tribal nations, but all who come from around our country and the world to learn from our past. We thank the National Parks Conservation Association and all our partners who are committed to working together to fulfill our collective responsibility to protect and ensure the longevity of these lands and the life affirming resources they hold.”

The All Pueblo Council of Governors is comprised of the 20 New Mexico Pueblo nation Governors, whose mission it is to “advocate, foster, protect and encourage the social, cultural and traditional well-being” of the Puebloan people. All nations represented have ancestral ties to the Puebloan sites around the four-corner region in the Southwest, including the national park sites of Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Aztec Ruins National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, Hovenweep National Monument, along with many others.

“The All Pueblo Council of Governors fully embodies the spirit of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award, given their persistence in protecting the lands that play such an important role in preserving the history and culture of many southwestern tribes,” according to Ernie Atencio, Southwest Regional Director of the National Parks Conservation Association. “The APCG’s efforts to promote collaboration among tribal nations to establish protections around parks like Chaco will ensure that these special places continue to inspire many generations to come. NPCA is honored to recognize APCG’s commitment and will continue to support their efforts in opposing oil and gas development near parks.”

Since 1985, NPCA’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas Citizen Conservationist of the Year Award has honored an individual or group of individuals whose efforts have protected a current or proposed site of the National Park System. NPCA created the award to honor the legacy of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a staunch conservationist whose efforts helped protect much of the Everglades from agricultural and real estate development.


About National Parks Conservation Association: For 100 years, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit

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