ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The National Congress of American Indians has waded into the debate over oil and gas development in northwestern New Mexico, calling for a moratorium on drilling in the region surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

The group voted Friday to approve a resolution that focuses on stopping drilling in parts of the San Juan Basin.

Friday marked the deadline for public comments on a proposed 2018 lease sale by the Bureau of Land Management that includes parcels in the region.

Earlier this year, the All Pueblo Council of Governors raised their own concerns along with Democratic members of the state's congressional delegation, archaeologists, professors and other researchers.

The critics say increased development has the potential to destroy parts of the landscape that could provide a better understanding of the ancient civilization that once inhabited the area.