Adam Goldstein

WASHINGTON — A “massive” methane cloud forming over Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico.

Noxious air pollution fouling Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

Herds of mule deer and pronghorn at risk of decimation at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Environmental problems like these are already resulting from fossil fuel extraction near four federally protected lands — and could become even wider problems if the federal government doesn’t bolster protections, the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks said in a recent report.

Oil and gas development near parks could contaminate water and air, destroy habitat, hurt the visitor experience and exacerbate the impacts of climate change, Mike Murray, chairman of the coalition’s executive council, said in a Feb. 2 statement.

“The Biden administration and Congress must take action to curb the adverse effects of energy extraction on parks, surrounding landscapes, gateway communities, park visitors, and national park resources,” he said.

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