Tribal Natural Resources News


Native American tribes around the West are making critical decisions regarding the management of their resources — land, water, fossil fuels and renewable resources. The Tribal Natural Resources Desk aims to produce objective reporting to tell stories of tribes empowering themselves through stewardship and decision-making around their resources.
Native American tribes gain new authority to stop unwanted hydropower projects
Federal regulators have granted Native American tribes more power to block hydropower projects on their land after a flurry of applications were filed to expand renewable energy in the water-scarce U.S. Southwest.
Feb. 23, 2024
Judge Hears Oral Arguments In Oak Flat Mine Case
A judge heard oral arguments Wednesday in a case involving Oak Flat, a section of the Tonto National Forest that could become one of the largest copper mines in the United States. A coalition of tribes and conservation groups has tried to block a land swap that would give part of the forest to a London-based mining company.
Feb. 4, 2021
Cooperative Effort Helps Keep Navajo Families Supplied With Firewood
Winter storms have finally arrived in Arizona, bringing cold temperatures up north, but a new program helps keep members of the Navajo Nation supplied in firewood. In the winter, temperatures on the Navajo Nation can get down to single digits. Most homes on the reservation are heated with wood stoves, but wood can be hard to come by.
Jan. 28, 2021
Mural Project Spotlights Arizona Indigenous, Latino Artists
Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation and partner arts organizations have selected Indigenous and Latino artists in Arizona to create art on a shipping container in downtown Phoenix. The project is called "UNCONTAINED," and the first of four artist’s work is now on display.
Jan. 27, 2021
Coalition Files Suit Over Proposed Oak Flat Copper Mine
A coalition of tribes and conservation groups have filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service to block a land swap that would give part of Tonto National Forest to a London-based mining company.
Jan. 26, 2021
Why Renewable Energy Projects Could Threaten Tribal Lands
President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office tomorrow in Washington, D.C. With that comes a lot of expectations from interested parties around the country — including tribes.
Jan. 19, 2021
Biden Expected To Reverse Course On Public Lands
President-elect Joe Biden's choice of Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior is an indication of how public lands — including Bears Ears National Monument and Chaco Canyon — will be managed in the new administration.
Jan. 18, 2021
Apaches Object To Forest Service Review Of Copper Mine
Attorney Michael Nixon said the Forest Service has pledged not to transfer Oak Flat to a copper mining company until the very end of a 60-day window that began Friday with the release of an environmental review.
Jan. 17, 2021
Forest Service Releases Oak Flat Environmental Impact Statement
The Tonto National Forest has released a final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Resolution Copper Mine, paving the way for one of the largest copper mines in the U.S.
Jan. 15, 2021
Apache Group Files Restraining Order To Block Oak Flat Land Swap
An Apache grassroots group has filed a temporary restraining order to block a land transfer involving the Oak Flat section of the Tonto National Forest, paving the way for a massive copper mine.
Jan. 14, 2021
Apache Group Sues Over Land Swap For Arizona Copper Mine
A group of Apaches who have tried for years to reverse a land swap in Arizona that will make way for one of the largest copper mines in the U.S. sued the federal government Tuesday.
Jan. 13, 2021
COVID-19 Relief Package Includes Navajo Water Rights
A recent COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress includes assistance for Navajo Nation water development in Utah.
Dec. 22, 2020
Arizona Tribe Proposes Federal Law To Lease Its Water Rights
The Colorado River Indian Tribes near Parker is proposing a federal law to allow it to lease water rights in Arizona, a move that could aid the state’s response to the drought.
Dec. 12, 2020
Flagstaff Says Helium Drilling Could Endanger Water Supply
Vancouver-based Desert Mountain Energy has been looking at drilling for helium and hydrocarbons around Flagstaff for some time now, but the city filed a restraining order Friday to stop the company from drilling wells on state land about 35 miles east of Flagstaff.
Dec. 12, 2020
Documentary Tells The Story Of Coal Mining On The Navajo Nation
Filmmakers Jordan Fein and Hunter Robert Baker joined The Show to talk about the documentary, "The Blessing," which follows the story of a Native American coal miner.
Nov. 24, 2020
The Complex Coexistence Of Modern Times And Traditional Navajo Ways
The Navajo people have relied on medicine men for spiritual, psychological and physical wellness for centuries. But as Anthony Wallace reports, these ancient healers have been threatened by the pandemic. Now, they’re fighting for survival.
Nov. 18, 2020
APS Commits $127 Million To Navajo Nation
Arizona's largest utility APS announced a $127 million cash commitment to the Navajo Nation over the next 10 years. The money is meant to provide transitional support to communities affected by the closure and environmental effects of the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station.
Nov. 8, 2020
CARES Act Funds Used To Hook Up 335 Navajo Families To Grid
The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority is using CARES Act funds to extend electricity to 510 families — and so far it has reached more than half its goal. In a report given to the tribal president and vice president on Monday, 335 families have now been connected.
Nov. 4, 2020
EPA Funds NAU, Tribal Groups For Pesticide Program
The Environmental Protection Agency is partnering with Northern Arizona University and the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals on a program to manage pesticide use on tribal lands.
Oct. 7, 2020
Native Americans Overcoming Food Security By Returning To Their Traditional Ways
The Navajo Nation has suffered immensely during COVID-19, with more than 8,000 cases and over 450 deaths. The pandemic has also made it tough to get supplies and food. But some Native Americans are overcoming food insecurity by returning to their traditional ways.
Sept. 2, 2020
EPA Announces Rio Reimagined–Rio Salado Project As 20th Member Of Urban Waters Federal Partnership
Federal, state, local and tribal leaders Tuesday announced the Rio Reimagined-Rio Salado Project in Arizona as the 20th Urban Waters Federal Partnership location.
Sept. 1, 2020