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.
A historic Gila River Indian Community groundbreaking stirs up a celebration
The sound of an auger drilling along the Casa Blanca Canal, south of Phoenix, stirs up a celebration for the Gila River Indian Community on Friday. It signifies the start of a five-year pilot project to cover nearly 3,000 feet of that canal with more than 2,500 solar panels.
GRIC got a big shout-out at the White House Tribal Nations Summit
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Navajo Water Warrior Delivers Water To People In Need
Flatbed trucks are loaded with brimming barrels of water, and the teams take off — up and down the burnt orange washboard roads that crisscross the Navajo Nation Reservation. Zoel Zohnnie grew up on a ranch in these vast lands, knowing what it’s like to live without running water, knowing what it means to drive for miles to fill up at a community water station and then haul it back home.
Navajo See Farming Renaissance 5 Years After Mine Spill
Five years ago an EPA crew investigating a mine in Colorado accidentally unleashed 3 million gallons of metal-contaminated waste into the southwest river system. Downstream hundreds of Navajo quit farming as a result. But that’s changed in recent months as the tribe became one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus.
A Year After Kayenta Mine Closure, Questions Surround Cleanup Process
Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva is asking why more hasn’t been done to clean up a coal mining site on the Navajo Nation.
Yaqui Indigenous Communities In Sonora Protest Over Water Rights
Members of Yaqui Indigenous communities in southern Sonora, Mexico, are blocking a federal highway and the railway in a renewed battle over land and water rights. The blockade gained attention this week after stopping the movement of goods headed for the United States.
Struggle To Access Clean Water On Navajo Nation Exacerbated By Pandemic
Clean running water on the Navajo Nation has been an ongoing challenge for decades. The Navajo Water Project was started in 2016 as a way to put a dent in the problem, and it has helped by installing running water systems in 300 households so far. But the coronavirus pandemic has upped the difficulty.
BLM Completes Land Sale To Gila River Indian Community
The Bureau of Land Management has completed the sale of two public land parcels to the Gila River Indian Community. The sale of the two parcels, totaling over 3,300 acres, is in accordance with the Gila River Indian Community Federal Rights-of-Way, Easements and Boundary Clarification Act.
Havasupai Tribe Tells River Trips To Stay Away
As Grand Canyon National Park allows its first trips of the season down the Colorado River, the Havasupai Tribe has told river guides to stay off its land. In the original notice to river outfitters, the Havasupai Tribe banned guides from hiking visitors to its popular waterfalls on its “traditional use lands.”
Tribes Sue Federal Government Over Water Regulation Repeal
Two Arizona Tribes are suing the federal government after President Donald Trump repealed Obama-era regulations defining the scope of the protections of the Clean Water Act.
Arizona Highways: Growing Peaches In Canyon De Chelly
Let’s take a trip between the sandstone walls of Canyon de Chelly in northern Arizona, home of Spider Rock, the remains of ancient villages and ... peaches.
U.S. Energy Department Recommends Mining Access On Fed Lands
The U.S. Energy Department released a report Thursday with recommendations that would make it easier for companies to mine for uranium near Grand Canyon National Park and Bears Ears National Monument.