Tribal Natural Resources News

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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
$580M headed to 15 tribes for water rights settlements
Fifteen Native American tribes will get a total of $580 million in federal money this year for water rights settlements, the Biden administration announced Thursday.
Feb. 3, 2023
Havasu Falls set to reopen in February to visitors
The Havasupai Tribe announced that it is reopening Havasu Falls on Feb. 1. The famous waterfalls near the Grand Canyon were a major tourism draw before COVID-19 restrictions were put in place.
Jan. 27, 2023
An argument for the protection of geoglyphs in Arizona
Geoglyphs are massive etchings on the land found found all over the world, including in Arizona, where development can threaten their preservation.
Jan. 26, 2023
This Arizona seed bank keeps a Native agricultural past alive
Long before there were grocery stores and fast-food restaurants, ancient cultures found sustenance in the Southwest through innovative farming techniques. A nonprofit seed bank in southern Arizona is keeping that agricultural past alive, restoring traditional crops and foods that in some cases go back hundreds of years.
More news from the Fronteras Desk
Jan. 18, 2023
Biden administration releases new guidelines tribal consultation
President Joe Biden pledged to work closer with America’s tribes, and has taken a number of steps to fulfill that pledge. The president recently took another.
Dec. 23, 2022
Volunteers document springs in sky island country
Although big water projects such as dams are front and center when Arizona cities talk about their water supply, the state’s wildlife relies on natural sources, like springs. A nonprofit is doing a survey on springs in the southern Arizona area known as sky island country.
Dec. 12, 2022
Cocopah Tribe working to restore Colorado River’s native plants
After more than a century of dam building and development, the Colorado River ends as a trickle at the Arizona-Mexico border. The river was once the lifeblood of the Cocopah, or River People. The tribe has begun trying to return a sliver of that landscape to what it once was.
More news from the Tribal Natural Resources Desk
Dec. 7, 2022
AZ Court of Appeals sides with San Carlos Apache Tribe in mine case
A proposed copper mine 70 miles east of Phoenix is facing another legal setback. The Arizona Court of Appeals has sided with the San Carlos Apache Tribe in its latest bid to keep Resolution Copper from moving forward.
Nov. 17, 2022
Tribe to make water supply available to Rio Verde homes
The San Carlos Apache tribe has offered to make 65 million gallons of its Central Arizona Project water available while Rio Verde works out a long-term solution.
Nov. 1, 2022
Environmental groups sue federal government over oil production lease approvals
Environmental groups are suing the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Interior Department Secretary Deb Haaland over an area that has been eyed for increased oil and gas development.
Oct. 28, 2022
Utah tribe gathers to protest uranium mill near Bears Ears
Members of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe joined with members of the Grand Canyon Trust and others to protest White Mesa Mill uranium processing plant and the threats it might pose to local air and water quality.
Oct. 24, 2022
$200K EPA study will test air, water at Cocopah Head Start facility
Researchers from Northern Arizona University and University of Arizona are collaborating with the Cocopah Indian Tribe to assess environmental health issues at a Head Start and day care facility. Concerns include possible air and water pollution from surrounding areas.
Oct. 6, 2022
Tribe says Arizona built border barrier against its wishes
The Cocopah Indian Tribe said Friday that the state of Arizona acted against its wishes by stacking shipping containers on its land to prevent illegal border crossings.
Sept. 2, 2022
Sage being poached in from Native land. Heres why
As sage has ballooned in popularity, journalists and activists are uncovering a dirty truth about the sacred desert plant: Sage is being poached in massive quantities.
Hear more interviews from The Show
Sept. 1, 2022
Navajo discuss uranium exposure legislation
During the Cold War, the uranium industry dug hundreds of mines on the Navajo Nation. Officials with the tribe met recently to discuss the impacts of uranium exposure to tribal members.
Aug. 30, 2022
Project to provide water for White Mountain Apaches
The Bureau of Reclamation recently opened an Environmental Impact Statement on the Miner Flat Dam at Fort Apache to public comments.
Aug. 24, 2022
Navajo officials lead tour of abandoned uranium sites near Cameron
Navajo President Jonathan Nez and tribal officials met with Arizona Congressman Tom O’Halleran and others recently to visit abandoned uranium mines near Cameron.
Aug. 22, 2022
Tribes, conservationists back Grijalvas Great Bend of the Gila Conservation Act
For thousands of years, tribes living in what is now the Southwestern United States gathered at the Gila River. They left a legacy that conservationists would like to preserve, and Congressman Raul Grijalva has introduced legislation that could make that a reality.
Aug. 22, 2022
Tribes along the Colorado River are finally getting their say on water policy
Historically, tribes along the Colorado River have been left out of decision-making about it, despite being senior water rights holders. But that's starting to change.
Aug. 9, 2022
House approves bill to let tribes to lease Colorado River water
Sponsored by Democratic Reps. Raul Grijalva and Greg Stanton, the bill authorizes the Colorado River Indian Tribes to lease water gained through conservation.
Aug. 1, 2022

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