Tribal Natural Resources

Tribal Natural Resources

Native American tribes around the West are making critical decisions regarding the management of their natural 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 natural resources.
A decade ago, it looked like Chef Nephi Craig was on the verge of something big. He had left a burgeoning international career in the restaurant industry to come back home to Whiteriver, Arizona, a small town on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in eastern Arizona, where his people — the White Mountain Apaches — are from.
Coal Industry On Navajo Nation Could End With Plant Closure
The closure of a coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation sooner than expected will be a major blow to a region where coal has been a mainstay of the economy for decades. The Arizona Public Service Co. now plans to shutter the Four Corners Power Plant near Farmington, New Mexico, in 2031 when its coal contract expires rather than wait until 2038.
Will Sales Taxes Help Tribes Bounce Back From A Development Ban?
The Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe were, until recently, subject to a ban on development under what was known as the “Bennett Freeze.” To find out more out that piece of history and how it’s impacted communities, The Show spoke with Mark Trahant, editor of Indian Country Today.
Navajo President: China Trade Deal Would Benefit Tribes
The Navajo president said the trade agreement that the Trump administration and China signed Wednesday would open doors for tribes.
Navajo, SRP Take Steps To Make Solar A Priority
The Navajo Nation is taking steps to make solar energy a priority, with the help of Salt River Project. Salt River Project seeks proposals for up to 200 megawatts of solar development on the Navajo Nation.
After Revenue Loss From Coal, Hopi Scramble To Fill Budget Gap
When the Navajo Generating Station and the Peabody Coal Mine shut down late last year, they took with them royalties that the Hopi Tribe depended on for more than four decades. Hopi leaders have known this day would come, yet they left it up to the current tribal council to replace that revenue generator.
Life After Coal: Moving On From The Navajo Generating Station
The Salt River Project announced it would close the Navajo Generating Station two years ago. That started a domino effect on the Navajo Nation. In November, the Kayenta Mine and the coal fired power plant closed, and hundreds of jobs were lost. Now new sources of energy are beginning to sprout.
Hopi Tribe Vets Coal Bed Methane Companies
The Hopi Tribe is vetting a group that has proposed an idea that could generate revenue, jobs and electricity for the tribe. Two Native-owned businesses called Northrock Technology and United Rain have proposed technology used for many years outside the U.S. to harvest coal bed methane, a form of natural gas.
EPA Fines Hopi Over Arsenic In Drinking Water
Federal officials have fined the Hopi Tribe for failing to reduce arsenic levels in its drinking water at the Hopi Cultural Center. The Hopi Tribe has agreed to pay the $3,800 fine and to finish building a treatment system by early next year.
Tribes, Groups Oppose Grand Canyon Dams
A Phoenix company is asking the federal government for preliminary permits to study two dam projects along the Little Colorado River on the Navajo Reservation. But tribes, conservation groups, and the Arizona Department of Game and Fish are speaking out.
EPA Sending Money To Tribes For Environmental Projects
The federal government is sending almost $29 million to tribes in the region for water infrastructure and environmental protection.
Report: Native Americans Have Most Trouble Accessing Water
For many of us turning on the tap or flushing the toilet is something we take for granted. But a report released Monday showed more than 2 million Americans live without these conveniences. And Native Americans are more likely to have trouble accessing water than any other group.
Navajo Nation President Halts NTEC Purchase Of Coal Plants
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez announced this week he is pulling the plug on the Navajo Transitional Energy Company's controversial purchases of three bankrupt coal mines in Wyoming and Montana last month.
What The Future Looks Like For Coal-Reliant Communities
With the closure of the Navajo Generating Station, many questions remain for those who relied on the station to generate jobs and energy. Coal is dying across the country as cleaner energy options become a reality, and communities are left looking for alternatives.
Why Many Navajo Land Owners Arent Participating In Buy-Back Program
Data from the U.S. Interior Department shows fewer members of the Navajo Nation took part in a federal land buy-back program. In fact, the number of Navajo tribal members who decided to sell their land was among the lowest in the country. The program itself stems from a system known as fractionation.
Ripples Felt As The Navajo Generating Station Closes
The Navajo Generating Station is shutting down, creating a ripple effect across the region, from the families left searching for jobs to the Grand Canyon where its absence may mean improvements to air quality. Utility reporter Ryan Randazzo has been covering the generating station and what will be left in its wake.
Arizona District Has The Most Native American Farmers In The U.S.
The latest agriculture census was released earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It details all the types of farms and farmers in America and breaks down the data by congressional district in each state. One district in Arizona has more Native American farmers than any other in the country.
Arizona Millennial Farmers Keep Industry Moving Forward
Lawsuit Challenging Bears Ears Reduction Continues
A federal judge has rejected the Trump Administration’s efforts to dismiss a lawsuit challenging its reduction of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.
Environmentalists Concerned About Dam Proposals Near Grand Canyon
A Phoenix-based company has proposed two dams on the Little Colorado River just a few miles outside Grand Canyon National Park. Environmentalists are worried about ecological and cultural impacts to the area.
Public Hearings To Start For Copper Mine Near Superior
The U.S. Forest Service recently released an environmental impact review of the proposal. Resolution Copper wants to build an underground mine on land it would get from a land swap with the Tonto National Forest.
The Navajo Generating Station Receives Final Coal Load
The final trainload of coal was delivered to the Navajo Generating Station in northern Arizona this week. It signals the closure of the Kayenta Mine that feeds it, and spells the beginning of the end of the plant itself.

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