Navajo Energy Summit – Navajo reservation is in a drought

Here at Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources Energy Summit’s work session on “Climate Change on the Navajo Nation” by tribal Fish and Wildlife Director Gloria Tom and my apologies for arriving late. I wasn’t able to blog much but I do have most of Tom’s presentation on video tape. By the way, i was late cuz I wanted statements on climate change from APS, PNM, SRP, NTUA.

The reservation is in a drought.
thru grants we are monitoring species in habitat and impact of climate change. working w BIA on vulunerability assessment for Navajo rez. In august, my department is sponsoirng climate change adaption change work shop. our goal with work shop is colloborate, develop strategies to prepare for climate change and come up with starting point to address climate change.
some departments ahead of others, such as water department. aug. 19 and 20 climate change work shop at Twin Arrows.
some things we are promoting regarding outreach to communities. promoting energy efficiency, replace weather stipping, buying locally sustainable produced food, buying energy star appliances, dry clothes on line instead of drier,

so what have individuals living on rez observed regarding climate change?
Man, dryness. difficult offer assistance to people in very rural parts of rez, such as information here. they also want all kinds of free assistance but it’s their personal responsibility as livestock owners. they say they can’t haul water.
before he got mike he said that there is lack of water, forage on landscape. lot of people forced to haul water to keep livestock going. and that interesting about land users on rez and how livestock basic foundation of people. in 1930s rez overgrazed and federal government set grazing permit animal unts based on land at that time. it wasn’t until this year to do range inventory study thru Bureau of Indian Affairs and it’s telling us that we need to reduce pressure on landscape and very difficult cuz livestock primary basis for livlihood of navajo people.
so August work shop is also how to make adjustments to life to continue way of life.
also wat seeing on rez and has tremendous impact and climate change, we are losing lot of natural habitat to development. especially impacting wild life. they are like us; they need shelter, food, space, water. we are seeing a lot more species being endangered. we’re losing a lot of habitate to development. my department has been trying to implement policy like zoning. we have ID areas critical to wild life sustainability.
for some of energy companies that have come thru our office for their project development, we scrutinzie cuz trying to keep as much impact from critical areas. have policies in place but when someone gets idea to live way out there, then demand to water and electricity and road and that opens remote area up. wat seeing.
data on landscape. since 1930s seen livestock production and has there been any recovery.

most data off rez. restoration in natural resource, we have not been very proactive in rehabilitating and restoring land and why in perdictament we are. some areas, we don’t have enough vegetation to hold land from monsoons so see flash floods and why again we are hosting August work shop. there are mechanisms out there to do that and there is US fish and wildlife funding for research to address climate change on landscape. and its not from state or tribe but regional and southern rockies includes several states and tribes. they are approaching from landscape perspective. in southern az, there is desert conservation group, there is little change. states were implementing but now regional.
as far as rehabilitation and restoration effort, we are trying to spearhead projects at local level for water.
we really need to get back out into field and do rehab. Assaayii Lake devastating, negative impacts on people, there is still positive. now have opportunity to do rehab to mountain but also need chapters to assist in restoring to better than.
those from rez know about unregulated land use. we have no zoning. no enforcement of homesites.

MAN, former DED director,
temperate increase several years and lose natural grasses. research that shows all clouds gather on grassland. invasion of foreign weeds. springs unkept. so we are compounding issues. tuba city has so much water going into sewage. some of best water around. we are not strategic and this involves public schools, hospitals. so involve more than chapters. involve non-profits and traditional knowledge. i crafted governance law and i know people don’t respond to white man law but traditional law.

august 4, 5, 6 have wildlife work shop and we want to bring traditional planning, land use planning. we are missing that component. wen my department trying to implement projects but local people see as intruding cuz don’t understand. conference is free.

we know there are navajo fundamental law and we knew climate change coming. our elders told us prepare yourself. seen late winter, late spring.

one of ideas of 1990s is concept of local government with chapters and from that is chapters would develop land use and assume responsibility for own lands. but didn’t work. most land use was for chapter tract and not entire chapter. so we have responsibility to prepare ourselves. but there are some communities being proactive and implementing zoning and address. but long way from meeting goals.

DARYL AHASTEEN of Indian Wells
Bears are encroaching into neighborhoods. livestock are also getting stuck in mud from ponds drying up slowly. i’ve noticed sand dunes.

with bears, they rely tremendously on oak and acorn, which relies on percipitation and if low then production low and bear eat anything. we see lot of conflict in mountains. people feed dog food out. Tsaile beginning to be popular area for bears. and also not controlling trash.
but seeing more people expanding homes into remote areas.
We are in way of progress.

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