NAVAJO AREA BIA DIRECTOR SHARON PINTO
There have been a mixture of these oil and gas leasing activities in Eastern Navajo. the first part of leasing has occured and $62 million has been released to Navajo allottees and that has been huge gain, lifestyle change. How are they responding to change. but as result of leasing activity, the next activity will be well drilling. wat comes with that? obviously environmental concerns, safety concerns of trucks and traffic. Royalty payments will also occur. What allotees received is bonus payment for signing leases and if no oil and gas drilling then allottees receive bonus. But next part of drilling will require support of tribal government for environmental reviews and enviromental assessments. and that time frame is critical. I wasn’t able provide report to Council cuz it was late in evening and I was ready to go to Washington Dc. but i understand lot of concern for eastern agaency oil and gass drilling.
there is lot of concern about income from leasing activity. and now folks no longer eligible for social security and medicaid because of large payements. so BIA have been providing training for land owners. i was at outreach last Thursday at Nageezi from FEMA office and provided lot of good information. but unfortunately, you do radio announcements, fliers, federal officials will be there but then no one shows up or very few. We do plan to conduct another one at end of May and at other locations. Ervin Chavez asked for these work sessions at Nageezi, Counselor, Torreon, Pueblo Pintado.
The other that is critical is environmental impact statement has been released for Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Coal Mine. Public hearings to occur and all public comments will be transcribed and become part of EIS before EIS released. Durango, Colo., Cortez, Colo., Albuquerque, NM, are included. Draft EIA available online and at Eastern Agency Office.
And it is Fire Season and we are once again supporting the BIA Navajo Scouts, which are the Navajo Reservation’s Type 2 wildland fire fighters. And it brought about $1 million in payroll for the Navajo Scout program.
We are working with Navajo Dept of Agriculture for re-issuing of grazing permit for Precinct 3 of Navajo Partition Land