Navajo Dept of Ag supports full time range management officers instead of elected grazing and farm board officials because to improve rangeland and issues over grazing permits and land permits. An.d to have accoutability
Not compensated to deal 8 hours a day and five days a week to deal with grazing issues. Need to respond to needs of those holding grazing permits and rangeland conservation.
DEPT OF AG DIRECTOR WATCHMAN
Each year, elected grazing & farm boards come to Council for more funding whle community members complain about them and could be because taking on more than what is their responsibility.
One community where working becuse community holding elected officials accountable is New Lands (Navajo pple federally relocated cuz of so-called Navajo Hopi land dispute)
Performance becomes problem. each year budget money and performance scoring low and comes back to reporting. Council questions elected officials but still continue funding. Full time employees might be best option and elected officials asking for updated plan of operation.
RDC VICE CHAIRPERSON SMITH
in proposed Rangeland Improvement Act there are a lot of concerns and so how do we implement process and that is key.
RDC MEMBER LEONARD TSOSIE
I say this with respect and disappointment but to say that 24-member Concil not working when there is no proven track record. Look at feral horse roundup where spending more than $6,000 for low amount of horses captured.
The creation of 44 more full time employees adds to bureaucracy. Why not hire veterinarian at each agency or five chapters each. And don’t allow rangeland management unit cuz 95 percent of Navajo range under permit holders, who represent 5 percent of Navajo population.
The land ownership needs to be re-examined. Grazing permit holders need to be told that all they are getting is grazing permit and not ultimate authority over Navajo land which comes from permittees thinking they have “customary land use area.”
we should encourage groups to have shared land use for farms. At White Horse Chapter, most of rangeland under permit of one rancher who allows outsiders to come in. And then when young Navajo families want homesite lease, grazing permitee thinks he or she have right to say yes or no.
what dept of ag and NDOJ recommending is not going to work. public policy works if staff have guts to say that this is right thing to protect Navajo land. If you go out there, is dept of ag staff having guts to say that livestock carrying capacity is zero and remove livestock. but dept of ag has never done. carrying capacity should be done annually and now grazing permits have factionated.
so having full time employees doesn’t mean efficient. but if have guts to do right thing for right purpose then works. now have 10,000 permit, 7,000 not used, 2,000 wekend cowboys and 1,00 used. we learnd that at hard rock chapters. you should recommend cancellation of permits but as long as you have no guts then continue with problem.
but as soon as cancel 9,000 permits then issue permit to cooperative, especially for young pple, rather than one individual.
New Lands is experiment and they had tons of money. but out there, no money. but here need to change things. i think days of grazing official over and do differently. along each road there should be economic development zones and housing zones and beyond that is where have limited grazing permits.
and if pple want customary use area then they can claim and we will ID and then hve that individual pay $1 per acre so if that person claims 4,000 acres then that person pays $4,000 annual customary use area fee.
what found with feral horse roundup is that many of our pple have horses and don’t have permits.
also land disputes created by factioned grazing permits and NDOJ & dept of ag has no guts to recommend reduction of grazing permits.
we are having tons and tons of problem out there. so if allow cooperative use and grazing permit not right but privilege and grazing permits not inheritable so no probate, which requires legal analysis.
those are my thoughts and we need to seriously look at how re-doing Grazing Act cuz this Rangeland Improvement Act does not address feral horses, grazing permits, land disputes.