I just received a copy of the proposed Navajo Nation Rangeland Improvement Act of 2014 from the tribal Office of Legislative Services. According to the Legislative Services, comments on the proposed 50-page Rangeland Improvement Act may be submitted by emial to firstname.lastname@example.org and there is no deadline given for when the comment period ends. The proposed Rangeland laws are also not attached to proposed legislation.
Legislative Services Director Tom Platero informed me that the public comment period for the proposed Rangeland laws would continue until the proposed Rangeland laws are included with proposed legislation. Once the proposed laws are attached to legislation, the five-day comment period begins. And remember that public comments are accepted until the legislation receives final approval by the Council.
Platero also said that the Navajo Council’s Resources and Development Committee is holding a public hearing on June 30, 2014.
Legislative staff for the Resources and Development Committee reported that the public hearing on the proposed Rangeland laws are at 9 a.m. at the Dine’ College gymnasium in Tsaile, Ariz.
According to RDC Chairperson Katherine Benally, the Navajo Nation laws affected by the proposed Rangeland Improvement Act of 2014 are:
Navajo Nation Code Title 2 Agriculture and Livestock: Chapter 1 Agricultural Leases, Assignments, and Permits.
Navajo Nation Code Title 2 Agriculture and Livestock: Chapter 3 Rangeland Leases for Pasture of Livestock.
Navajo Nation Code Title 2 Agriculture and Livestock: Chapter 5 Grazing.
Navajo Nation Code Title 2 Agriculture and Livestock: Chapter 7 Control and Inspection of Livestock.
Navajo Nation Code Title 2 Agriculture and Livestock: Chapter 17 Fences (1950).
Navajo Nation Code Title 2 Navajo Nation Government: Chapter 6 Ethics in Government Law
Navajo Nation Code Title 11 Elections: Chapter 1 Navajo Election Code of 1990.
Navajo Nation Code Title 16 Land: Chapter 15 Residential and Use of Rights on Lands Added to Reservation.
Benally also advised all interested persons that would be attending the June 30 public hearing to submit data,
views or arguments, verbally or in writing.
She explained that verbal comments would be limited to ten minutes per person but that anyone needing more than ten minutes should request additional time to the Resources and Development, which would consider the additional time requests at the hearing.
The RDC has been holding committee meetings on the proposed Rangeland laws for almost 2 year now. And according to a March 25 verbal report to the RDC from tribal Agriculture Department Director Leo Watchman, about three boxes of public comments were collected.
The Legislative Branch issued a PRESS RELEASE this afternoon about the RDC’s public hearing on the proposed Navajo Rangeland Improvement Act of 2014 and also highlighted portions of the proposed law.
According to tribal legislative, the proposed Act would change the authority of the Agriculture director by giving him or her the management of grazing permits, the appeals process, and supervision of the Range Technicians.
The proposed law would also create Range Technicians, whom would replace the District Grazing Committees and District Land Boards.
If the Council approves the proposed laws, the Department of Agriculture would manage the grazing permits, following a transition period that includes the review and re-issuance of permits.
“Processes for permits in the Navajo Partitioned Lands and McCracken Mesa, seasonal permitting, and regulations to determine eligibility for grazing permits are also addressed,” legislative staff reported. “Other areas include grazing fees, grazing district boundaries, fencing, range units and management, conservation management plans, improvements, recreational livestock, use of motor vehicle, burials, construction in livestock water development areas, wildlife assessment, and livestock trespass. Rules on enforcement, impoundment, and civil sanction and appeals processes are also covered.”
Legislative staff urged the public to attend the public hearing and to submit comments prior to June 30. Written comments may be sent to email@example.com.
If you have questions regarding the public hearing, please contact the Office of Legislative Services at (928) 871-7254.
For news on the latest legislative branch activities, please visit www.navajonationcouncil.org