Navajo Council Naabik’iyati Committee is listening to report from Navajo Agricultural Products Industry (NIIP) about the federal government’s failure to uphold its 1962 agreement to finish Navajo Indian Irrigation Project by 1997.
Navajo Agricultural Products Industry representatives Tsosie Lewis, manager; Paul Moorehead, lobbyist in DC, Haskie; Paul Frye, private attorney; NAPI Board Vice Chair Irvin Chavez, district 19-Negeezi Chapter.
NIIP agreed to in 1962 and based on handshake. Chama Diversion was completed in ten years. NIIP still at 70,000 acres and incomplete. Sad to hear that Interior officials questioning 1962 agreement. It floored me. Edlers that signed agreement in 1962 and believed farm completed in certain amount of time. Board has traveled to DC and to no avail.
There have been numerous studies.
Study done by NFPI Board and Management. When we meet with committees and subcommittees, we are asked how much money being lost and how much would it take to finish block 9, 10, 11.
Assessment done by company. If put price tag, its loss of $4 billion to Navajo Nation – water downstream that was designated for NIIP. Did study since 1976. Booklet is to help you understand and we are not soliciting you. We are educating you. And we made this report to Resources & Development Committee annual enterprise meeting.
It is an economic loss cuz of US failure to complete NIIP, which is owned by Navajo Nation.
We ask for direction. There is 110,136 farming 72,000 acres. Since 2000, the federal funding has gone flat, about $3 million for federal staff.
We found out last week that since Navajo Nation not proactive, we found out that future blocks, 11, has approved homesite lease and range management.
So we are losing time. With blessing of Board and we met with tribal land department, I imposed moratorium on homesite leases and range management by Navajo Nation.
There’s also old homesite lease. So when we don’t have a plan, there’s displacement of future farm land.
Cost to develop Blocks 9, 10, 11.
Loss of $4 billion and as years go, there will be more loss and more drought and expansion of large metropolitan areas down south, means more economic boom for southern area.
How much NN has lost cuz federal government refusing to uphold contractual agreement. And the $4 billion does not include jobs.
Convince congress to do something. But nothing from administration and interior. Legislation 0047-12
Use in litigation and not preferred alternative, uncertain especially with this Supreme Court and expensive legal fees.
Finally when met with Resources & Development Committee, they said there shud be negotiating team, similar to Trust Mismanagement Settlement Team. So met with Chief Legislative Counsel Henry and NDOJ attorney Bitah Becker and found that 2012 Council legislation approved Team. So all the pieces are ready to go.
Moorehead will talk later about legislation that is ready to be dropped into legislative process.
History of NIIP. 9 years after Act signed, San Juan Chama completed and zero blocks competed at NIIP. 1976 was NIIP completion date.
2001, Block 8 completed. Now working on last three blocks getting completed.
First Prez Bush yr was $25 million funding for NIIP and stabilized at $13 million in 2002. 2009 $12 m. 2012 has 75 percent decrease $3.3 m. 2015 has zero dollars for NIIP construction.
“Navajo Land Consolidation and Archeological Protection Act” will be sponsored in House by Rep. Lujan and hopefully Sen. Udall in Senate. But NLCAPA is for 500,000 acres of BLM land, oil an dgas revenues depositied ini the NIIP construction account; $220 m deposited in NIIP oil and gas account.
This bill wud allow federal government to get out agreement and pay for NIIP with non cash federal assets which is land.
Asking for parties to move “aggressively” in next weeks.