Navajo Council’s Resources and Development Committee is now on LEGISLATION 0352-14: An Action Relating to Law and Order; Resources and Development and Naa’bik’iyati’; Amending 3 N.N.C. §§ 61-69; And; Enacting the Amendments to the Navajo Nation Farm Board Plan of Operation Act of 2014. SPONSOR, DELEGATE DANNY SIMPSON
COUNCIL DELEGATE DANNY SIMPSON
This legislation is to assist Farm Boards in making the best of use of farm lands, which often are left idle. It also helps with clarification regarding compensation. The first plan of operation was in 1997 and so we are in need of an updated plan of operation for the Farm Boards. This is not just coming from Farm Boards, but also from Navajo Department of Agriculture. And this Legislation needs Council approval.
RDC MEMBER LEONARD TSOSIE
Why do we need this? Farm Board just grow alfalfa and hay for themselves. I think that Farm Boards have outgrown their use. We need to assess Farm Boards and make a part of overall government reform. We need to study how we should address US position on water. Some of us believe that water on Navajo Reservation belongs to Navajo Nation. If look at page 7, we are requiring Farm Boards to go to more meetings and so they’ll be saying, You have to pay me. Page 9 deals with probates and Office of Hearings and Appeals and so this is another reason to make this a part of government reform. And you reported that a lot of farm land is idle. So do we need Farm Boards? Should we merge them?
DELEGATE DANNY SIMPSON
Ever since the Council came in, we have been talking about government reform. And some of us have been working on this for several months so it’s not a last minute effort. Delegate Phelps know I have been asking him to let me sponsor it. That memo from Navajo Department of Justice in 2011 regarding Farm Boards have been resolved. Probate and divorce is another reason that farm lands are idle. Outside people are telling us that use of water is foundation of claiming water rights. Farm Boards oversee farming/farmers. Every chapter has ability to have community farms. And every Navajo has ability to have small farm/garden in their backyards. I’ve asked Delegates to co-sponsor community farms in their areas. This updated Farm Board plan of operation is like the P-Card policies. We have been talking and talking. I’m also sponsoring legislation on a Corrective Action Plan on an audit that was conducted of the P-cards for Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.
RDC MEMBER LEONARD HASKIE
I think it is incumbant upon each of us to have conference regarding Farming. How do we feel about farming? This is something we need to talk to our grandchildren about. There have been tremendous changes on the Navajo reservation. What does farming offer Navajos – in the past, present, future? I have always supported Navajo Agricultural Products Industry. And there is no water for NAPI in the Navajo-Gallup Water Pipeline Project. I was very disappointed in running that pipeline behind Dithnaodithli because federal government didn’t want Navajos tapping into it. I have seen some recent designs of farming that are really beautiful and what is the most sufficient way to water farms, avoid erosion, combat silt. Silt kills farms and we have just given up. That is what I think. I appreciate your legislation.
RDC VOTES ON LEGISLATION 0352-14, 3 IN FAVOR, 1 OPPOSED. RDC MEMBER LEONARD TSOSIE IS SOLE OPPOSITION. IT IS NOW 4:26 PM.