Tribal Natural Resources News

Native American tribes around the West are making critical decisions regarding the management of their natural resources — land, water, fossil fuels and renewable resources. The Tribal Natural Resources Desk aims to produce objective reporting to tell stories of tribes empowering themselves through stewardship and decision-making around their natural resources.
More kids in Navajo Nation are vaccinated against COVID than elsewhere in country
COVID-19 hit the Navajo Nation hard. Now, the tribe has vaccinated more than half of children ages 5 to 11; that’s compared to about a third nationwide.
Navajo Nation President Halts NTEC Purchase Of Coal Plants
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez announced this week he is pulling the plug on the Navajo Transitional Energy Company's controversial purchases of three bankrupt coal mines in Wyoming and Montana last month.
What The Future Looks Like For Coal-Reliant Communities
With the closure of the Navajo Generating Station, many questions remain for those who relied on the station to generate jobs and energy. Coal is dying across the country as cleaner energy options become a reality, and communities are left looking for alternatives.
Why Many Navajo Land Owners Arent Participating In Buy-Back Program
Data from the U.S. Interior Department shows fewer members of the Navajo Nation took part in a federal land buy-back program. In fact, the number of Navajo tribal members who decided to sell their land was among the lowest in the country. The program itself stems from a system known as fractionation.
Ripples Felt As The Navajo Generating Station Closes
The Navajo Generating Station is shutting down, creating a ripple effect across the region, from the families left searching for jobs to the Grand Canyon where its absence may mean improvements to air quality. Utility reporter Ryan Randazzo has been covering the generating station and what will be left in its wake.
Arizona District Has The Most Native American Farmers In The U.S.
The latest agriculture census was released earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It details all the types of farms and farmers in America and breaks down the data by congressional district in each state. One district in Arizona has more Native American farmers than any other in the country.
Arizona Millennial Farmers Keep Industry Moving Forward
Lawsuit Challenging Bears Ears Reduction Continues
A federal judge has rejected the Trump Administration’s efforts to dismiss a lawsuit challenging its reduction of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.
Environmentalists Concerned About Dam Proposals Near Grand Canyon
A Phoenix-based company has proposed two dams on the Little Colorado River just a few miles outside Grand Canyon National Park. Environmentalists are worried about ecological and cultural impacts to the area.
Public Hearings To Start For Copper Mine Near Superior
The U.S. Forest Service recently released an environmental impact review of the proposal. Resolution Copper wants to build an underground mine on land it would get from a land swap with the Tonto National Forest.
The Navajo Generating Station Receives Final Coal Load
The final trainload of coal was delivered to the Navajo Generating Station in northern Arizona this week. It signals the closure of the Kayenta Mine that feeds it, and spells the beginning of the end of the plant itself.
Presidential Candidates To Address Native American Issues
The National Congress of American Indians and Four Directions will host a first-ever presidential candidate forum to address issues facing Native Americans on Aug. 19 in Iowa.
Court Rules Groups Cant Stop Mining On Navajo Reservation
Environmental groups have tried to hinder expanded coal mining on the Navajo Reservation that powers the Four Corners Power Plant. But the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals put a stop to their bid on Monday.
Four Corners Congressional Members Support Navajo Hualapai Water Bills
This week, the U.S. House Natural Resource Committee is considering a handful of bills that would ensure clean and sustainable water is delivered to tribal lands along the Four-Corner states.
Report: Retrofitting NGS Would Boost Navajo Economy
As Peabody Energy lays off more Navajo workers, the tribe decides what to do with the old coal mine and power plant set to close in coming months.
Report: Tribes Need Help To Recover From NGS Shutdown
The closures of the Navajo Generating Station and the Kayenta mine later this year will gut tribal government budgets in northern Arizona. That’s according to a report published Thursday.
Navajo Council Considers Hemp Pilot Project
The Navajo Nation Council is considering legislation that would authorize the tribe to conduct a hemp pilot project with New Mexico State University.
Navajo Receive Federal Loan To Complete Solar Farm
The federal government is loaning the Navajo Nation $94 million to complete a solar farm and help reduce customer’s electricity rates.
U.S. Officials Delay Oil Leases Near Sacred Tribal Land
U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has agreed to put off oil and gas leasing for a year on land that Native Americans consider sacred surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico.
Utilities Across U.S. Help Navajo Get Power
Utility crews from around the country are volunteering their time to install electricity on the Navajo Nation. Many Navajos today live without light, running water and the internet — things most anyone takes for granted.
Environmentalists, Tribes Battle Proposed Rosemont Mine
A proposed mine in southeastern Arizona is pitting environmentalists and tribes against groups who say this would be a massive economic boon for the state.
Hualapai Hopes Water Settlement Finally Happens This Congress
The Hualapai Tribe on the south rim of the Grand Canyon is hoping its federal water settlement will finally become law.