Tribal Natural Resources News

Native American tribes around the West are making critical decisions regarding the management of their 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 resources.
Learning lessons from one Hopi dry farmer on his last day in the cornfield
Gary Tso reflects on three decades of Hopi dry farming his mother's corn and the spiritual lessons that come with living his faith on a single-acre field at the bottom of Second Mesa.
Hand-roasting Pima 60-Day Corn is hard and expensive, but essential to preserve heirloom products
Biden Administration Pauses Massive Copper Mine Near Superior
The Biden administration this week put a pause on a land transfer that would have allowed an international mining company to build a massive copper mine near Superior.
Forest Service Rescinds Oak Flat Environmental Impact Statement
The U.S. Forest Service issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement in January that cleared the way for one of the largest copper mines in the U.S. in the Tonto National Forest. The agency has now rescinded that decision.
Judge Rules Against Apaches In Oak Flat Copper Mine Case
A federal judge has rejected a request by the grassroots group Apache Stronghold to keep the U.S. Forest Service from transferring a parcel of land to a copper mining company.
Ajo Group Provides Food For Those In Need During Pandemic
The Ajo Farmers Market & Cafe stands near the town square. Before the pandemic, it sold food and art from local farmers and artists. Back in October, every surface was filled with boxes and bags of produce and dry foods, all of which was given away to families in need.
How The Pandemic Made It Harder To Stay Warm On The Navajo Nation
With many of us spending much more time at home over the last year, the common things we’d do most days have become much less common. For those who can work from home or order groceries via an app, the overall effect on our lives hasn’t been extremely dramatic. But many residents of the Navajo Nation and members of the Hopi Tribe have much greater challenges.
Judge Hears Oral Arguments In Oak Flat Mine Case
A judge heard oral arguments Wednesday in a case involving Oak Flat, a section of the Tonto National Forest that could become one of the largest copper mines in the United States. A coalition of tribes and conservation groups has tried to block a land swap that would give part of the forest to a London-based mining company.
Cooperative Effort Helps Keep Navajo Families Supplied With Firewood
Winter storms have finally arrived in Arizona, bringing cold temperatures up north, but a new program helps keep members of the Navajo Nation supplied in firewood. In the winter, temperatures on the Navajo Nation can get down to single digits. Most homes on the reservation are heated with wood stoves, but wood can be hard to come by.
Mural Project Spotlights Arizona Indigenous, Latino Artists
Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation and partner arts organizations have selected Indigenous and Latino artists in Arizona to create art on a shipping container in downtown Phoenix. The project is called "UNCONTAINED," and the first of four artist’s work is now on display.
Coalition Files Suit Over Proposed Oak Flat Copper Mine
A coalition of tribes and conservation groups have filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service to block a land swap that would give part of Tonto National Forest to a London-based mining company.
Why Renewable Energy Projects Could Threaten Tribal Lands
President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office tomorrow in Washington, D.C. With that comes a lot of expectations from interested parties around the country — including tribes.
Biden Expected To Reverse Course On Public Lands
President-elect Joe Biden's choice of Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior is an indication of how public lands — including Bears Ears National Monument and Chaco Canyon — will be managed in the new administration.
Apaches Object To Forest Service Review Of Copper Mine
Attorney Michael Nixon said the Forest Service has pledged not to transfer Oak Flat to a copper mining company until the very end of a 60-day window that began Friday with the release of an environmental review.
Forest Service Releases Oak Flat Environmental Impact Statement
The Tonto National Forest has released a final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Resolution Copper Mine, paving the way for one of the largest copper mines in the U.S.
Apache Group Files Restraining Order To Block Oak Flat Land Swap
An Apache grassroots group has filed a temporary restraining order to block a land transfer involving the Oak Flat section of the Tonto National Forest, paving the way for a massive copper mine.
Apache Group Sues Over Land Swap For Arizona Copper Mine
A group of Apaches who have tried for years to reverse a land swap in Arizona that will make way for one of the largest copper mines in the U.S. sued the federal government Tuesday.
COVID-19 Relief Package Includes Navajo Water Rights
A recent COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress includes assistance for Navajo Nation water development in Utah.
Arizona Tribe Proposes Federal Law To Lease Its Water Rights
The Colorado River Indian Tribes near Parker is proposing a federal law to allow it to lease water rights in Arizona, a move that could aid the state’s response to the drought.
Flagstaff Says Helium Drilling Could Endanger Water Supply
Vancouver-based Desert Mountain Energy has been looking at drilling for helium and hydrocarbons around Flagstaff for some time now, but the city filed a restraining order Friday to stop the company from drilling wells on state land about 35 miles east of Flagstaff.
Documentary Tells The Story Of Coal Mining On The Navajo Nation
Filmmakers Jordan Fein and Hunter Robert Baker joined The Show to talk about the documentary, "The Blessing," which follows the story of a Native American coal miner.
The Complex Coexistence Of Modern Times And Traditional Navajo Ways
The Navajo people have relied on medicine men for spiritual, psychological and physical wellness for centuries. But as Anthony Wallace reports, these ancient healers have been threatened by the pandemic. Now, they’re fighting for survival.