Posted on June 6, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
A 280-mile pipeline will bring water deep into the heart of the desert Southwest.
Project touted as key piece in meeting longstanding obligations to Native Americans
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — About 40 percent of the 200,000 residents of the Navajo Nation must drive to get water for daily use, but that may change in the next few years, as crews last week started working on a 280-mile pipeline that will shunt water from the San Juan River deep into the heart of Navajo country.
“It is simply unacceptable that four in ten members of the Navajo Nation must
haul their water, often over long distances, from water stations,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said during a ground-breaking ceremony. “This project will be an engine for economic growth, create jobs, and supply the lifeblood for communities that have been without running water for far too long,” he said. (more…)
Filed under: Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: Ben Shelly, Ken Salazar, Navajo Nation, Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, San Juan River, Southwest, water | 4 Comments »
Posted on October 24, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Extended drought causing landscape-level changes in Southwest
Sand dunes in the Navajo Nation are growing and moving faser as the regional climate gets drier and warmer. GRAPHIC COURTESY USGS.
Monument Valley rainbow. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — With a persistent drought gripping parts of the Southwest since 1996, researchers have documented noticeable changes in the sand dunes where Navajos have eked out an austere living for generations.
The dunes are growing fast and starting to move as the regional climate changes, according U.S. Geological Survey geologist Dr. Margaret Hiza Redsteer, whose interviews with elders and historical research augment her decade-long research on Navajo Nation land.
Measurements show dunes in the Grand Falls area have grown by 70 percent since 1995. The dunes are moving northeast at 115 feet per year. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Summit County news | Tagged: climate change, Environment, global warming, Navajo Nation, sand dune growth, Southwest drought, Summit County Colorado | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 1, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
An open-pit coal mine in Wyoming, similar to the Navajo Mine operation. PHOTO COURTESY BLM.
Decision affirms requirements for more in-depth study of impacts
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A federal appeals court this week resolved a seven-year conflict over the proposed 4,000-acre expansion of an open-pit coal mine on Navajo lands in northwestern New Mexico.
The appeals court upheld a 2010 U.S. District Court ruling that federal regulators violated environmental laws when they approved the Navajo Mine expansion without preparing an in-depth environmental impact statement. Click here to read the decision.
The federal Office of Surface Mining approved the expansion in 2004 after a superficial environmental analysis that concluded with a finding of no significant impact — despite local concerns about impacts to environmental, cultural and spiritual resources. Any new review of the expansion proposal would now include a full analysis and disclosure of those impacts. (more…)
Filed under: energy, Environment, Summit County news | Tagged: BHP Billiton, coal mining, Environment, Four Corners, Navajo Mine, Navajo Nation, New Mexico, Office of Surface Mining, Summit County News | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 26, 2010 by Bob Berwyn
A double rainbow arches over Navajo Nation lands in Arizona.
Senate acts to resolve years of litigation and water rights disputes; Obama leadership on settlements called unprecedented
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A measure that’s already passed the U.S. Senate and is now headed for the House could end years of litigation over the federal government’s management of American Indian trust funds.
Authorization of the Cobell Settlement, a $3.4 billion agreement, would also resolve four major conflicts over water rights valued at more than $1 billion and ensure delivery of clean drinking water to Indian communities. The settlements were included in an omnibus bill passed by the Senate earlier this week. Following action in the Senate, the House is expected to take up the omnibus package after the Thanksgiving recess. The Department of the Interior would begin implementation of settlements once they are signed into law by the President. (more…)
Filed under: Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Blackfeet, Elouise P. Cobell, Native Americans in the United States, Navajo Nation | 2 Comments »