Delegate wants action on climate change

WINDOW ROCK

The “Climate Adaptation Plan for the Navajo Nation,” prepared by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, has been sitting on the shelf for months.

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
A bleached horse skull lies on the sand of the Navajo Nation. Climatologists say the Nation is in a “megadrought” that started in 1996.

Delegate Mark Freeland wants to get it officially adopted, developed and implemented immediately and is sponsoring bill No. 0239-19 to that effect. “This is important because we need to look at what’s going on in our Nation,” said Freeland to the Times. “We hear about what’s going on in the world concerning climate change, but we need to know what’s going on in the Navajo Nation itself. How is climate change affecting the Navajo Nation?”

Freeland said he first wanted to do a climate change study and plan, not realizing that Fish and Wildlife had already developed one. On March 20 to 22 and 27 to 29, 2018, Fish and Wildlife held a climate change planning workshop.

Department officials listened to grazing officials and land board and farm board members to gain community-level insight on the management of natural resources and compared this with information from Navajo Nation natural resource professionals. The plan provides outlines of Navajo Nation priority lists; key vulnerabilities; goals and adaptation strategies; assessing risks; and plans for water, feral horses, communication, enforcement and compliance, pollution, air quality, illegal dumping and grazing management.


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About The Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council, Business, Fort Defiance Agency, New Mexico State politics and Art/fashion. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at abecenti@navajotimes.com.