These are the goals and adaptation strategies demanded through the community workshops used to develop the Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Navajo Nation.
Ensure Long-Term Funding
Just like every Navajo Nation Fish and Wildlife program, funding must be available. However, since the Wildlife Conservation program is heavily undermanned and underfunded therefore there is a substantial need to hire a grant writer. Additionally, community members have expressed a need to apply a grazing fee which would be in a separate account, away from General Funds. This separation from the General Funds would enable independent operation. Community members also want to establish a 5-year lease for drought insurance in order to have a backing from future drought effects. Another request from participants was to apply an application fees for all permit transfers.
Develop an Abundant Amount of Resources
In order for Navajo ranchers to have a prosperous livelihood, there needs to be an established and improved coordination between livestock rangers and officials from the District Grazing Committee, Farm Board, and Navajo Land Board. Since there have been accusation of biased and unreliable personnel, community members want to see improved vetting when hiring personnel. In order to have livestock rangers available throughout the Navajo Nation 24/7, community members want to see rescheduling and better time management of rangers. Along with availability of rangers, community members expressed the need for inspection stations throughout the Navajo Nation with equipment storages. There was also a suggestion to require and enforce officials to submit quarterly and annual reports for future recommendations. This will also hold officials accountable for their actions. Workshop participants also wan to encourage livestock rangers and Deputy Livestock Inspectors (DLI) to provide hauling permit records to officials for verification purposes.
Provide Educational Outreach
Community members want to see educational outreach in the form of presentations at permittee, district, agency, and chapter meetings. They also want to see education provided to community members on regulations, procedures, and also to clarify policies, procedures, and regulations. Development of a email listing was also an idea they want to see implemented. Along with an email listing, the community members expressed the need for an accessible informational website for the public to educate themselves. This website could also serve other purposes such as providing a way to pay fines, and contact respective representative.
Create a Comprehensive Court System
One of the main issues the workshops exposed was the need to train the Navajo Nation court system's personnel about laws and regulations, along with proper ways to address related issues. Additionally, hiring personnel with related work history and experience with current natural resource issues is vital. Environmental attorneys would be ideal for this position. Members also want to urge the Navajo Nation to update the court system’s laws, regulations, procedures, and record keeping. We need to establish laws through the Navajo court system to handle transportation across the Navajo Nation by Non-Navajo entities. We also need to clarify what the Navajo Nation is and what belongs to the tribe. For example, the community members mentioned the topic of unbranded horses. Finally, when improving our courts, we need to provide an attorney and/or a technical assistant to assist with interpretation of the Navajo Nation laws for the public.
Finding Harmony Between Being Culturally Sensitive and Compliance with Rules and Regulations
Part of finding harmony starts with amending the homesite lease regulations for culturally sensitive areas. An example given during the workshops was having the ability to relocate previously buried remains if in an area of a newly approved homesite lease. However, this is culturally frowned upon as death and relocating dead individuals is taboo in Navajo culture. Cultural teachings state that the land and anything buried should be left alone. Finding an agreed upon balance is needed in order to move forward with enforcing natural resources rules and regulation designed to protect our environments.
Provide Protection Against Threats for Enforcement
Protection needs to implemented by creating laws to protect officials within the District Grazing Committee, Farm Board, Navajo Land Board, and all volunteers. This will ensure the safety of all officials and volunteers from harm and public accusations. Community members also want to address mediations in designated areas with operating procedures. Additionally, the workshops agreed that there needs to be an established equality amongst officials. In terms of feral horses, there needs to be an incident command operation plan for horse round-ups. Additionally, members stated that wanted to see officials provided with life/health insurance and coverage to participants.
Abide by the Grazing Management Booklet
Community members stressed the importance of mandating all departments and officials to comply with the grazing management booklet. To accomplish this, the department heads need to support officials.