Agreement Signed Between Navajo Nation &
San Juan County Utah
Native News Network
WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA – Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly signed a groundbreaking agreement San Juan County Commissioners Tuesday morning. President Shelly and the commissioners entered into a memorandum of agreement focused on planning collaboration to develop land use recommendations for state and federal lands within San Juan County of Utah.
“Our Navajo people carry a deep history with these lands in Utah. With that history, use and management of the lands is critical for carrying on the Navajo traditional practices such as hunting, ceremonial practice and protecting our sacred sites. The Navajo people have valuable contributions for these important places and our collective communities,”
President Shelly stated.
The memorandum of agreement - the first of its kind between the Navajo Nation and the county - is an effort to move beyond debate and uncertainty over the use and conservation of public lands, to better recognize the interests and concerns of land users, and to work together to find greater opportunities for economic development and cultural protection.
“The San Juan County Commission is excited to enter into this unprecedented agreement,”
said San Juan Commission Chair Bruce Adams.
“Working together in a formal collaboration, we believe we can better understand each other and will be more likely to achieve our goals. We expect that a good process will lead to good outcomes.”
San Juan County, Utah, is largely comprised of federal lands and members of the Navajo Nation comprising more than half of its population. The county is abundant with natural, cultural, scenic and recreational resources with red rock canyons, towering plateaus, 12,000-foot peaks, four national parks and monuments, as well as the San Juan and Colorado Rivers.
The rich character of these lands sits in stark contrast to economic challenges faced by San Juan County residents. San Juan County has the highest unemployment and poverty rates in the state of Utah.
“The best decisions about land use are those made from the ground up, with local people working with diverse interest groups to find common ground. That's how support for land use recommendations grow - with people listening to each other with respect and open minds. I expect this new agreement could be a model for other counties,”
said Commissioner Kenneth Maryboy, who also serves as a Navajo Nation Council Delegate.
Over the next 18 months both parties will meet to discuss and make recommendations on federal land designations, management and conservation, state land exchanges, and County economic development.
“This is a good agreement so we can make progress for better quality of life Navajo and non-Navajo people living in San Juan County in Utah,”
President Shelly said.
posted December 6, 2012 6:59 am est
Historic Atlin- Taku Land Use Agreement
Vancouver, B.C. July 19, 2011
VANCOUVER, B.C.—The Taku River Tlingit First Nation today signed
historic agreements with the British Columbian government establishing
land protection measures and shared management responsibility for their
The Wóoshtin Wudidaa (Flowing Together) Land Use Plan protects more
than seven million acres from commercial logging and designates over
two million acres as First Nation Conservancy Parks. In addition, the
Taku River Tlingit and provincial government have agreed to a joint
governing process, Wóoshtin Yan Too.aat (Walking Together), to guide
future resource-related decisions.
For more than twelve years Utah-based Round River Conservation
Studies has worked with the Tlingit in northern British Columbia to
provide technical assistance, conduct community interviews, and craft a
conservation design to help guide their land planning. Supported by the
Campion Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Swift
Foundation and Wilburforce Foundation, Round River also helped to
establish an endowment fund with the T’akhu Â Tlèn Conservancy to
assist in the implementation and management of the agreements.
“These agreements represent long overdue respect and recognition for
my people, an acknowledgement of who we are as a people and our
Tlingit khustiyxh, or way of life on the land, that we are so intricately
connected to,” says Taku River Tlingit First Nation Spokesperson John
Michael Soulé, a Round River Trustee and pre-eminent conservation
biologist, says he hopes the successful negotiations will be helpful to
First Nations and global conservation: “This agreement with the BC
government is precedent setting and will encourage other First Nations
world wide to confidently strive to protect wilderness and wildlife on their
Dennis Sizemore, Round River Executive Director, 801-694-3937
John Ward, TRTFN Spokesperson and Round River Trustee, 250-651-7900