The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Navajo Region is in the process of renewing grazing permits across the Navajo Nation. In order to renew the permits, the BIA recommends that a Grazing Management Plan is prepared. Therefore, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Western Navajo Agency initiated Grazing Management Plans for Tsegi and Nitsin Canyons located near Kayenta, Arizona. The plans address grazing issues found in both canyons and develop a strategy for grazing permit holders to work together to implement sustainable grazing management practices and to restore stream habitat within the area. Additionally, the plans also include recommendations and strategies for restoring important springs and stream reaches through integrated weed management, native plant restoration, and strategic grazing management practices. A Programmatic Environmental Assessment (EA) was prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and a Biological Assessment (BA) was prepared in compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the plans.
Contributions from Sabrina Kleinman and Heidi Trathnigg, as employees of Fred Phillips Consulting
- Funding procurement- wrote the successful grant proposal to conduct the project.
- Project Management- maintained project budgets, worked closely with stakeholders and project team, coordinated logistics, scheduled meetings, and distributed meeting notes.
- Meeting Facilitation- facilitated planning and coordinating meetings with permit holders, Navajo Nation Department of Agriculture, and BIA. Prepared power point presentations, meeting materials, and recorded meeting notes to ensure that the material was effectively communicated and all questions and comments were recorded and addressed.
- Conducted field surveys to assess grazing and erosion impacts to the site, collect soil samples, identify vegetation, and identify priority restoration areas.
- Prepared the Grazing Management Plan that included current estimated carrying capacity, historic and current grazing management, grazing permit holder goals and objectives, sustainable range management strategies specific to the location, and riparian restoration recommendations.
- Prepared location map, demonstration site maps and potential habitat of sensitive species maps using GIS software.
- Conducted geospatial analyses to estimate carrying capacity for the range units based on previous vegetation production surveys and soil component data.
- Prepared the EA for the grazing plans. Potential impacts of grazing management measures were analyzed on the following resources: soils, vegetation, wildlife, federally and tribally listed plants and animals, public health, water resources, socioeconomics, environmental justice, and climate change.
- Prepared the BA which analyzed effects of the actions on 6 federally listed species and 14 Navajo listed species.