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Tribal communities invited to Summit on sustaining water resources and agriculture

Posted 10/9/2017

A stream flows past a tree.

The Native Waters on Arid Lands Project helps tribal communities in the Great Basin and American Southwest adapt to climate change and build resiliency for their water resources and agriculture.

Cooperative Extension partners with tribal communities to help plan for changes in climate

On Nov. 13, in Reno, tribal high-school youth will have a unique opportunity to engage in hands-on activities, such as extracting DNA from a banana and hiking through the Truckee Meadows to see how water has shaped the area. The activities are all part of the Native Waters on Arid Lands Youth Day, 10 a.m. — 3 p.m., presented by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension to teach tribal youth in the Great Basin and American Southwest about agriculture, water resources and changes in climate.

The Youth Day is a new event that has been added to the annual Native Waters on Arid Lands Tribal Summit, now in its third year, being presented this year Nov. 15-16 in Sparks, Nevada. The Summit is part of the Native Waters on Arid Lands Project, which helps tribal communities in the Great Basin and American Southwest adapt to changes in climate, with a focus on water resources and agriculture.

“Through the Native Waters on Arid Lands Project, we’re partnering with Native American tribes in the region to identify challenges and opportunities for sustaining water resources and strengthening tribal economies in the face of climate change,” said Loretta Singletary of University of Nevada, Reno, co-project director for the Native Waters on Arid Lands Project, which is organizing the annual educational events as part of its broader integrated research and Extension outreach initiative.

The Youth Day is at the Desert Research Institute, a partner in the project, 2215 Raggio Parkway in Reno. For more information about this educational event, contact Meghan Collins, meghan.collins@dri.edu.

The Native Waters on Arid Lands Tribal Summit will be held at the Nugget Casino Resort, 1100 Nugget Ave. in Sparks. The cost is $250 before Oct. 28 and $300 beginning Oct. 29 and covers meals and refreshments.

Session topics for the Summit include:

  • Native Waters on Arid Lands research updates
  • Ground-Surface water
  • Traditional knowledge and ecology
  • Economics and water
  • Tribal ranching and conservation practices
  • Tribal Education Forum

The Native Waters on Arid Lands Youth Day and Tribal Summit are funded by a five-year, $4.5 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture — Agriculture Food Research Initiative. The Native Waters on Arid Lands Project was one of five integrated research and Extension projects nationwide selected for USDA funding.

Partners in the project include University of Nevada, Reno; The University of Arizona; First Americans Land-Grant Consortium; Utah State University; Desert Research Institute; Ohio University; United States Geological Survey; and the Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program in Nevada and Arizona. Co-project directors include Singletary, along with Staci Emm of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension; Maureen McCarthy of University of Nevada, Reno; John Phillips of First Americans Land-Grant Consortium; Bonnie Colby, Karletta Chief and Trent Teegerstrom of The University of Arizona; Kynda Curtis and Eric Edwards of Utah State University; Mike Dettinger of United States Geological Survey; Derek Kauneckis of Ohio University; and Beverly Ramsey of Desert Research Institute.

For more information or to register for the summit, visit the Native Waters on Arid Lands Program website, or contact Extension Educator Staci Emm, emms@unce.unr.edu or 775-945-3444, ext. 10, or Summit Organizer Vicki Hebb, vicki.hebb@indianaglink.com or 605-222-2062.

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