|Columnist says environmental groups don't want tribes making money off of their natural resources:
In some cases, as in northern Arizona, the enviros are proving successful in creating unemployed Navajos. The Environmental Protection Agency last fall forced the owners of the Navajo Generating Station near Page into a deal to shut down one of the plant's three generators, thus reducing the need for Navajo coal miners and plant workers by a third.
In other cases, such as with the Haida salmon-restoration project, founded by the Haida tribe of British Columbia, the jury's out.
The Haida spent $2.5 million to seed ocean areas where young salmon are known to run with 120 tons of iron oxide and sulphate. That spawned an enormous plume of plankton on which the young fish fed, leading to an unprecedented amount of pink salmon returning to the Fraser River in the fall of 2013.
The Haida, who commercially fish the Fraser, benefited economically, obviously. And this brazen act of independence is proving utterly maddening to environmental groups: "Even the placement of iron particles into the ocean, whether for carbon sequestration or fish replenishment, should not take place, unless it is assessed and found to be legitimate scientific research without commercial motivation (my italics)," said one horrified green-groupist.
In Arizona, Apaches for generations have conducted logging operations on their land in the eastern mountains — out of the legal grasp of their environmentalist betters, in other words.
Their stewardship of the forests they control provided the prototype for forest remediation projects such as the Four Forest Restoration Initiative — a profit-seeking model that may be the only viable means of saving our overgrown forests from wildfire.
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Tribal capitalists earning the ire of environmentalists
(The Arizona Republic 4/29)