The goal of NWF’s Tribal Lands Conservation Program is to ensure the well-being of wildlife and habitat on and near tribal lands by working in partnership with tribal and non-tribal governments and tribal organizations, environmental staff, and members, while respecting tribal culture and sovereignty. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, the program works nationwide with tribes on species and habitat conservation, constituency and capacity building, and education. The program promotes environmental and economic justice for Native Americans and seeks empowerment for tribes at the local, state, and national levels. NWF-Tribal partnerships greatly expand the conservation constituency and ability of NWF and tribes to jointly protect wildlife, advance land stewardship, safeguard water resources, provide conservation education, and thereby assist in maintaining and restoring tribal cultures. Based out of NWF's RMNRC in Boulder, Colorado, the Tribal Lands Conservation Program works with tribes nationwide.
Tribal Lands Projects
For Native American communities, global warming is an environmental justice issue. NWF is working with tribes across the nation to increase awareness among Native people of climate change and generate active responses to confront climate change. Tribes have significant credibility with the American people because tribes have the longest, continual experience with climate, wildlife, the land and natural resources in North America.
NWF’s Tribal Lands Education program goal is to empower tribal educators and students to become the next generation of environmental stewards by engaging them in habitat projects, building leadership skills and partnerships while broadening the diversity of and cultural understanding between NWF constituents. In addition, we seek to increase Native American student involvement in science and natural resources through the development and use of NWF’s educational programs. We work with tribal schools and colleges Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, and the Dakotas to engage them in NWF’s Schoolyard Habitat® and Access Nature™ programs. NWF assists tribal schools and educators to adapt the Schoolyard Habitat® curriculum to fit traditional tribal agricultural practices, native plant uses, tribal language and their traditional relationships with the land.
Colorado River International Conservation Area (CRICA) Cocopah Tribe
NWF is partnered with the Cocopah Indian Tribe for the cultural and environmental preservation of the 23-mile Lower Colorado River Limitrophe, including 12 miles within the Cocopah Reservation. The Limitrophe is the natural border between the U.S. and Mexico and sustains the largest proportion of native cottonwood, willow, and mesquite species on the entire river, providing 2-3 times more native habitat than on any other stretch of the river. The Limitrophe is an oasis of species diversity and contributes significantly to safe passage of migratory neotropical songbirds, waterfowl, and other wetland birds traversing the Pacific Flyway. The area is an important feeding and resting habitat for migrating birds, including threatened and endangered species such as the Yuma clapper rail, Southwestern willow flycatcher, Bell’s vireo, and Yellow-billed cuckoo (under listing consideration). Over 120 species of waterfowl, wetland, and neotropical birds utilize the Limitrophe riparian corridor.
The Limitrophe represents the last remaining intact riparian habitat for migratory birds that are moving northward to breeding sites in the western U.S. and Canada, and for these same species returning to winter in Mexico and Central America. Without restoration and conservation management of the Limitrophe, there will no longer be significant riparian areas for feeding and resting refuge as these species seasonally traverse the Sonoran and Mojave deserts. Restoration and protection of the Limitrophe will help complete a link among national wildlife refuges along the Lower Colorado, treating the river as a complete ecosystem rather than as fragmented areas.
To learn more about the Tribal Lands Program or how you can support our efforts, please contact Senior Manager Garrit Voggesser at firstname.lastname@example.org or (303) 441-5161.