Livestock Impacts for Management of Reclaimed Land at Navajo Mine: The Decision-Making Process

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Summary: The Navajo Mine Grazing Management Program (GMP), begun in 1991 to establish that livestock grazing on reclaimed land is sustainable, uses holistic management on approximately 2,083 ha of a former surface coal mine to plan for final liability release and return of the land to the Navajo Nation, and to minimize the potential for post-release liability. A Management Team comprised of local, Navajo Nation, and Federal government officials, company staff, technical advisors, and community members contributed to the formation of a holistic goal articulating shared values and a desire for sustainable grazing, with major decisions tested against the goal. To date, the land has shown resilience to grazing and the animals have generally prospered. Community participation in the GMP and public statements of support by local officials indicate the GMP’s strategy is likely to succeed.

Estrada, Orlando J., S. Grogan, and K.L. Gadzia. 1997. “Livestock Impacts for Management of Reclaimed Land at Navajo Mine: The Decision-Making Process.” Proceedings 14th annual national meeting, American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation : VISION 2000, an environmental commitment, Austin, Texas, May 10-15.