Hualapai Tribe Protects Resources through Enhancement of Pivotal Spring (Northern Arizona)
The Hualapai, a federally recognized tribe in northern Arizona, continue to work diligently to protect and maintain the integrity of their water resources. With the help of an EPA Wetland Program Development Grant (WPDG), the Hualapai developed a Wetland Program Plan (WPP) that is used to identify certain land use activities on the reservation that may affect wetland health, identify wetlands to restore/protect and to understand the potential effects of climate change on wetland integrity.
Their creation of a WPP has yielded even more financial assistance from EPA. For example, within the Peach Springs Canyon portion of their reservation, the tribe was concerned about protecting the Red Spring. The spring had fallen into disrepair and was constantly trampled by elk, deer, and other wildlife. The Hualapai worked diligently to first establish that the spring was in need of protection and restoration efforts and second, to go about the restoration itself. This included clearing the area surrounding the spring, tapping into the spring’s source water, and establishing a drinking water area perimeter that was fenced off from wildlife. In order to achieve this, they engineered a system to allow the spring to flow and rejuvenate the wetland grasses just outside of it as well as provide the people and wildlife with fresh spring water.
Their efforts maximized the potential of the spring to provide drinking water for the tribe as well as created a baseline management tool to continue to work towards reducing degradation of the Red Spring site. This project also educated the local children and the community as a whole about their water resource management work and about the importance of protecting such precious resources in the future.
This is just one of the many projects the Hualapai are working on using WPDG funding. They also actively work to train and build capacity with other tribes in their region, taking on a leadership role for tribes with more nascent wetland programs. In addition, the Hualapai are constructing a rapid assessment method for wetlands and are planning a training workshop for other tribes and members in 2017.
Red Spring Enhancement Project