Climate, Water, and the American Indian Farmer

Saturday, February 13, 2016: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Wilson A (Marriott Wardman Park)
In this symposium, scientists and American Indian tribal members discuss the challenges of sustaining traditional and trade agriculture, including fish and wildlife resources, in the face of decreasing water supplies due to changes in climate and land use. Close cultural and economic ties to natural resources, their geographic remoteness, and economic challenges have led some experts to characterize American Indian agriculturalists as some of the most vulnerable populations to climate change. American Indian tribes currently possess some of the most senior water rights available. Yet extreme droughts in the region, combined with competing water allocations to non-Indian communities and limited resources for operations and maintenance of water infrastructure, have forced American Indians to take action to ensure their traditional and production agricultural practices are available to future generations. Warming temperatures along with changes in precipitation timing and form are complicating the allocation and use of water in the West and stimulating Tribes, States, and the Federal Government to negotiate equitable and sustainable water right settlements. This symposium explores the impacts of climate change, Indian land tenure and water rights, and changes in land use on American Indian communities dependent on farming, ranching, and sustaining cultural and natural resources.
Maureen McCarthy, University of Nevada, Reno
Maureen McCarthy, University of Nevada, Reno
Loretta Singletary, University of Nevada, Reno
Indian Land Tenure and Water Rights
Karletta Chief, University of Arizona
Traditional Knowledge and Climate Change
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