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Current Status of the Integrated Resource Management Plan (IRMP) 

The Navajo Hopi Land commissioned approved the draft Integrated Resource Management Plan (IRMP) through a Resolution on September 28, 2020. The Navajo Nation Resources and Development Committee approved the draft IRMP through a Resolution on October 7, 2020. You can view these Resolutions by clicking on the links under IRMP Documents on the right-hand side of the screen.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) developed the IRMP in close consultation with the Navajo Nation. The early planning process involved discussions within the Navajo Nation, which identified their expectations, concerns, and recommendations for the planning effort. 

Draft Requirements

The draft IRMP was developed in accordance with American Indian Agricultural Resource Management Act (AIARMA). The AIARMA defines an IRMP as a “plan developed pursuant to the process used by tribal governments to assess available resources and to provide identified holistic management objectives that include quality of life, production goals, and landscape descriptions of all designated resources that may include (but not be limited to) water, fish, wildlife, forestry, agriculture, minerals, and recreation, as well as community and municipal resources, and may include any previously adopted tribal codes and plans related to such resources.” (25 USC § 3703(11)). The AIARMA requires, in part, that the Secretary of the Interior conduct all land management activities on Indian agricultural land in accordance with goals and objectives set forth in an integrated resource management plan. Management of Indian agricultural lands in accordance with integrated resource management plans further the objectives of producing increased economic returns, enhancing Indian self-determination, promoting employment opportunities, and improving the social and economic well-being of Indian and surrounding communities. 

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding

The Nation and the BIA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2015 electing to finalize the development of the Former Bennett Freeze Area (FBFA) IRMP in accordance with AIARMA and other applicable laws and regulations. The IRMP was undertaken as a method for updating the FBFA Recovery Plan, which was prepared for the Navajo Nation by WHPacific in 2008. The IRMP is the result of cooperative intergovernmental planning and will serve as a strategic planning document for the redevelopment of the FBFA. The IRMP is the Tribe’s strategic plan for the management and development of its own resources. The goal of this IRMP is to create balanced natural resource management actions that reflect the social, cultural, economic, and natural resource values of FBFA residents.

Developing the Draft

To develop the IRMP, community input was received, compiled, and considered from multiple resources.

  • Chapter Land Use Plans (CLUPs) from all nine affected Chapters
  • Overview of IRMP on November 13, 2014, Tuba City Chapter, Tuba City Arizona
  • Chapter House Meeting on March 9, 2016, Coalmine Canyon, Arizona
  • Workshop on March 16, 2016 in Tuba City to inform Chapter members on the IRMP and the IRMP process, Tuba City, Arizona
  • 2008 Former Bennett Freeze Recovery Plan
  • Two community workshops to develop the 2008 FBFA Recovery Plan between May 28 and June 22, 2008
  • Two community workshops to update each CLUP
  • 2018 Former Bennett Freeze Area Economic and Market Feasibility Study
  • 2019 Navajo Thaw Chapter Land Use Planning Meetings
  • 2020 Navajo Thaw Summit
  • The IRMP is a tribal strategic, vision-based, long-term management plan based on Navajo Nation members’ interests, needs, and concerns for their lands, and natural and cultural resources

Associated Documents

Comprehensive Goals and Objetives

By setting comprehensive goals and objectives for the FBFA, and identifying types of development and land uses, the IRMP incorporates all pertinent information to guide future development into one document.Setting Comprehensive Goals and Objectives 

The need for the IRMP is to provide a framework for greater and more efficient agency coordination when tackling important management issues in the FBFA. This agency coordination will reduce duplication of effort; provide more consistent directives to agency staff; require more transparency between agencies, Tribal members, and the general public; enhance values-driven resource management decisions based on public input; focus management on priority issues; and improve communication.

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