The Mission of the Environmental Programs Division is to make available the resources needed to protect the health, welfare, and environment of the Tribal membership and reservation.
The Water Quality Program strives to improve the quality of surface waters on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation through monitoring and with projects that employ best management practices.
Public Education and Community Outreach is an important component in improving the water quality on the reservation since long-term improvements cannot be achieved without public involvement.
The Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Navajo Nation and the states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, today announced their Animas and San Juan Spring Runoff Preparedness Plan. The Plan participants share the Animas/San Juan Watershed and are joining forces to prepare for and monitor the melting of El Niño snowpack throughout the region. Monitoring during the spring runoff period is one of the necessary short-term needs for the multi-tribe & multi-state region that is in direct response to the Gold King Mine release that occurred on August 5, 2015.
Click Here to View – Animas San Juan Spring Runoff Preparedness Plan
The §106 Program monitors 23 aquatic sites across the Reservation. These sites include rivers, streams and Lake Capote. At each of these sites chemical, physical and biological data are collected. General water quality monitoring occurs year round and in all weather conditions. The gathered data is utilized for general monitoring across the reservation and for the development of water quality standards which form the basis for protecting the SUIT water supply. The program is in the process of acquiring Treatment as a State (TAS) status through the EPA. Groundwater monitoring is a service that is provided free of charge to tribal membership with in the reservation. Any tribal member interested in an analysis of their groundwater is encouraged to contact the §106 Program for an application to have their well tested.
The §319 Nonpoint Source Program tries to reduce non-point source pollution through education and outreach, stream restorations, riparian habitat enhancements, and the implementation of agricultural best management practices. Since it’s creation in 1996, the §319 program has implemented Agricultural best management practices on over 600 acres of farmland and has restored almost five miles of rivers and streams on the Reservation.
The §319 program within Water Quality provides the following services to tribal members:
If any tribal member wishes to find out more about these services, please contact Pete Nylander at (970) 563-0135 ext 2214.