Southern Ute Environmental Programs Department Issues Air Quality Alert

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Environmental Programs Department operates three air quality stations on the Reservation and maintains a website that provides real-time air pollutant and EPA Air Quality Index (AQI) health alerts from data collected at these stations. Smoke from wildfires can cause unhealthy levels of fine particulate matter (PM) in the air.
Particulate matter is continuously measured at the Ute 3 monitoring station near Bondad Hill and the Ute 1 monitoring station in Ignacio.

As of Wednesday, 4/24/2024, 7:00am, the Ute 1 station is currently reading high PM concentrations with a corresponding AQI of Unhealthy. People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children avoid limit prolonged or heavy exertion. The general public should limit prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.

To view the ambient monitoring program website, and for more information about how to understand the AQI forecast, follow the links below:

Southern Ute Indian Tribe Ambient Monitoring Program Website
EPA Air Quality Index Information Website
Wildfire Smoke Resources to Protect Your Health | US EPA

EPA Air Now Article – How Smoke From Fires Can Affect Your Health

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT EPD, Air Quality – 970.563.2214


Southern Ute Economic Development Announces 12th Annual SW Colorado Small Business Conference

Attention Entrepreneurs!

Are you ready to maximize your potential & ignite your business success?

Join Colorado SBDC & Fort Lewis College Center for Innovation for the 12th Annual Southwest Colorado Small Business Conference.

This day-long event, hosted by Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC) & FLC Center for Innovation, attracts hundreds of professional business owners who represent every sector of the diverse business communities across the region. These diverse leaders come together to build, invest, & strengthen our business community. The
Conference includes breakfast, lunch & reception, and features Educational Seminars, One-on-one Consulting, Engaging Keynote Presentations, and Networking Opportunities.
Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend this powerful event.

Enrolled Southern Ute Tribal Members SAVE 50% off THE $85 REGULAR REGISTRATION FEE
Southern Ute Economic Development will cover 50% of the registration fee to support any Enrolled Southern Ute Tribal Member small business owners and sole proprietors in attending this informational conference Use discount code SUIT50 to Register and pay HERE

Questions? Contact Jennifer Rummery, Economic Development Project Coordinator
970-563-2281 |

The Southern Ute Lands Division seeks LAT members

The Department of Natural Resources – Lands Division (Division) seeks voluntary participation in the proposed Land Acquisition Team (LAT). Consideration for this participation is of utmost importance, and we hope that you will consider joining us in this effort. Your willingness and steadfastness to assist the Division in supplying recommendations and guidance on current and future land acquisitions will be highly appreciated by the Southern Ute Tribal Council, tribal staff, and tribal members for generations to come.

We highly encourage Tribal member participation. If you are interested, please submit a summary of your intentions and why you should be chosen to sit on this team. You may sign up by emailing The deadline to sign up is, Friday, May 10, 2024.

The Southern Ute Lands Division advertises (2) 45-day Posting for Assignments

The Southern Ute Lands Division is currently advertising two, 45-day notice of availability of tribal land for assignment.

If you are a tribal member and want to confirm your interest in an assignment, you can submit a card along with an application and a 5-year farm plan. If you have any comments or objections about the assignment, you can submit them as well. You can either mail, email, or deliver in person your submission to the Department of Natural Resources – Lands Division at PO Box 737, Ignacio, CO 81137, or contact us at 970-563-0126.

If you are a tribal member and want to confirm your interest in an assignment or lease, you can submit a card, an application, and a Homesite Development Plan. If you have any comments or objections about the assignment, you can submit them as well. You can either mail, email, or deliver in person your submission to the Department of Natural Resources – Lands Division at PO Box 737, Ignacio, CO 81137, or contact us at 970-563-0126.

Southern Ute Growth Fund Announces Silent Auction & Free Distribution of USED HDPE Black Pipe

The Southern Ute Growth Fund is currently taking bids for a 2004 Water Truck.  Please see the advertisement below for additional information.  Email your bid to Dawn Fahrion, Assistant SUGF Controller at  They are also distributing FREE Used HDPE Black Pipe.  Please see the attachment on the pipe for additional information or contact SU Utilities at (970) 563-5500.


Southern Ute tribal member Tanisha Figueroa named the 2024 SUIT Fair and Rodeo Logo Contest Winner

The Southern Ute Cultural Preservation Department is excited to announce Passing Down Traditions by Tanisha Figueroa as the winner of the 102nd Annual Southern Ute Tribal Fair and Rodeo logo contest. Thank you to all those who voted at General Meeting, and congratulations to Ms. Figueroa. For questions, please contact Sherisa Valdez at 970-563-2971.

SUIT and the State of CO to hold Environmental Commission Meeting

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe/State of Colorado Environmental Commission (Commission) will meet on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Justice & Regulatory Administration Building- EPD Large Conference Room located at 71 Mike Frost Way, Ignacio, Colorado 81137. The agenda will include Call to Order/Introductions, New Business, Tribal Air Quality Program Updates, Tribal Air Initiatives, CDPHE Updates, Open Discussion/Questions and Public Comment, and Schedule Next Commission Meeting. For more information on the meeting, how to attend virtually, or to obtain a copy of the meeting agenda please contact Mr. Michael Kirsch, Air Quality Scientist II – Planning, at (970) 563-2258 or visit the Commission website at:

Bonfire Field Services Vacancy: Apprentice Technician

Bonfire Field Services is hiring a Field Services Apprentice technician.  The employee will receive a variety of training from multiple disciplines within Bonfire. The Field Services Apprentice will learn from and take directions from technicians, engineers, and other key disciplines throughout the process. This is a 2-year apprenticeship with eligible quarterly pay increases.

Native American Preference will be applied.

How to apply: Email a resume and cover letter to

You may also contact TERO for more information.


For Immediate Release: Preserving Tribal Sovereignty: Vice Chairman Cloud Testifies on Land Annexation 04/17/2024


Melvin J. Baker, Chairman – 970.563.2320

Summer Begay, Communication Specialist– 970.563.2313


Preserving Tribal Sovereignty: Vice Chairman Cloud Testifies on Land Annexation

Southern Ute Indian Reservation – Vice Chairman Lorelei Cloud testified before the Colorado Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee at the State Capitol in Denver this afternoon. Cloud urged the Committee to support Senate Bill 24-193: Protect Tribal Lands from Unauthorized Annexation. This critical legislation is in response to the City of Durango’s attempt to seize Reservation land from the Southern Ute Indian Tribe for the economic benefit of the City.

The Utes are the oldest continuous inhabitants of what is now the State of Colorado. The Utes are resilient and have endured assimilation, relocation, and seizure of their land and culture for far too long. The Reservation was established by successive treaties and was to be “set apart for the absolute and undisturbed use and occupation of the [Utes]” and “no persons . . . shall ever be permitted to pass over, settle upon, or reside” on those lands. The City’s actions take direct aim at these promises.

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe, a strong neighbor, proven business partner, and significant investor in the local economy, will fiercely defend its land status, sovereignty, self-determination, and cultural heritage. Vice Chairman Cloud cautioned that annexation will further complicate matters such as law enforcement, air and water quality, and environmental regulation, stating, “complexities with the federal, state, and local jurisdiction make it difficult. Adding another layer – especially a city with no interest in cooperation and a history of failing to consider the Tribe at all – only puts my people and culture at greater risk. This is unacceptable”.

Senate Bill 24-193 offers a vital safeguard for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s land and future. Respecting the Tribe’s sovereignty and culture is not just a matter of honoring past treaties, but a step towards a more collaborative relationship. The Tribe stands ready to work with the State to find solutions, but the City of Durango’s actions threaten to unravel years of progress. By supporting this legislation, Colorado can ensure a future built on mutual respect and understanding.


Photo Credit: Senator Jessie Danielson

CO Indigenous Needs Assessment Community Survey

The Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs and the Colorado Department of Education are partnering with Education Northwest, a research organization, to conduct a needs assessment on how Colorado districts and schools support Indigenous students.  The Southern Ute community is invited to share feedback on the priorities, needs, and concerns about Indigenous education in Colorado.

Your community’s insights are important to helping the Colorado Department of Education accurately capture the needs and hopes for Indigenous education in the state. Feedback will help improve services to Indigenous students in the future.

The community survey should only take about 15 minutes to complete.  Names will not appear on any reports about the project, and no one at the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs or the Colorado Department of Education will know individual response to the survey. The survey is open until Friday, May 10. 

Please use the link below to access the survey.

-Summer Begay, Communication Specialist.