Here in Yosemite National Park, the Yosemite Ancestral Stewards program is an attempt to introduce a new generation of the original caretakers to the land, while creating pathways to employment and career opportunities for Indigenous youth.
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An Ancestral Lands Conservation Corp crew was doing stabilization work on the Tuzigoot National Monuments on Monday, July 31, 2023.
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The roars of chainsaws and ATV engines echoed last week through an area of the Coconino National Forest west of Flagstaff as youth crews collected and processed wood for Navajo and Hopi communities.
The crews are part of Wood for Life, which worked Thursday afternoon to repurpose downed trees from various forest health and restoration projects into much-needed firewood and building materials for nearby tribal communities.
Now in its fourth year, the program is the result of a partnership between the Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps, the National Forest Foundation, the U.S. Forest Service and more. This year, Wood for Life also received a $50,000 boost from the Arizona Lottery Gives Back program.
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The map is a just a start to what those involved hope to accomplish. “Acknowledging the land is the very first step, but we have to make progress towards the second and third step of giving back to the land and making sure Indigenous people are at the tables and being properly consulted,” says Kiana Etsate-Gashytewa, a graduate of Northern Arizona University’s Applied Indigenous Studies and Political Science programs and an Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps Individual Placement (IP) of Zuni and Hopi heritage, to lead the mapping project. “That's my hope—and that we fight climate change in a way that we're able to help the land, ecosystems, and wildlife into their natural states.”
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The Fund supports efforts to increase equitable access to outdoor spaces and recreation opportunities, with a specific focus on community-led solutions that bring environmental benefits closer to home for marginalized communities. Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps is a new grantee involved in this incredible Action Fund.
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Native Lands, National Trails (NLNT) is an Indigenous mapping and research project of the Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS) Created by Kiana Etsate-Gashytewa, an Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps (ALCC) Individual Placement. In collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management, Native Land Digital and ALCC. The Native Lands, National Trails map and resource suite serves as an educational tool for trail organizations, recreationists, and Tribal nations alike to strengthen relationships between the National Trails System and Indigenous communities.
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The project provides firewood from small diameter materials in need of disposal to needy families and elderly people in low-income areas on Tribal lands.
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Shandiin is a conservationist who used to lead crews with Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps, an all-indigenous environmental group based out of New Mexico. Wielding a crosscut has long been part of Shandiin’s family history. Back in the mid ’30s, both of her grandfathers were crosscut sawyers for a logging company in the Chuska Mountains.
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For Bears Ears Partnership (BEP), cultural site conservation projects provide the perfect setting for collaborative work. It’s where our Field Program works alongside partners - including Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps (ALCC), Living Heritage Anthropology (LHA) and Woods Canyon Archaeological Consultants (WCAC) - to achieve the shared goals of conserving cultural sites from the impacts of recreation and visitation, while connecting and reconnecting Indigenous communities to the very landscape we collectively work to protect.
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