Navajo Nation Council Hosts Roundtable Discussion With National Park Service

Navajo National Forest Service Roundtable
Naabik'yati To' Niltoli' Task Force Chair Paul Begay voices concerns over the safety and water level of the marina.

LECHEE , AZ – Members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council hosted a roundtable discussion with the National Park Service (NPS) regarding the lack of communication and tribal consultation for improvements to launch ramps, walkway ramps, and utility lines during record low water levels impacting the Antelope Point Marina (APM) in Page, AZ.
Speaker Seth Damon, Council Delegate Paul Begay, and Delegate Otto Tso were joined by Glenn Canyon National Recreational Area Superintendent William Shott, Coconino County Supervisor Lena Fowler, Page Mayor Bill Diak, LeChee Chapter officials, and representatives for Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Congressman Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ).
“Climate change is leading to record heat waves and a mega-drought across the region,” said Speaker Seth Damon. “The second largest reservoir in the United States has depleting water levels impacting local businesses and the Antelope Point Marina. We appreciate Superintendent William Shott and our state leaders for joining the Navajo Nation to have this important conversation. We must address the dangers of unstable launch ramps, walkways, and exposed water, sewer, gasoline, and natural gas lines that need upgrades but are delayed because of the National Park Service.”

In a 2021 report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Colorado Basin River Forecast Center, Lake Powell’s water has dropped around 100 ft. in the last three years because of severe drought conditions. Encompassing over 600 acres of land in the Navajo Nation, the Antelope Point Marina, during the peak season, employs around 400 employees annually. 

“We appreciate the National Park Service for meeting with us to hear concerns regarding necessary upgrades to the infrastructure of Antelope Point Marina,” said Council Delegate Paul Begay. “Safety concerns remain regarding the launch ramps, walkways, and exposed utility lines at the marina. I hope that these conversations continue. The Navajo Nation is determined to protect its sovereignty and our economic interests around the Lake Powell shoreline.”

The To’ Niltoli’ Task Force met with the Executive Branch, LeChee Chapter officials, and Antelope Point Marina representatives to discuss the next steps for future negotiations with the National Park Service. This includes requests for tribal consultation with members of Congress, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, and the White House.

“There are serious concerns regarding the safety at Antelope Point Marina,” said Council Delegate Otto. “The federal government has a trust obligation to consult the Navajo Nation regarding issues impacting the Lake Powell region during this mega-drought. We are determined to complete an economic development plan that works for all of us. It is clear that we must come together to resolve this matter so that the marina stays in operation.”

Members of the To’ Niltoli’ Task Force plan to join Speaker Damon and President Jonathan Nez for visits to Washington, D.C. in the coming months. A joint letter from the Navajo Nation government will also convey the situation to Congress and the White House.
The Naabik’iyati Committee plans to host a work session at the LeChee Chapter in July, as resolutions are drafted to address declining water levels at Lake Powell and ongoing concerns expressed to the National Park Service regarding the Glenn Canyon National Recreational Area.