WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Dry conditions and the prospect of limited precipitation later this year have forced officials on the nation’s largest American Indian reservation to approve an emergency drought declaration.

The Navajo Nation’s Commission on Emergency Management issued the new declaration Monday. The reservation spans parts of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah and includes a region that been dealing with severe to extreme drought for weeks now.

Tribal officials are anticipating large-scale drought conditions to persist this summer. They say that will create a shortage of water and feed for livestock.

The tribe also is grappling with feral horses, heavy populations in remote locations and winter range areas like the Carrizo Mountains. Officials say the Navajo ecosystem can’t support the number of feral horses that currently exist.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.