Navajo committee recertifies land use plan for Black Mesa Chapter

BLACK MESA, Ariz. — On Feb. 14, the Resources and Development Committee (RDC) approved legislation recertifying Black Mesa Chapter’s community-based land use plan, which was reevaluated and readjusted.

Black Mesa community is located approximately 45-miles northwest of Chinle, Arizona.

Pursuant to Title 26 § 2004 of the Navajo Nation Code, chapter governments shall reevaluate and readjust their community land use plan every five years to meet the needs of their changing community.

Council Delegate Dwight Witherspoon (Black Mesa, Forest Lake, Hardrock, Pinon, Whippoorwill), who sponsored the legislation, asked for the committee’s support and stated that the chapter’s community land use plan committee, administration, officials and community members have worked diligently on the plan.

“The community plan reflects the community’s visions and goals. It provides future residential, commercial, industrial, and public purposes and developments,” said Witherspoon, who represents the community of Black Mesa.

Black Mesa community land use plan committee secretary Dorothy Yazzie, reviewed the community plan that includes community assessments and plans for open space, land use, thoroughfare, community and infrastructure that reflects the community’s traditional teachings of agriculture, livestock, diet, environment and language.

During the discussion, Council Delegate Leonard H. Pete (Chinle) recommended that the community immediately address road improvements for Navajo Route 8066, which provides accessibility to the chapter and Black Mesa Community School.

“The Black Mesa community is in need of paved and graveled roads,” Pete said. “The chapter, school, and many residents are only accessible by dirt roads, which is a safety concern for all community members. We need to make road improvements a priority for the community.”

Yazzie added that the community is challenged with transportation infrastructures, education, inclement weather, mining activities, grazing regulations, lack of water sources, land restoration and lack of medical and public safety response.

The Resources and Development Committee approved Legislation No. 0491-17 with a 3-0 vote and serves as the final authority for the bill.

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