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NWAL COVID Action Coordination Group Serving
Nebraska Ag Connection - 07/30/2020

Beginning in mid-March, the Native Waters on Arid Lands (NWAL) project initiated weekly Zoom meetings with tribal partners throughout the intermountain West (Southwest, Great Basin, and Northern Rockies) to collect information about the impacts of COVID-19 on tribal farmers, ranchers, and communities. Approximately 50-60 stakeholders and federal officials join these calls. Participants include Tribal Council members, Native farmers and ranchers, Federally-Recognized Tribal Extension agents (FRTEP), Tribal College and University (TCU) faculty, and leaders from USDA NIFA, USDA Office of Tribal Relations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Forest Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Issues addressed include impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on tribal agriculture, ranching, food security/food supply, medical supplies, economic relief, access to basic resources (water, firewood, household products), educational support needs, and COVID testing needs.

During these calls, TCU and FRTEP Extension agents provided crucial insight into the challenges the pandemic has created for community members in their regions. They also shared how they used their resources, expertise, and networks of contacts to help develop viable solutions to the identified problems.

Visit the NWAL website at https://nativewaters-aridlands.com/ for more information.

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