Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox has appointed Paul Tsosie to the board of the Colorado River Authority of Utah. A member of the Navajo Nation, Tsosie fills the newly-created seat designated to ensure representation for Utah’s Native American Tribes in policy decisions related to the Colorado River.
“In order to properly address the water challenges our state and the West face, we need to have the best thinking from all stakeholders, entities and Tribes,” said Gov. Cox. “Paul will bring an important perspective to the policy discussion not only as a member of the Navajo Nation but also as an attorney with an appreciation of the complexities of water law. He was clearly the right choice to fill this position.”
Tsosie is an attorney who specializes in representing various Native American Tribes in issues ranging from hunting and fishing law to economic development and law enforcement. He previously served as the U.S. Department of the Interior Indian Affairs Chief of Staff and has owned his own law practice for 20 years. He has also practiced law as a prosecutor, defense counsel and judge.
“It is my honor to serve on the board for the Colorado River Authority of Utah,” said Tsosie. “I understand that my service does not replace official Native American tribal consultation, but I will serve as a voice to ensure that Indian Country is included in decisions made by the Colorado River Authority.”
In March, the Legislature passed S.B. 160, creating the additional seat and increasing the Colorado River Authority of Utah Board to seven members. The bill also amended the Authority Act by allowing for appropriate government-to-government consultation and coordination with Utah’s Colorado River Tribes on matters related to the Authority’s mission.
“With their unique sovereign status, Native American Tribes are critical partners in any discussion related to the Colorado River,” said Gene Shawcroft, chair of the Colorado River Authority of Utah and Utah’s River Commissioner. “I have no doubt Paul’s expertise and perspective will benefit our work as a board and all the people of our state who depend on the Colorado River.”