Navajo sheep herding at risk from climate change. Some young people push to maintain the tradition
[The Navajo] way of life is in peril. Climate change, permitting issues and diminishing interest among younger generations are leading to a singular reality: Navajo raising fewer sheep. Keeping hundreds of sheep, of historically prized Churro and other breeds, used to be the norm for many families living on a vast reservation that straddles parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. … A mega drought across the Western U.S. has sucked moisture from the land, leaving cracks and barrenness in its wake. The next count of sheep isn’t planned until 2024, but Navajo Department of Agriculture officials say the number is lower than the 200,000 counted in 2017. Adding to the problem is the long-standing issue of water scarcity on Navajo Nation, where roughly a third of people lack reliable access to clean water.