Restoring the Colorado River and the Heritage of the Cocopah

Apr 24, 2021

Arizona Edition, Host Lou Gum.

The Cocopah are known as the river people for their historic and cultural connection to what is today called the Colorado River.

The Colorado intersects the Cocopah Reservation today at a couple of points, but it is harder to get to the waters than it used to be just a couple of generations ago.

Water management is one challenge – and plenty of talking heads and academics and politicians tackle that aspect of the river – with varying degrees of success.

But pushing back invasive species that crowd out native trees and change the habitat for native animals takes physical effort.

Today we talk to two people taking on the hard work of restoring an environment not simply for the ecological benefits, but because what is replanted and restored connects to tradition and culture for the Cocopah Tribe.

Jennifer Alspach is Director of the Cocopah Tribes Environmental Protection Office and Willadena Thomas is an EPO Technician.

How a cottonwood goes from cutting to tree here!