Climate Conversations: Blue Lake Rancheria

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Sunset at Moonstone Beach, Trinidad, Humboldt County.

By Emily Alejandrino 

Our next Tribe to film was Blue Lake Rancheria, a federally-recognized tribe in Humboldt County. We were excited to travel to the beautiful North Coast regardless of the forecast of heavy rain. The wet and windy conditions did not dampen our excitement to learn what actions the Tribe has implemented and plan to implement to become a climate resilient community.

Tribal members have witnessed the decrease in flow on the Mad River and its tributaries, a decline in the salmon population, and an increase in high ocean currents making it difficult to fish. The Tribe acted to ensure the natural resources in and around Blue Lake Rancheria would be enjoyed for future generations.

A variety of projects such as waste reduction at their hotel and casino, installation of solar panels, and replacing diesel generators with natural gas and hybrids were implemented throughout the rancheria. Most notably, the installation of a low carbon community scale microgrid. These actions have contributed to mitigation of greenhouse gases, improved energy and water efficiency, and a giant leap towards sustainability.

DWR will showcase the Blue Lake Rancheria climate initiatives, as well as the perspectives of other tribes being interviewed, at the California Tribal Water Summit on April 4 and 5, 2018 at the McClellan Conference Center in McClellan Park.