The ‘Ahakhav Tribal Preserve, located along the lower Colorado River on Colorado River Tribal lands near Parker, Arizona, has served as the model for wetland, riparian, and upland restoration on the lower Colorado River and the entire Southwestern region. Once infested with thick stands of tamarisk, this area was inaccessible to the tribe’s members and the public.
In 1995, Fred Phillips initiated this restoration effort while working with the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT). He and his small staff prepared the `Ahakhav Tribal Preserve Restoration Plan and obtained the necessary compliance and land use permits to initiate construction. Throughout the five years of work at the Preserve, the team secured more than $5.7 million in grants for restoration projects, a native plant nursery, park facilities, interpretive trails, environmental monitoring, and educational programs on site. Fred also developed a five-year fundraising strategy for the Tribes that focused on natural resource management, sustainable economic development, and secondary education for the community.
This project received Outstanding Project of the Year award from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Woodlands Program, Phoenix Area Office. The ‘Ahakhav Tribal Preserve now hosts over 1,000 acres of restored cottonwood/willow and wetland habitat, miles of protected and restored backwaters, miles of nature trails, a native plant nursery, and a 4-acre nature park used by the tribes for various community and social events.
Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT)
Colordao River Indian Reservation, Lower Colorado River / 1995-2000
CRIT, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, Arizona Game and Fish Department, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Water Protection Fund, North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Ducks Unlimited, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Revegetation and Wildlife Management Center, Glen Canyon Environmental Studies, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Bureau of Reclamation