The Grand Canyon Trust Welcomes New Board Chair, Jim Enote

Photo Credit: Jack Dykinga. 

FLAGSTAFF, AZ — The Grand Canyon Trust is pleased to welcome Jim Enote, CEO of the Colorado Plateau Foundation, as the new chair of the organization’s board of trustees. Enote was elected to a 3-year term on February 5, 2021, assuming the reins from retiring board chair and former superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park, Steve Martin.

Enote, a Zuni tribal member and traditional farmer, is the former director of the Zuni Tribe’s Department of Natural Resources and of the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center, and served as a soil conservationist with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He has worked on land and water conservation issues around the world for more than four decades with a focus on conserving and protecting his own and other Native cultures. Enote has served on the Grand Canyon Trust board since 2000, most recently serving as vice chair as well as chairing the board’s Native America Committee.

“I am honored to serve as the new chair of the board of the Grand Canyon Trust,” said Enote. “As a premier conservation organization, the Trust, in its righteous mission, has for 20 years or more recognized the value of inclusiveness. Sentiments aside, clearly, leadership and first-rate teamwork should evolve from the broadest spectrum of experience and talents. It just makes sense.”

“Jim has been an influential voice on the board for the last two decades,” said Ethan Aumack, executive director of the Grand Canyon Trust. “We are so lucky to have Jim at the helm as we work toward a more ambitious, more inclusive, and more enduring vision for conservation across the Colorado Plateau.”
Enote helped spark the creation of the Grand Canyon Trust’s Native America Program in the early 2000s, and guide its work supporting the rights of Native peoples, including strengthening entrepreneurship and small businesses in partnership with Change Labs and working toward a just transition and a cleaner energy future for tribal communities.

“Jim has been a leader in shaping the conservation strategy of the Grand Canyon Trust to actively include the voices and the rights of Native people on the Colorado Plateau,” said outgoing board chair Steve Martin. “We look forward to significant accomplishments in the next few years with Jim as chair.” Martin, who served as superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park from 2007 to 2011, will remain on the board.

Enote takes the helm at a pivotal moment, as the Grand Canyon Trust focuses on achieving durable change under the new Biden administration. Top priorities include restoring Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, as well as reviving the groundbreaking model of federal-intertribal collaborative management enshrined in the original Bears Ears proclamation, and permanently protecting the Grand Canyon region from the threat of uranium mining, among other legislative and policy priorities.

“Jim embodies one of the most promising developments in public land policy in recent years —recognition that traditional environmental advocates and Native Americans can attain a lot more of their shared goals when they work together rather than separately,” said fellow board member John Leshy, former general counsel of the U.S. Department of the Interior. “His leadership will help the Trust make progress in this new era of promise and peril for the Colorado Plateau.”

“The Grand Canyon Trust is very fortunate to have Jim Enote stepping into his new role as board chair,” added John Echohawk, executive director of the Native American Rights Fund. “I have served with him on the board for many years and know him to very be knowledgeable about the Grand Canyon and the plateau, and a great leader.”
“Jim Enote is the ideal board chair for this moment, when so much is possible and so much needs to be done. He is from and of the Colorado Plateau, and knows intimately its people, places, and rhythms. Jim will bring wisdom, kindness, and a deep sense of justice to the position, and lead the Trust through its best years yet,” said University of Colorado-Boulder law professor Sarah Krakoff. Krakoff, a nationally recognized expert in Native American law, natural resources law, and environmental justice, was elected as the board’s vice chair, taking over the seat vacated by Enote. “I am thrilled to join the Trust’s leadership team, and honored and humbled to be working with Jim and our fellow trustees,” Krakoff added.

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