The Navajo Nation has received nearly $500,000 in federal funding to build a 126-mile fence along the western border of the reservation.
The fence line separates the boundaries of the Grand Canyon, Wupatki National Monument and the Navajo Nation. It will replace a fence first constructed in the 1930s by the Conservation Corps.
Navajo Nation Vice President Ben Shelly said the project will bring Navajo communities together with the National Park Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs "to work in building a fence that will protect Navajo livestock and local communities."
The new fence was approved recently by Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Carl Artman, according to a Navajo Nation statement. It had been requested by the Cameron chapter of the Navajo Nation in 1996, and again in 2006. The request was approved after a renewed request earlier this month.
The fence will run from the Little Colorado River at the Navajo Nation Border to the Grey Mountain area, south of the Painted Desert. The $457,000 in federal funds will cover much of the cost for materials and labor, and are set to be obligated by the end of the current fiscal year.