Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ramona Band of Cahuilla Recognized as Environmental Heroes.

Congratulations to the Ramona Band for being recognized for their work with saving our environment.

San Francisco, California - During the agency's 11th annual Environmental Awards Ceremony in San Francisco today, U.S. EPA acting Regional Administrator Laura Yoshii recognized eight Southern California organizations and individuals in recognition of their efforts to protect and preserve the environment in 2008.

“It is a great pleasure and honor that we can recognize the innovative and important environmental work achieved by this year’s impressive group of organizations and individuals, and the example they set for all of us to follow,” Yoshii said. “This year's winners and nominees have made superb efforts to protect and preserve our air, water and land, and increased awareness of the environmental challenges we all face.”

Ramona Band of Cahuilla, Anza - The Ramona Band of Cahuilla Indians of Southern California has become the first fully “off grid” reservation with 100 percent renewable energy power for all facilities. Over the past decade, the tribe received funding from the Department of Energy, Housing & Urban Development and other agencies to build a sun and wind-powered energy system, and develop an ecotourism and training business.

The tribe is now developing an ecotourism center as a renewable energy destination resort. The Eco-Center will also teach people about Cahuilla culture. The training component will provide consulting and ecotourism start-up business services to enable other tribes to replicate or adapt this model for business development. Once the Eco-Center opens in late 2010, the tribe will have the only Native American-owned facility to train other rural/remote tribes to adapt this model for economic development.

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