American Indian Responses to
Environmental Challenges

Campo Kumeyaay Nation
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Our Strategies

In order to solve current environmental problems, the Campo Kumeyaay have turned to their traditional practices of land management. Today they are using ancient Kumeyaay knowledge to bring surface water back to the reservation.

Key Terms

  • Contaminants

    Any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter that has an adverse effect on air, water, or soil.

  • Ethnobotanical heritage

    Knowledge within a culture about plants and how they have been used as foods, medicines, or tools. This knowledge is remembered and passed down from generation to generation.

  • Sediment

    The topsoil, sand, and minerals washed from the land into water, usually after rain or snow melt.

  • Water table

    The underground level at which the soil becomes saturated with water.

  • Stream bed

    A channel occupied, or formerly occupied, by a stream.

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Explore: Restoring a Damaged Wetland

Stream bed empty of water Plastic covers stream bed Rocks are placed in the bed Trees planted alongside the bed The revitalized wetland

About 20 years ago the Campo EPA combined old Kumeyaay land management practices with modern techniques to bring back wetlands that had disappeared from their reservation.

A layer of heavy plastic was used to cover a portion of the stream-bed surface. This helped to keep water from disappearing.

Heavy equipment was used to place large rocks in the channel.

The Campo EPA and community volunteers planted trees alongside the new structure. Cattle grazing was no longer allowed in this area.

Nature took over. The rocks halted erosion and soil filled in some of the stream bed. Eventually, many plants and trees grew. Water stayed on the surface. The area is now a healthy natural wetland again.

Stream Bed
Cover Stream
Large Rocks
Plant Trees
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Try These Questions

What is the first thing that happens when the rock-drop method is used to restore a stream bed?
Rock-drop method
A) The water table rises.
B) The rock structure slows down the flow of the water.
C) Plants take hold and grow in the moist soil.
True or false? To earn money for the tribe, the Campos plan to sell wind power.
Through their environmental work, the Campo people are restoring the plants that are part of their heritage. Which of the plants shown below do they use for basket weaving?
A) Buckwheat
Yerba Manza
B) Yerba Manza
C) Juncus
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