Skip to content
Grist home
Support nonprofit news

Articles by Alex Basaraba

Featured Article

Henry Red Cloud organizes ponderosa pine saplings at his greenhouse located at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. In partnership with Trees, Water, and People, Henry and his team are responsible for planting more than 100,000 trees on Pine Ridge Reservation lands over the last six years.

On a crisp and rainy May morning on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Henry Red Cloud recounted his team’s strategy for planting more than 1,000 ponderosa pine saplings in six short hours. Over coffee, he detailed the day’s agenda, location, and logistics with six staff members and three volunteers — a small crew compared to most planting days.

“There’s no getting to the burn-site,” he said. “There has been too much rain, so we will go over to one of the residential sites.”

Six years ago, Henry watched a wildfire rip across 25,000 acres of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation land only 20 miles from his home. Since that time, he says he’s noticed an increase in erosion and landslide events thanks to more sustained moisture over the spring and summer months.

Six years ago, a wildfire ripped across 25,000 acres of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation land. Now, indigenous activist Henry Red Cloud is working with a team to reforest the burn site. Grist / Alex Basaraba

“Due to climate change, we now have the potential to see rain all summer long,” he said.

A member of the O... Read more