The mission of the SCAT/WMAT Transportation Partnership is to provide a forum for partnership members to strengthen working relationships, identify transportation concerns and work collaboratively to address those concerns.
On May 19, 2009, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) met with the San Carlos Apache Tribe (SCAT) Transportation Committee to determine ways to build a partnership. Shortly after this meeting, a planning committee comprising SCAT and ADOT met to identify key issues and desired outcomes of the partnership, and to reach working agreements as Partnership Planning Committee members.
The San Carlos Apache Transportation Partnership officially launched on September 30, 2009 at the Apache Gold Convention Center in San Carlos. Partners in attendance were SCAT, ADOT, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Arizona Eastern Railway, the Federal Highway Administration, the Southeastern Arizona Government Organization, the Central Arizona Association of Governments, Gila County, Pinal County, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and the SCAT Police. Participants defined the partnership charter, determined membership, and established the goals of the partnership steering committee.
The steering committee meets regularly to identify and advance goals. In addition, an annual meeting is held to present accomplishments, celebrate successes, and review the status and direction of the partnership.
The partnership welcomed the White Mountain Apache Tribe (WMAT) as a new member in 2015, and changed its name to the SCAT/WMAT Transportation Partnership.
The San Carlos Apache Reservation is located in southeastern Arizona near Globe and Safford and span into portions of Pinal, Graham and Pinal counties. The Reservation was established in 1872 by the U.S. Congress and sits on 1.8 million acres. The land is located within the pristine bridge of two ecological climates, where the north portion intakes the forest region and the Arizona pine country, and the southern portion exhibits the Sonoran Desert region. The San Carlos Apache Tribe maintains over 2400 miles of road ranging from State Highway US70, Bureau of Indian Affairs Roads, County Roads, Forest Service Roads and Tribal Roads and Cattle Roads.
The San Carlos Apache Tribe has a diverse cultural, spiritual and historical background. The Tribal tradition is deeply rooted and ingrained with very strong ancestral beginnings, which date back to the early 500 A.D. and beyond. The San Carlos Apache Tribe is a popular and well known Native American group that is recognized for their past war tactics of which many of these tactics were later adopted by the U.S. Special Forces.
The White Mountain Apache reservation comprises approximately 1.7 million acres of land located 200 miles northeast of Phoenix. It is traversed by U.S. Highway 60 and State Routes 73, 260, 273, and 473. The majority of the population lives in and around Whiteriver, the seat of tribal government. The region is abundant with natural resources, including some of the richest wildlife habitats in the state. The White Mountain reservation is home to the Apache trout, a species brought back from the brink of extinction through the efforts of the Tribe and many partners. Enterprises include timber, hunting, a lumber/hardware retail center, a ski resort, and a casino.