Area of Focus
Cora Tso is responsible for developing, enacting, and enforcing policies that promote outdoor equity and protect equitable, sustainable outdoor recreational access to public lands and waters in the West. Cora works closely with the Western lands director to ensure that WRA’s goal to protect 50% of Western lands from development is also ensuring that recreational access to public lands and waters is equitable, sustainable, and not based on personal wealth or privilege.
Cora is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation. She grew up in Shonto, Arizona, which is in northeastern Arizona on the Navajo reservation. Inspired by her upbringing on the reservation and cultural teachings, Cora sought a career that would allow her to help preserve the beautiful landscapes and environment she, and generations before her, grew up with and continue to call home.
Cora joined WRA from the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, where she worked as an Attorney Candidate in the Water Rights Unit. Through this position, Cora assisted in securing and protecting the Nation’s water rights claims in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico and worked in partnership with stakeholders in the Colorado River and Little Colorado River Basins in Arizona, in addition to the San Juan River and Rio San Jose Basins in New Mexico on behalf of the Nation. Prior to this role, Cora worked for a Phoenix-based nonprofit organization focused on creating and implementing equitable, data-driven tax policy solutions for Arizona Tribal nations. Cora’s experience in law and policy spans across federal, state, local, and Tribal governments in Arizona, Southern California, and Washington D.C.
- Bachelor of Science in Political Science, Minor in American Indian Studies, and Certificate in American Indian Governance from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University
- Juris Doctor and Certificate in Indian Law from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University
Favorite thing about the West
Arizona sunsets, the enormous diversity of Western landscapes from snow packed mountains to thriving Saguaro lined hills, and seeing the desert react to summer rains.