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Tribal Connections NRCS Partnership with Native American Tribes in Washington

Image: Colville Tribal Member playing drum.NRCS has expertise in agronomy, range management, forestry, agricultural engineering, soils, water management, wildlife habitat management, aquaculture, resource inventories, and watershed and flood protection.

NRCS field office personnel provides assistance upon request to private landowners and operators, Indian tribes and Tribal members. Assistance provided includes, but is not limited to, the following: Conservation planning on cropland, pastureland, and rangeland and assistance to apply rangeland management and improvement practices, irrigation water development structures and management, brush control, erosion control structures, agriculture, forestry, farmland protection, wildlife habitat improvement, and wetlands restoration.

American Indians and Alaska Natives are eligible to participate in all NRCS programs and may have special status as provided by statute or regulation. The demand for NRCS services by American Indian tribal groups continues to increase as the value of NRCS assistance becomes better understood.

NRCS Programs for Tribes and Tribal Members

The NRCS provides technical assistance and financial assistance to private landowners and operators, tribes and tribal members to assist them in protecting and improving natural resources such as soil, water, air, plants, and animals.

NRCS can assist tribes and tribal members in conservation work, and how to apply for NRCS programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP).

The documents below require Acrobat Reader. Many publications have been make available in a .PDF format.  Alternative text is not available for these publications as they can not be depicted in a narrative format. We apologize for any inconvenience. For any accessibility issues, please contact 509.343.2274.

These may be relatively large files and may take a while to download. The best way to view them is to right mouse click on the file name and select “Save Target As” to copy the file to your computer before trying to open it.

The Indigenous Stewardship Methods guidebook (PDF; 1.2 MB) helps field planners learn technology from indigenous people which could improve or expand existing NRCS practices or create new ones. Examples (PDF; 2.7MB) from the Wisconsin Tribal Conservation Advisory Council (WTCAC) show potential applications.


Washington Tribal Conservation Advisory Council (WATCAC)

Initiated in 2011, the Washington Tribal Conservation Advisory Council (WATCAC) provides a forum for twenty-nine Native American Tribes and tribal members in Washington to address natural resource issues on tribal lands. The WATCAC provides a tribal voice to the USDA NRCS on conservation issues that are important to Washington tribes at the state and national levels.

Click here for more information on the WATCAC, including minutes from meetings, meeting dates, etc.

Meeting schedule, minutes and related documents

The Tribal Connection newsletter and Tribal Partnership Report

Review past issues of the Tribal Connection Newsletter. These publications highlight conservation success stories of projects on tribal lands as well as NRCS program information.

Review current and past Tribal Partnership Reports. These publications highlight conservation dollars spent on tribal lands.

Tribal Partners

Link to the 29 Tribal websites working with NRCS in Washington.

Tribal Resource Assessment

NRCS Tribal Resource Assessment – This document provides an overview of the natural resource concerns on tribal lands, as identified through the tribal local work group process.

For More Information

Washington NRCS Tribal Liaison
Robin Slate
NRCS Tribal Liaison
Natural Resources Conservation Service
1835 Black Lake Blvd. SW, Suite D
Olympia, WA  98512-5607

Phone:  360.704.7780
Email:   robin.slate@wa.usda.gov