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Tribal Connections NRCS Partnership with Native American Tribes in Washington

NRCS Programs for Tribes and Tribal Members

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 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).


Lummi Nation Salmon Fisherman

Watch the video "NRCS: Sacred River" to learn how NRCS is working with the Lummi Tribe to restore salmon habitat by installing engineered log jams on the Nooksack River.

View photos on Flickr.



Biologist Rachel Maggi on Thunder Road Project

Watch the video "Thunder Road" to learn how NRCS is working with the Quilete Tribe to improve salmon passage by replacing culverts.

View photos on Flickr.


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.

Farm Bill Collaboration and Coordination Meeting #2 - July 10, 2020 9:30 am

Please join us for the 2nd Collaboration and Coordination meeting on the 2018 Farm Bill on Friday, July 10 at 9:30 am.

To join the meeting, the audio only number is: +1 202-650-0123. Conference ID: 405 411 278#

Meeting Materials:




Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool (CART)

FSA Eligibility Requirements, Conservation Planning Intake Summary, EQIP Screening Tool


Letter to Tribal Leaders & Natural Resources Directors

WA FY20 Conservation Planning Intake Summary

WA FY20 EQIP Statewide Screening Tool


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

Tribal Local Working Group

A Tribal Local Working Group meeting was held in Ellensburg Washington and online, May 25 - 26, 2022. Local Work Group meetings are a valuable part of the NRCS planning process, providing an opportunity for community members to be part of a collaborative effort to improve natural resources within their area. Below is a link to view a recording of the meeting.

May 2022 Tribal Local Working Group

The Tribal Connection newsletter and Tribal Partnership Report


Washington Tribal Assistance 2017 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.

Tribal Input into 2018 Farm Bill

See how Tribes can continue to provide input to the final Farm Bill that will be rolled out later in 2019.

Working Effectively with American Indians Executive Training - July 2019!

NRCS Washington will host the NEDC training course, "Working Effectively with American Indians," executive session, open to federal agency employees at the GS-12 level and above. The training will take place July 23-24, 2019 in Seatac, WA at Cedarbrook Lodge.

View the agenda here.

View the flyer here. The flyer includes registration and hotel reservation information. Deadline to register and make hotel reservationist is July 1.

For More Information

Washington NRCS Tribal Liaison
Robin Slate
NRCS Tribal Liaison
Natural Resources Conservation Service
1011 E Main St. Suite 306
Puyallup, WA  98372

Phone:  360.704.7780