The vitality and sustainability of natural resources are integral to the health of American Indian and Alaska Native peoples, communities, cultures, and economies, as well as to their surrounding communities. The benefits of tribal natural resource management and development include creating jobs; maintaining tribal societal cohesion; forming healthy tribal and non-tribal communities and relations; developing innovative approaches to address pervasive unemployment and poor health brought on by environmental factors; and diminishing strain on land management and law enforcement services, among other things.
Many tribes and intertribal organizations work diligently on fisheries, fish restoration, and recovery projects, often in collaboration with non-tribal groups. An example is the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF), which addresses watershed restoration and salmon recovery work for Endangered Species Act listings and populations, and is critical to meeting trust obligations codified in treaties, laws, and other legal instruments regarding Indian fishing rights. This fund originated with the groundbreaking, multi-governmental collaborative project in salmon habitat restoration that was led by the Nisqually Tribe and recognized by President Obama with the nation’s first Coastal America Partnership Award in late 2011.
Forests are also a central tribal resource. Of the 56 million acres of federal Indian trust land, 18 million acres are forest lands, within which 5.7 million acres are designated for commercial forestry. Tribal and US Forest Service (USFS) forests share 2,100 miles of common boundaries. Combining sound business practices, traditional ecological wisdom and practice, modern techniques, and an inherent respect for the land, many tribes engage in sustainable forestry management practices that are recognized as innovative national (and international) models. Indian trust forests are significantly more productive than their counterparts on USFS lands, generating on a per-acre basis about 250 percent of the harvest produced by comparable USFS lands. With an allowable harvest of 700 million board feet, commercial forestry on Indian lands is a key economic activity for over 80 tribes. Additionally, several timber tribes are engaging in biomass projects to generate renewable energy and jobs for tribal people and the surrounding community.
Center For Biological Diversity, Et Al., Plaintiffs/Appellees, V. United States Fish And Wildlife Service, Et Al., Defendants/Appellants, And Rosemont Copper Company, Intervenor-Defendant/Appellant.
Sep 18, 2020
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Et Al. Plaintiffs, V. U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers, Et Al. Defendants
May 20, 2020
Navajo Nation, Plaintiff And Appellant, V. U.S. Department Of The Interior, Et Al., Defendants And Appellees, State Of Arizona, Et Al., Intervenors, Defendants And Appellees
Mar 04, 2020
Analysis of President's FY 2016 Budget Request
Feb 04, 2015
Testimony & Speeches
NCAI Comments on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline
Apr 22, 2013
Calling for the Advancement of Meaningful Tribal Co-Management of Federal Lands
Nov 13, 2020
Calling on Congress, the BIA, and FEMA to Establish and Support On-Reservation Residential Fire Protection Programs and Grants
Nov 13, 2020
Continuing Support for and Partnership with for the Native Farm Bill Coalition to Support Tribal Food Sovereignty Policy
Nov 13, 2020
Save Sacred Oak Flat Federal Land and Stop Giveaway to Foreign-Owned Resolution Copper
Nov 25, 2020
Great Plains Tribes Win Important Legal Fight to Protect Tribal Water and Treaty Resources
Jul 06, 2020
NCAI Applauds Congress for Passing Strong 2018 Farm Bill for Indian Country
Dec 12, 2018