Applying the NEPA Process—Native American Tribal Concerns and Participation


The course will review the following documents for compliance with NEPA, CEQ regulations, and federal agencies’ implementing procedures (with an emphasis on the BIA NEPA regulations): Categorical Exclusions; Environmental Assessments/Findings of No Significant Impacts; and Environmental Impact Statements/Records of Decisions. As part of the course participants will review an EA for compliance and clarity of information. As part of this exercise participants will identify what information is sufficient, what information is missing, and what information is extraneous. As well as what advice would they give for improving the document by redrafting it.

The course will also discuss scoping and public involvement requirements associated with tribal treaty rights, self-government (government-to-government consultation requirements), and BIA requirements for tribal involvement.

The last day of the course will focus on the National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 process and how it’s integrated into the NEPA process and Document. Additionally, we will discuss the Endangered Species Act and how it applies to Indian lands for projects funded by federal agencies.


Upon completion of this workshop, participants will know the following:

  • The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and requirements for meeting the letter and spirit of the law.

  • How tribes become cooperating agencies in the process – responsibilities and benefits.

  • How tribes can assist federal agencies by taking the role of the lead agency.

  • How tribes can use NEPA as a planning process for their own project, plans, and programs.

  • Summary of the requirements for moving fee lands into trust and the role NEPA plays in the process and brief discussion of the process.

  • Implementing Section 106 Consultation requirements into the NEPA process.

  • Requirements associated with meeting the ESA requirements on tribal lands when federal dollars or permits are involved.


We tailor each workshop to meet the needs of the participants. The basic format of the interactive workshop includes the following components:

  • Understanding the NEPA and CEQ Regulations
    Understand NEPA law, its fundamental principles, and the relationship of the analysis process to the documents.

  • Selecting the Appropriate Level of Documentation
    Understand the difference and significance of NEPA document types.

  • Developing Alternatives
    Discover how to develop a reasonable range of alternatives.

  • Identifying Issues and Scoping
    Learn to define cause-and-effect relationships, plan public involvement strategies, assemble records, and identify other relevant environmental laws.

  • Predicting Environmental Consequences
    Learn a systematic process for quantitatively and qualitatively predicting effects.

  • Understanding NEPA Decisionmaking and Decisionmaker Skills
    Understand the legal roles of FONSIs and RODs. Learn skills to identify the actions needed.


Participants for this training generally include resource specialists, team leaders, decisionmakers, and other agency professionals who must understand the NEPA process to fully execute their responsibilities.This course has been designed for employees of the BIA, Indian Tribes, cooperating agencies, and contractors with interests in Native American issues.


NEPA Process Management is an interactive workshop designed to build practical skills. For optimum learning, class size is limited to between 15 and 25 participants.This 2- or 3-day workshop is a carefully designed combination of the following:

  • 25% Lecture

  • 75% Discussion and exercises


Participants receive the following:

  • Comprehensive workshop manual

  • Workshop Resources workbook