Protection and Development of
Natural Resources in Indian Country

Even though federal law and policy assure conservation and protection of natural resources, the outcome of conservation on tribal land is uncertain. Cultural and economic interests of tribes often conflict with those of states and the federal government. Tribes face management challenges — increased economic development, changing environmental conditions and competing interests, to name just a few. A thorough understanding of the legal issues and rights of all parties is the best defense for protecting natural resources.

The protection of natural resources is important everywhere, but it is more crucial to tribes. This insightful class will cover the basics, from air and water to land and wildlife. It will examine the federal laws and regulations that govern these areas and provide a review of the latest case law. Find out where states’ rights end and tribes’ begin. Understand why these different aspects of the environment are important and how they affect everything from everyday life to economic development. Learn how to create and maintain conservation projects and discuss how other tribes use the law to conserve and protect their natural resources. This hands-on class will give you the opportunity to discuss the unique challenges and issues that impact your tribe and explore solutions to these challenges. Don’t miss this important training program — register today.

T O P I C S   I N C L U D E
Environmental Basics
  • Creating laws
  • Putting the law to work
  • Creating regulations
  • Carrying out the law
  • Changing landscapes
  • Environmental Indicators Initiative
Overview of Environmental Laws
  • Clean Water Act
  • Emergency Planning & Community Right-To-Know Act
  • Pollution Prevention Act
  • Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act
  • National Environmental Policy Act
  • NEPA and tribal gaming compacts
Land and Animals — The Ecosystem Around You
  • Hunting and fishing
  • Aboriginal or Indian title
  • Reserved Rights Doctrine
  • Treaties and executive orders
  • Treaty construction and interpretation
  • Abrogation of treaty rights
On-Reservation Hunting and Fishing
  • Tribal and state regulation of tribal and non-tribal members
  • Tribal jurisdiction limits
  • Exclusive vs. concurrent authority with a state
  • Montana v. United States
  • Importance of a tribal ordinance
Off-Reservation Regulation
  • Treaty rights — United States v. Washington
Federal Regulation and Statutes
  • Sources of federal power
  • Statutory interpretation
  • Federal taxation on hunting income
  • Migratory Bird Treaty Act
  • Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940
  • Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act
  • Marine Mammal Protection Act
  • Fisheries Conservation and Management Act of 1976
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Direct Federal Regulation Act
Conservation of Land and Animals
  • Nature of the fish resource
  • Habitat protection
  • Navajo Nation v. U.S. Forest Service (Snowbowl case) reversal
Overview of Water Law
  • Drinking water, water pollution
    and fishing
  • History of federal policy and deference to state law
  • Federal reserved water rights (Winters Doctrine)
  • Relationship between federal and state law rights
Indian Water Rights
  • Tribal rights under the Winters Doctrine
  • Allottee water rights
  • Non-Indian Walton rights derived from allottee
  • Quantification of water rights:
    • Appropriative rights (practicable irrigable acreage)
    • In-stream flow rights
    • Fish flows, water quality and trust responsibility
  • Transfer or leasing of water rights
  • Off-reservation water rights
  • Indian water rights under state riparian law
  • State jurisdiction under the McCarran Amendment
Off-Reservation Activities Affecting Tribal Water Rights
  • Federal and other water projects
  • FERC proceedings
Tribal, Federal and State Regulation of On-Reservation Water Use
  • Tribal authority under the Walton decision
  • Non-Indians and fee lands
  • Regulation of water and environmental quality
  • Conservation and protection of water and watersheds
Overview of Air Laws and Regulations
  • Clean Air Act
  • Wilderness Act
  • Car emissions
  • Fire emissions
  • Enforcement actions
  • EPA rulemaking
Protecting Air Quality
  • Right to protect the air in your community
  • Air quality status and trends
  • Assessing emissions inventory
  • Monitoring air quality
  • Implementing an air quality control plan
In Your Neighborhood
  • Human health
  • Waste and recycling
  • Retaining tribal conservation rights
Developing Tribal Regulatory and Administrative Systems — Practical Issues
  • Pending legislation
  • Court decisions
  • Administrative action
  • Tribal codes and related laws
  • Field investigation and enforcement
  • Administrative hearings and appeals
  • Role of tribal court and tribal council
Developing Tribal Strategies to Preserve and Conserve Natural Resources
  • Finding the right combination of litigation and other approaches
  • Alternative protection strategies
  • Action for damages for past wrongs

*Topics subject to change.

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