Friday, February 6, 2009

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Workshop in Indian Country

International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management
444 South Emerson Street
Denver, Colorado 80209-2176
Phone: (303) 733-0481; FAX: (303) 744-9808
E-Mail: Website:

A Workshop on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in Indian Country. Designed for Tribal Council Members, Attorneys, Natural and Cultural Resource Specialists and Environmental Protection Professionals and Federal Agency Personnel and Contractors Working in Indian Country March 17-18, 2009 Radisson Hotel Denver Stapleton Plaza, 3333 Quebec Street, Denver, Colorado

Applied to the Colorado Supreme Court for Continuing Legal Education Credit

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) can be an important part of federal agency consultation with Indian tribes. However, effective tribal participation in the NEPA process requires an awareness of the workings and procedural requirements of NEPA, technical expertise, knowledge of the broad range of tribal environmental, social, cultural, health and safety interests that March be affected by federal programs and activities and a strategy that links NEPA responses to other legal and statutory requirements such as the federal-Indian trust doctrine, treaty rights, AIRFA, NAGPRA, etc. This Workshop will provide practical instruction and assistance to inform tribal decision-makers on: the requirements and latest developments in NEPA compliance and litigation; the role of tribal, federal and state regulators in the NEPA process; and strategies to identify and protect tribal interests that March be affected by proposed federal actions.

Preliminary Agenda

March 17, 2009

  • 8:15 a.m. Registration, Coffee and Continental Breakfast
  • 9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductions: Mervyn L. Tano, International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management
  • 9:30 a.m. Small Group Exercise
  • 10:15 a.m. History and Overview of NEPA: James "Skip" Spensley, Spensley & Associates
  • 10:30 a.m. NEPA as a Tribal Environmental Protection and Development Strategy: Mervyn L. Tano
  • 11:30 a.m. Break
  • 11:45 a.m. An Approach to Identifying Tribal Interests Affected by Proposed Federal Actions: Mervyn L. Tano
  • 12:30 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
  • 1:30 p.m. Planning for NEPA: What Tribes Need to Know About Federal Agencies, What Federal Agencies Need to Know About Tribes: Mervyn L. Tano
  • 2:30 p.m. The Environmental Impact Statement: The Process: James "Skip" Spensley
  • 4:30 p.m. Adjourn

March 18, 2009

  • 8:30 a.m. Registration, Coffee and Continental Breakfast
  • 9:00 a.m. Content of the EIS: Making Sure it's Adequate: James "Skip" Spensley
  • 10:00 a.m. Assessing Cumulative Impacts: Mervyn L. Tano
  • 10:45 a.m. Break
  • 11:00 a.m. Tribes as Cooperating Agencies: Issues and Opportunities: Mervyn L. Tano
  • 11:30 a.m. Other Issues including Programmatic EIS, Environmental Justice, etc.: James "Skip" Spensley and Mervyn L. Tano
  • 12:30 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
  • 1:30 p.m. Indigenous Approaches to Adaptive Management: Mervyn L. Tano
  • 2:10 p.m. Strategic Approaches to NEPA Requirements: James "Skip" Spensley Mervyn L. Tano
  • 2:40 p.m. Small Group Exercise
  • 4:15 p.m. Adjourn

Workshop Faculty:

James W. "Skip" Spensley is one of the nation's experts on the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) working with its requirements from numerous perspectives including administrative, legislative, judicial, and project development. Mr. Spensley served as staff to the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in 1970 after NEPA was first enacted. He assisted in preparing the first CEQ guidelines on environmental impact statement (EIS) preparation. He subsequently worked with an environmental law firm in Alexandria, Virginia where he litigated NEPA cases.

In 1974, Mr. Spensley worked for a transportation and consulting firm which managed one of the largest urban transportation projects in New York where he was the architect of the EIS for the West Side Highway Project in New York City. In 1975, Mr. Spensley was hired by the United States House of Representatives to act as Legal Counsel to the Subcommittee responsible for NEPA. During his tenure there, he was responsible for writing the first and only amendment to NEPA in 1975.

In 1984, The Marchor of Denver hired Mr. Spensley to manage the preparation of the EIS for Denver's new international airport, the largest land area commercial airport in the world. Between 1989 and 1995, he has consulted with numerous large-scale projects concerning their NEPA requirements including among others the Vail Ski Area Expansion project; the Department of Energy's Technology Integration Program; the E-470 Toll Road Project in Denver; and the Rocky Flats Site Wide Environmental Impact Statement. Since 1995, Mr. Spensley has provided consulting and project management services to the Colorado Department of Transportation, the City and County of Broomfield, the Seattle Port Authority, Will County Illinois on the 3rd Chicago South Suburban Airport project and several private company clients concerning environmental documents related to major transportation and development projects.

Mr. Spensley has lectured on environmental law and NEPA at both the University of Colorado and the University of Denver in the law schools and other graduate programs since 1982. He is the author of the NEPA Compliance Manual for federal managers and author of the NEPA Chapter in the Environmental Law Handbook (Editions 12-16) for Government Institutes. He conducts regular annual national workshops on NEPA and the EIS process.

Mervyn L. Tano

Mervyn L. Tano, Esq. is an attorney and the president of the International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from the Church College of Hawaii, Masters Degree in Education from the University of Arizona and the Juris Doctor Degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. Mr. Tano has extensive experience working with Indian tribes and includes, as a small sample: assisting the Confederated tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation establish a comprehensive water quality management system; helping the Nez Perce tribe establish the tribal environmental restoration and waste management department to oversee the cleanup of Department of Energy facilities at Hanford; and, advising the Oglala Sioux tribe on solid waste management issues. Mr. Tano has been a member of several national advisory boards including EPA's Federal Facilities Environmental Restoration Dialogue Committee, the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, DOE Office of Science and Technology's Community Leaders Network, the National Academy of Public Administration's committee on intergenerational responsibility and the National Research Council's committee on priority setting, timing and staging of DOE's environmental management activities. Mr. Tano has written numerous papers, articles and manuals on risk, environmental justice, environmental restoration, technology development, environmental law and radioactive waste management, and has written extensively on tribal strategies for NEPA responses.

Workshop Logistics:

All workshop sessions will be held at the Radisson Hotel Denver Stapleton Plaza, 3333 Quebec Street, Denver, Colorado. Rooms are available to workshop attendees at the special rate of $89.00 (single or double) per night. For reservations, call the Radisson Hotel Denver Stapleton Plaza at 303-317-3500 or 1-800-333-3333. Be sure to mention the "IIIRM NEPA in Indian Country Workshop" and make your reservation by April 20, 2009, to qualify for the special rate.

Registration Information:

Registration Fee: Early registration (until February 28, 2009) is $395.
After that date registration is $450. Tuition includes morning and afternoon coffee service and one copy of the workshop materials. For information on multiple registrations from one tribe, or other information, call the International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management at 303-744-9686. Please fill out the registration form and send it and your check or purchase order to: IIIRM, 444 South Emerson Street, Denver, CO 80209-2176; or FAX to: 303-744-9808.

Related Indigenous People's Issues by Keywords

Use the Search Function at the Top to Find More Articles, Fellowships, Conferences, Indigenous Issues, Book Reviews, and Resources

No comments:

Post a Comment

Contribute to Indigenous People's Issues Today

Do you have a resource on indigenous peoples that you would like to share? Indigenous People's Issues is always looking for great new information, news, articles, book reviews, movies, stories, or resources.

Please send it along and we will do a feature. Email it to the Editor, Peter N. Jones: pnj "at"

Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources

Privacy Policy for Indigenous Peoples Issues Today (

The privacy of our visitors to Indigenous Peoples Issues Today is important to us.

At Indigenous Peoples Issues Today, we recognize that privacy of your personal information is important. Here is information on what types of personal information we receive and collect when you use visit Indigenous Peoples Issues Today, and how we safeguard your information. We never sell your personal information to third parties.

Log Files

As with most other websites, we collect and use the data contained in log files. The information in the log files include your IP (internet protocol) address, your ISP (internet service provider, such as AOL or Shaw Cable), the browser you used to visit our site (such as Internet Explorer or Firefox), the time you visited our site and which pages you visited throughout our site.

Cookies and Web Beacons

We do use cookies to store information, such as your personal preferences when you visit our site. This could include only showing you a pop-up once in your visit, or the ability to login to some of our features, such as forums.

We also use third party advertisements on Indigenous Peoples Issues Today to support our site. Some of these advertisers may use technology such as cookies and web beacons when they advertise on our site, which will also send these advertisers (such as Google through the Google AdSense program) information including your IP address, your ISP, the browser you used to visit our site, and in some cases, whether you have Flash installed. This is generally used for geotargeting purposes (showing New York real estate ads to someone in New York, for example) or showing certain ads based on specific sites visited (such as showing cooking ads to someone who frequents cooking sites). Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on this site. Google's use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to users based on their visit to sites on the Internet. Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.

You can chose to disable or selectively turn off our cookies or third-party cookies in your browser settings, or by managing preferences in programs such as Norton Internet Security. However, this can affect how you are able to interact with our site as well as other websites. This could include the inability to login to services or programs, such as logging into forums or accounts.

Thank you for understanding and supporting Indigenous Peoples Issues Today. We understand that some viewers may be concerned that ads are sometimes served for companies that negatively depict indigenous peoples and their cultures. We understand this concern. However, there are many legitimate companies that utilize Google Adwords and other programs to attract visitors. Currently, we have no way of deciphering between the two - we leave it up to the viewer to decide whether the companies serving ads are honest or not.