Tribal Consultation

The U.S. Geological Survey follows Department of Interior policies for consultation with federally recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages.

Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco Canyon

Consultation with Indian Tribes and Alaska ANCSA Corporations

The Department of the Interior (DOI) Policy on Consultation with Indian tribes and the DOI Policy on Consultation with Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporations require that any USGS operational activity that may have a substantial direct effect on the lands, resources (which would include hunting, fishing or gathering rights on ceded territory--i.e., lands outside of their current reservations) of federally recognized Indian tribes, or on ANCSA Corporation lands, water areas or resources, requires that USGS provide these entities the opportunity to consult. In addition to research that requires physical entry into these areas, research conducted remotely may also require consultation.

USGS research that has been contracted by a specific Indian tribe or ANCSA Corporation does not require consultation.

Tribes or ANCSA Corporations whose lands, resources or treaty rights may be affected by proposed research must be identified and invited to consult with USGS in the project's planning stage. This ensures that they may receive advanced information about the proposed research and decide whether they will accept an invitation to enter into formal consultation with USGS. Both of these DOI Consultation Policies state that consultation is a deliberative process that aims to create effective collaboration and informed federal decision-making. Tribes and ANCSA Corporations may have concerns or information that can inform the final parameters of the proposed research.

Department of the Interior Tribal Consultation Policy

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Policy questions or concerns contact the USGS National Tribal Liaison (Monique Fordham, mfordham@usgs.gov