Washington Tribal Conservation Advisory Council (WATCAC)
Initiated in 2011, the Washington Tribal Conservation Advisory Council
(WATCAC) provides a forum for twenty-nine (29) Native American Tribes in
Washington to address natural resource issues on Tribal lands. The WATCAC
provides a tribal voice to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
(NRCS) on conservation issues that are important to Washington tribes at the state and
Tribal Conservation Advisory Councils were first authorized in the 1995 Farm
Bill as advisory bodies to USDA agencies including NRCS on Tribal issues.
The WATCAC holds meetings on the second Tuesday of each month via video
teleconference or teleconference. Twice a year, the group meets face-to-face,
alternating between the east and west sides of the state. The meetings are open
to all tribes, however, those tribes who have passed resolutions to participate
in the WATCAC have voting privileges. Each tribe appoints two representatives
who provide council and technical voices to NRCS.
Basis for Tribal Conservation Advisory Councils
NRCS’s mission is to help people help the land. To carry out this mission
effectively with Tribes at the state and local levels, NRCS will…
(1) Provide quality service through financial, educational, and
(2) Assist the Tribes in building Tribal capacity in natural resources
(3) Coordinate with Tribes so they have the opportunity to provide input on
(4) Work cooperatively with Tribes to achieve program compliance.
(5) Advocate natural resource stewardship, while working within Tribal
religion, standards, values, and culture.
(6) Provide services to all clientele equitably.
(7) Support practical, voluntary solutions to natural resource problems.
(8) Deliver the best available resource technology.
(9) Promote strong partnerships and teamwork.
(10) Deliver programs in cooperation with other Federal, Tribal, State, and
(11) Provide a quality work environment for its diverse work force.
(12) Cooperate with Indian Tribes, conservation districts, resource
conservation development councils, and State conservation agencies to
Additionally, NRCS will work with Tribes and provide assistance, upon
request, to help them establish a Tribal Conservation Advisory Council (TCAC) or tribal conservation district. Tribes may designate a TCAC to provide input on NRCS programs and the
conservation needs of the Tribes and Tribal producers.
At the local level, TCACs
- Provide leadership on conservation needs, programs, and priorities to
NRCS Tribal Liaison.
- Maintain communications with the NRCS Tribal liaison.
- Engage NRCS in resource assessments.
- Develop conservation plans and priorities for implementation.
At the State Level, TCACs can…
- Maintain communications with the State Conservationist.
- Communicate conservation needs, plans, and priorities to the State
- Engage the State Conservationist in developing annual budgets for
natural resource conservation.
- Advise regional level conservation advisory councils of natural
resource programs and budget needs.
At the Regional Level, TCACs can…
- Maintain communications with the Regional Conservationists
- Communicate with State- and national-level Tribal conservation advisory
councils regarding conservation programs, legislative needs, and budgets.
< Back to ... Tribes
< Back to ...Partners