UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
 
September 16, 2008
 
In Reply Refer To:
8100 (240) P
 
EMS TRANSMISSION 10/01/2008
Instruction Memorandum No. 2008-200
Expires: 09/30/2009
 
To:                   State Directors
 
From:              Director
 
Subject:          Tribal Consultation Outreach                                         DD: 9/15/08, 10/15/08
                                                                                                
Program Areas:  Tribal Consultation under Cultural Resource Authorities
 
Purpose: This Instruction Memo (IM) introduces a national tribal outreach initiative and requests field assistance in this effort. It also emphasizes the importance that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) places on tribal relationships, and reinforces the existing BLM Manual Section 8120 and BLM Handbook H-8120-1 guidance on tribal and Native American consultation under cultural resource authorities. 
 
Policy/Action: The BLM’s relationships with tribal governments are of the highest importance to our agency and the BLM has just initiated a large scale initiative to assess and strengthen those relationships. In the attached August 21, 2008 letter, I transmitted copies of our policies on tribal consultation to tribal leaders and asked for their experience with the BLM, and their ideas for improving our working relationships. We plan to schedule regional listening sessions based in part on responses to my letter. We need your help to ensure that our outreach effort is effective and to carry out regional listening sessions. This IM provides specific guidance on field support and a standardized form for reporting telephone and face to face meetings connected with this effort. We are in need of your support in the following ways:  
  • Informing and organizing field offices: Please inform your district and field managers of the impending effort, have them designate Tribal Coordinator(s) and convey contact information to the State’s Tribal Coordinator. 
  • Follow-up: Please request that your State’s Tribal Coordinator work through the appropriate Field Office personnel to contact each tribal leader who received the August 21, 2008 letter, our 8120 manual section and H-8120-1 handbook, and a compact disk containing the BLM 1997 National Programmatic Agreement (NPA) with the Advisory Council and National Conference of State Historic Preservation Offices. Confirm that they received the mailing; ask if they have any questions on the contents of the package; encourage the tribe to take this opportunity to provide feedback to the BLM, including suggestions for improving their working relationship with the BLM. A list of addressees is attached. State Directors who have an unusually large number of tribes in their state should prioritize calls to manage the contact workload. If tribes did not receive the original mailing, please resend the cover letter and refer them to the BLM website for attachments. 
  • Documenting Tribal Calls and Meetings: By October 15, 2008, please transmit reports for all communications prior to that date for immediate use in planning our listening sessions and overall response plan. Staff should use the attached template to record calls and meetings with tribes that respond to this letter.   Send completed reports to the BLM Preservation Officer, Robin Burgess, robin_burgess@blm.gov. Please send reports for subsequent communications as soon as possible following the call or meeting.   
  • Listening Sessions: By September 15, 2008, please designate a point of contact to work with Preservation Officer, Robin Burgess, and BLM Tribal Liaison, Jerry Cordova, in scheduling and hosting regional listening sessions.  
Communications with tribes regarding this assessment can be included in other, normal tribal communication processes where feasible. We would like to take this opportunity to reinforce the importance of regular meetings by senior managers with tribal officials, in keeping with our Government-to-Government relationship with tribes and our tribal consultation responsibilities.  In Information Bulletin, No. 2008-057, Online Training in Working Effectively with Tribal Governments, we introduced a new source of training and encouraged you and your staffs to take advantage of this class. 
 
The BLM has established numerous successful formal partnerships with tribal governments and we encourage you to actively pursue these opportunities.  
 
Timeframe: Send information on designated points of contact for listening sessions by September 15, 2008 and reports on tribal calls and meetings to date by October 15, 2008, to BLM Preservation Officer, Dr. Robin Burgess, at robin_burgess@blm.gov
 
Budget Impact: There will be some project impact in carrying out support activities associated with this initiative.  
 
Background: Government-to-Government relationships with tribes are of the highest importance to the BLM. The BLM has extensive internal guidance on consultation with tribes and Native Americans under cultural resource authorities in BLM Manual Section 8120, Tribal Consultation Under Cultural Resource Authorities and BLM Handbook, H-8120-1, General Procedural Guidance for Native American Consultation. The purpose of our manual and handbook guidance is to ensure that tribal governments, Native American communities, and individuals whose interests might be affected, have sufficient opportunity for productive participation in BLM planning and resource management decision-making. 
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One of the key cultural resource authorities is the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). Section 106 of the NHPA requires consultation with any Indian Tribe that attaches religious and cultural significance to properties that are listed on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and may be affected by a BLM undertaking, regardless of whether the historic property is on or off tribal lands. 
 
Section 106 of the NHPA also requires consultation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), local governments and the interested public, as appropriate. In 1997, the BLM executed a NPA with the ACHP and the National Conference of SHPOs to streamline consultation with the ACHP and SHPOs off tribal lands. Most BLM State Offices have individual protocols with their respective SHPOs for operating under the NPA. 
 
The NPA has been in effect for 11 years and the BLM is working with the ACHP and NCSHPO to review the BLM’s NHPA compliance process, including the NPA. In particular, we want to ensure that our streamlined consultation with the ACHP and SHPOs under the NPA does not interfere with our Government-to-Government relationship or tribal consultation responsibilities. This outreach is part of our review and assessment process.  We also want this initiative to actively strengthen our Government-to-Government relationships and identify suggestions for improvement.  
 
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: The BLM Manual Section 8120, Tribal Consultation Under Cultural Resource Authorities and BLM Handbook, H-8120-1, General Procedural Guidance for Native American Consultation
 
Contact: State Directors may direct any questions or concerns to Ed Roberson, Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning, at 202-208-6731 or at ed_roberson@blm.gov. Staff may contact Robin Burgess, Ph.D., Preservation Officer, at 202-785-6581 or robin_burgess@blm.gov or Jerry Cordova, BLM Tribal Liaison, at 202-452-7756 or jerry_cordova@blm.gov
 
 
Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
James L. Caswell                                                        Robert M. Williams
Director                                                                       Division of IRM Governace,WO-560
 
 
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