WESPEN Online Order Form print this page
US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
CARLSBAD FWO: First Tribal Partnership Summit Held in Southern California
Region 8, March 16, 2011

By Stephanie Weagley, Carlsbad FWO

TEMECULA --  the First Annual Tribal Bureau of Indian Affairs, Pacific Region, Southern California Agency Partnership Summit took place in Temecula, Calif., on March 15 -16, 2011. The summit was planned to help build and foster partnerships among California Tribes, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and other federal, state, and local agencies, as well as corporations.

Hosted by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, representatives from various agencies and corporations were invited to serve as panelists, including staff from the Carlsbad Fish & Wildlife Office (CFWO). Scott Sobiech, Deputy Field Supervisor, and Karen Goebel, Assistant Field Supervisor, were on a five-person panel dedicated to the discussion of NEPA compliance and endangered species with respect to environmental issues and federal and tribal laws.

“The focus of our discussion was to encourage tribes to contact us early if they have Endangered Species Act issues and to get the message across that we are here to help them in any way we can.” said Goebel.

In particular, our CFWO panelists discussed critical habitat current policies for federally threatened and endangered species as it pertains to tribal trust property and resources. Discussions also included section 7 consultation and its processes, as well as types of tribal projects that may require section 7 consultations with our office, including BIA funded projects, fee-to-trust transfers, and tribal projects needing federal permits.

Other CFWO staff in attendance included Jonathan Snapp-Cook, Partners for Fish & Wildlife program coordinator, and Karin Cleary-Rose, a biologist from CFWO's inland suboffice. They provided important resource and grant information, answered a variety of questions, and made key personal contacts with local tribal members.

Additional panelists and attendees were from the following organizations: Pacific Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Southern California Agency, Inter-Tribal Long Term Recovery Foundation, Bureau of Reclamation, Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians, San Diego Gas & Electric, Pala Tribal Historic Preservation Office, and the California State Historic Preservation Office. 

The Service has trust responsibilities for our nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats. It also has a common goal with tribes of conserving species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. “We take our responsibilities to consult with Tribes on a government-to-government basis seriously,” said Sobiech. “The Tribal Partnership Summit was an excellent opportunity to interact together and establish even better relationships with members of our local tribes.”

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov