The Agencies are consulting with Tribal governments regarding the Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Department of Energy (DOE); and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Department of the Interior (DOI), work on a government-to-government basis with Native American Tribes. As a part of the government's Treaty and Trust responsibilities, the government-to-government relationship was formally recognized by the federal government on November 6, 2000, with Executive Order 13175.
The Agencies are coordinating and consulting with tribal governments, Native communities, and tribal individuals whose interests might be directly and substantially affected by activities on public lands in the six-state study area. The BLM Washington Office contracted with SWCA Environmental Consultants to produce an ethnographic overview of six tribes with cultural and historic ties to SEZs in Nevada and Utah. These tribes were selected on the basis of their expressed interest and willingness to cooperate with the research necessary to produce ethnographic analyses. Detailed interviews with tribal members and an ethnographic overview have identified traditional cultural properties, significant ethnobotanical resources, visual resource concerns, and tribal perspectives on direct and indirect effects of solar development on tribal interests.
The tribally-approved ethnographic overviews that focus on specific Solar Energy Zones (SEZs) are provided on the Documents page, and summaries of the analyses are included in the Supplement to the Draft Solar PEIS. Information gained during the ethnographic research will be used to identify traditional cultural properties, significant ethnobotanical resources, visual resources, and tribal perspectives on the direct and indirect effects of solar development on tribal interests. Throughout preparation of the Solar PEIS, the Agencies will strive to provide the Tribes sufficient opportunities for productive participation in planning and resource management decision making. Following signing of the Record of Decision, the BLM will continue government-to-government consultation with tribes when project-specific solar applications are received so that resources of concern may be identified and adverse effects mitigated.