Tribal Consultation is an important part of project development
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) maintains government-to-government relations with 34 federally recognized tribal governments. Twenty-nine tribes are located in Washington State; the additional five tribes have reservations outside the state, but have traditional homelands and / or treaty rights within the state.
Throughout the development of our transportation projects, WSDOT staff work with tribes to address their concerns. Successful consultation helps WSDOT achieve its mission to deliver transportation projects on time and on budget.
Model Consultation Process for Environmental Review
We have prepared a tool for our project teams to use on federal-aid transportation projects when the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the lead federal agency. FHWA and WSDOT must comply with a number of federal, state and agency consultation requirements. Our goal was to design a comprehensive consultation process that incorporated these requirements into one process (rather than many) for a more thorough and holistic review.
What does this new model include?
The model is intended to be a practical, "hands on" reference for project teams. The model will guide you on:
- Who to consult with: Find out which tribes you should invite to consult, which offices to contact and where to get the latest contact information.
- When to consult: In Chapter 3 we've outlined minimum recommended consultation activities for each type of NEPA project, including Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (CE, DCE, EA, EIS).
- Answers to over 50 frequently asked questions are available in Chapter 4.
- Why we consult: Chapter 2 includes a description of major legal and policy requirements.
- "Consultation Tips" to explain some recommendations are located throughout the guidance.
- 12 key implementation tools including template letters, consultation plans and sample agreements. (Appendices)
- Background Information
(including Section106 and Area of Potential Effects comments)
Who is this guidance for?
- WSDOT staff and consultants who work on projects requiring NEPA review and have FHWA as the lead federal agency, including any locally funded agency transportation projects administered through the Highways and Local Programs Office.
- WSDOT policy staff and other who work on project before and after the environmental review stage.
- Helps tribes understand our internal process and opportunities for consultation.
Additional Resources to help you
WSDOT Government Relations Office Tribal Liaison for information on:
- Tribal Contacts
- Information on other consultation efforts including for Planning and workforce development
- WSDOT Executive Order 1025 on Tribal Consultation
- WSDOT Centennial Accord Plan
WSDOT Cultural Resource Office for information on:
- Statewide Section 106 Programmatic Agreement between WSDOT, Federal Highway Department and Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation
- Inadvertent Discovery Plan template
- Section 106 list-serve
WSDOT Planning Office for information on:
Governor's Office of Indian Affairs for information on:
- Centennial Accord and Millennium Agreements