Climate Change Update (TBAC Meeting)

Climate Change Update
TBAC Meeting
March 2010
John Vitello
Associate Deputy Bureau Director
BIA Office of Trust Services
Washington, D.C.
Climate Change
Let’s Not Refer to it as “Global Warming”
Photos by Bodie Shaw
Climate Change Impacts
Strong Storms
Sea Level Rise
Catastrophic Wildfires
Habitat Change
Model Forecasts of Streamflow Changes
Evolution of DOI
Climate Change Policy
• Workgroup Meetings
– Culminate in Shepherdstown, WV meeting
• Focus on Tribes as…
– Sovereigns
– Land Managers
– Climate Change Partners
• Concept of Environmental Justice
• Need for Consultation on Climate Policy
Secretarial Order
on Climate Change
SO 3289
“Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change on
America’s Water, Land, and Other Natural and
Cultural Resources”
• Signed September ‘09.
• Section 5 dedicated to American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Secretarial Order
Coastal Erosion in the Native Village of
Shishmaref, Alaska
on Climate Change
Section 5 can be summed up as follows:
• Disproportionate Affect
• Trust Responsibility
• Best Available Science
• Substantive Participation
S.O. 3289
• “Climate Change Response Council”
– Recently renamed “Energy and Climate Change Council”;
• Other Specific Activities:
– Planning Requirements
– Regional Climate Change Response Centers
– Landscape Conservation Cooperatives
– Carbon Storage Project
– Carbon Footprint Project
Eight Climate Science Centers
Twenty-One Landscape Conservation
Cooperatives (LCCs)
BIA/Tribal LCC Contribution 2011
Indian Tribes
and Climate Change
What Tribes Need (from USGS & DOI)jjjjjjj
• Increased access to expertise and scientific research.
• Increased monitoring of climate change indicators on
• Direct tribal participation in the development and
operation of emissions taxation/trading schemes that may
be developed.
• Government-to-government consultation and substantive
participation in the development of Departmental policy,
objectives, and initiatives regarding climate change.
Indian Tribes
and Climate Change
What Tribes Can Providejjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj
• Tribal experience with resource stewardship and adaptation
spans millennia.
• Tribes have an accumulation of traditional knowledge and
acute sensitivities to their environment.
• Tribal peoples could be among the first to notice changes to
ecological processes caused by climate change.
• Many Tribes have sophisticated resource mgmt. programs.
• Some Tribes (e.g. Quinault) have already adopted laws and
policies on climate change.
Fire Management
Integration of Traditional Ecological Knowledge
and Western Science
• Traditional Ecological Knowledge
– Fundamental land ethic….adaptive
– Indigenous legacies of experiential
• Joint Fire Science Program
– Intertribal Timber Council
– University of Washington
– BIA and USFS
Other Climate Policy
E.O. 13514 - from President Obama 10/8/09
– “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and
Economic Performance”
• Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) Coordination
• Making federal government operations more sustainable
– ↓ 30% federal fleet petroleum use by 2020
– 26% improvement in water efficiency by 2020
– 50% recycling and waste diversion by 2015
• Sec. 9 – Recommendations for Greenhouse Gas
Accounting and Reporting
GHG Inventories
Sec. 9 of EO 13514
Policy Decision (Still Draft)
Land management emissions and sequestration shall
not be reported at this time.
Wildfire management and prescribed burning
emissions shall not be reported.
Other CEQ
Climate Activities
• CEQ to work “with the Department of the Interior as the lead
department to develop a national government-wide strategy
to address climate change impacts on fish, wildlife, plants,
and associated ecological processes.” (FY 2010 Interior
Appropriation Report Language)
• National Oceans Policy Task Force
• Develop Framework for Coordination of all Federal Land
Management Agencies to Address Climate Change
• Adaptations Task Force
Adaptations Task Force
NEPA Guidance
Partnerships & Collaborations
Easements & Acquisitions
Adaptation Priorities
Wildland Fire – Integrate Fuels Mgmt.
“…equip communities with information and learn from
communities who have taken steps to adapt.”
Climate Change
FY 2012 Budget Cycle
Additional new funding unlikely
Climate funding from reallocating budget
priorities is likely
TBAC request to form Climate Change
Advisory Council
Carbon Sequestration
Carbon Sequestration Evolution
• 2000 - Some Tribes begin marketing carbon
• 2002 – BIA attempts carbon policy draft
• 2005 – Ideas on Policy draft authority evolve
• 2007 – DOI SOL Opinion on draft
– Carbon not a mineral
– Carbon could be an “other forest product”
• 2009 – New draft presented at ITC Symposium
• 2010 – Still evolving
Current Dilemmas
DOI – No Individual Bureau Policy - Yet
Legislation – Cap and Trade, etc. - Stalled
Markets - Volatile and Changing Terms
Tribes - Moving Forward; Wanting Guidance
Impacts on Fee into Trust
Term of Agreement
Best Market Value
Trust Funds? Payment Process?
Current Policy Thoughts?
All Tribal Lands
25 CFR Part 84 – Encumbrances of Tribal Land
Forest Lands – Individually owned in Trust
25 CFR Part 163 – General Forestry Regulations
Ag/Range Lands – Individually owned in Trust
25 CFR Part 162 – Leases and Permits
25 CFR Part 166 – Grazing Permits
Or ?
Do we think outside the box……
Carbon sequestration agreements
Tribal Service Contracts ?

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