Law Seminars International Presents: A Comprehensive Conference on

Tribal Environmental Quality Protection
New and emerging environmental regulation, litigation, compliance and sovereignty issues for Tribes

May 12 & 13, 2014
Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, CA

Who Should Order This Homestudy

Attorneys, Tribal representatives, industry executives and governmental officials

Why You Should Order

There are approximately 56.2 million acres in the United States held in trust for Indian Tribes and individuals, which range in size from just over an acre to the 16 million acre Navajo Nation Reservation. The amount of Tribal lands continues to grow as the federal government reviews and approves trust applications each year. In addition, the U.S. Department of Interior Buy-Back Program (created in response to the Cobell vs Salazar Settlement) intends to add millions of acres of Tribal trust lands. The application of environmental law to these lands is unique in comparison to private fee land due to the extreme shifts in federal policy regarding Tribal sovereignty over the past 200 years. Federal environmental laws are applicable to Tribal lands but State and local laws do not apply in most cases unless the impacts of actions spill over to non-Tribal lands.

This informative conference provides a foundational understanding of Tribal sovereignty and the applicability of environmental laws to Tribal lands, insight into the relationship between Tribes and federal/state agencies, practical tips for preparing/reviewing environmental impact documentation and resource management plans.

~ Program Co-Chairs: John E. Ponder, Esq. of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP and Jennifer Wade of Environmental Science Associates

What You Will Learn


Monday, May 12, 2014

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction and Overview

John E. Ponder, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP / San Diego, CA

Jennifer Wade, Program Co-Chair, Managing Associate
Environmental Science Associates / Sacramento, CA

8:45 am

Tribal Sovereignty as It Applies To Environmental Regulation and Tribal Land Use

Tribes as "domestic dependent nations" and how that plays out with respect to federal and state environmental regulations; tribal authority to establish regulations related to compliance; ability to enact regulations more stringent than federal ones

William C. Scott, Esq.
Modrall Sperling / Albuquerque, NM

How it plays out for land use planning on Tribal lands and Tribal operations off Tribal lands: Court cases leading to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), which also addresses land use impacts; and implements the concept of Tribal/state compacts

John E. Ponder, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP / San Diego, CA

10:00 am


10:15 am

Detailed Analysis of the Applicability of Specific Federal Environmental Laws to Tribal Lands

Clean Air Act: Provisions and current issues of primary concern for Tribes; national standards, general conformity and major source permits

John L. Clancy, Esq.
Godfrey & Kahn S.C. / Milwaukee, WI

Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act: 401 certification; EPA issues 401; ability for Tribes to be delegated 401 certification

Thomas Keegan
Thomas Keegan / Graton, CA

Endangered Species Act: Triggered by presence of listed species or habitat in project area; advantages of USFWS approved habitat plan; Secretarial Order 3206 on designation of critical habitat

Robert D. Thornton, Esq.
Nossaman LLP / Irvine, CA

National Historic Preservation Act and Tribal cultural preservation issues

Jason Camp, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
United Auburn Indian Community of the Auburn Rancheria / Auburn, CA

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Detailed Analysis of Requirements for Environmental Impact Review for Projects on Tribal Lands or Tribal Projects Off Tribal Lands

Applicability of the environmental assessment and impact statement requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Federal actions requiring compliance with NEPA. Litigation and legal defensibility of NEPA documents affecting Tribal lands

Nicholas C. Yost, Esq.
Dentons / San Francisco, CA

Tribal State Compacts: Typical Compact requirements for Off-Reservation Impact Analysis, triggers, case study. Similarities/differences to NEPA.

Erich Fischer, Vice President and California Practice Leader
Environmental Science Associates / Sacramento, CA

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) triggers for Tribal projects outside of Tribal lands: Circumstances under which involvement by non-Tribal entities for projects on Tribal lands may trigger the need to comply with state laws (Services Agreement)

Jennifer L. Hernandez, Esq.
Holland & Knight LLP / San Francisco, CA

3:30 pm


3:45 pm

Environmental Assessment (EA) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Preparation Tips

Identifying and taking advantage of categorical exclusions under federal and state law

Jennifer Wade, Program Co-Chair, Managing Associate
Environmental Science Associates / Sacramento, CA

Consultation requirements and how to identify the appropriate agencies

Carey Fernandes, Principal
Dudek / Encinitas, CA

5:00 pm

Continue the Exchange of Ideas: Reception for Faculty and Attendees

Sponsored by Environmental Science Associates and Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

8:30 am

Introduction and Overview

John E. Ponder, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP / San Diego, CA

Jennifer Wade, Program Co-Chair, Managing Associate
Environmental Science Associates / Sacramento, CA

8:45 am

Roles of the Key Federal Agencies

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA): Administration and management of Indian Lands including environmental review and permitting, processing fee-to-trust applications, and lease/easement approvals

Chad Broussard, Esq., Environmental Protection Specialist
U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs / Sacramento, CA

Bureau of Land Management (BLM): BLM involvement in projects requiring no other federal approvals; right of way approval issues

Laura Godfrey Zagar, Esq.
Perkins Coie / San Diego, CA

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Primary administrative and enforcement authority for environmental issues related to water, air and hazardous substances

Richard G. McAllister, Esq.
Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker, LLP / Portland, OR

10:15 am


10:30 am

Case Study: Development on Tribal Lands

Application of regulations for energy development activities on Tribal lands

Alice L. Harron, Chief Executive Officer
Harron, LLC / Oakland, CA

Bringing peace to the process: Voluntary multi-party agreements regarding Tribal development impacts and pitfalls for the unwary. Insights into how non-Tribal entities can participate alongside Tribes toward a better end result for all

Timothy M. Taylor, Esq.
Stoel Rives LLP / Sacramento, CA

Tips for taking advantage of the Helping Expedite And Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership (HEARTH Act)

Darcie L. Houck, Esq.
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP / Sacramento, CA

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Developing Compliance Strategies for Tribal Environmental Policies and Acts

Key elements of Tribal environmental ordinances, policies and resource management plans

Theodore J. Griswold, Esq.
Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP / San Diego, CA

Special considerations for Tribal habitat conservation plans

Donald Baur, Esq.
Perkins Coie / Washington, DC

2:30 pm


Procedural issues and what to expect when cases go on appeal: Compact requirement for binding arbitration; influencing what happens pending an appeal

Thomas Bunton, Esq., Senior Deputy County Counsel
County of San Diego, The Office of County Counsel / San Diego, CA

3:00 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn



Regular tuition for this program is $895 with a group rate of $670 each for two or more registrants from the same firm. For Tribal and other government employees, we offer a special rate of $595. For students and people in their job for less than a year, our rate is $447.50. All rates include admission to all seminar sessions, food and beverages at breaks, and all course materials. Make checks payable to Law Seminars International.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: Law Seminars International is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. This program qualifies for 11.75 California MCLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.


There is a $25 cancellation fee for Course Materials orders and $50 for Homestudy orders

Faculty Bios

John E. Ponder, Program Co-Chair, partner in the Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental Practice Group at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, focuses on advising and representing major residential, industrial, commercial, Native American Indian tribes, and renewable energy developers through all phases of the land use regulatory process and environmental compliance.

Jennifer Wade, Program Co-Chair, Managing Associate with Environmental Science Associates, assists Tribal clients with NEPA, CEQA and Tribal-state compact compliance for fee-to-trust acquisitions, economic development, Tribal housing, roadway and infrastructure development, and biological and cultural resource management.

Donald Baur, partner at Perkins Coie, counsels his clients on various land management transactions and regulatory proceedings arising under public land laws, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, National Environmental Policy Act, coastal/ocean and public land laws.
Full bio and contact info for Donald Baur at Perkins Coie

Chad Broussard, Environmental Protection Specialist at the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, is responsible for environmental compliance and providing Tribal environmental assistance for the Pacific Region. He currently specializes in fee-to-trust transfers for the BIA.

Thomas Bunton is Senior Deputy County Counsel for the County of San Diego, The Office of County Counsel.

Jason Camp, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO), United Auburn Indian Community of the Auburn Rancheria, works to protect and preserve the Tribe's history and culture. AS THPO, he focuses on educating the public and public agencies about the Nisenan - Maidu - Miwok peoples.

John L. Clancy, shareholder at Godfrey & Kahn S.C., leader of the environmental and energy strategies team, provides environmental and energy-related services to industrial, commercial, Tribal, municipal and trade association clients. He has also represented clients with respect to Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act counseling and litigation.

Carey Fernandes, AICP, principal at Dudek, is experienced in professional planning, specializing in the planning, environmental, and development industries. She also works with Native American Tribes in the preparation of Tribal environmental documents.

Erich Fischer, Vice President and California Practice Leader for Environmental Science Associates' Biological Resources and Land Management Group, provides senior oversight and technical review for a variety of Tribal gaming and non-gaming projects.

Theodore J. Griswold, partner at Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP, head of the Native American Law practice group and a member of the firm's Environmental & Land Use practice group, emphasizes natural resource, Native American, wetlands, habitat, and environmental land use.

Alice L. Harron, is Chief Executive Officer at Harron, LLC. Previously, she was Managing Director, Development at k Road Power.

Jennifer L. Hernandez, partner at Holland & Knight LLP, co-chairs their National Environmental Team and leads the West Coast Land Use and Environment Practice Group and represents private, nonprofit and public sector clients.

Darcie L. Houck, partner at Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP, focuses on energy, environmental law, land use and environmental planning, federal Indian law, litigation, federal, Tribal and state regulatory law, Indian child welfare, contracts and gaming law.

Thomas Keegan is experienced in the government and private sectors of the environmental field. He is also a Tribal representative on federal and state environmental policy committees.

Richard G. McAllister, is of counsel at Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker, LLP. Previously, he worked at the EPA, where he specialized in federal environmental law and its application in Indian country. In 2009, the Agency presented him with EPA's Distinguished Career Service Award.
Full bio and contact info for Richard G. McAllister at Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker, LLP

William C. Scott, partner at Modrall Sperling, focuses on transactions, permitting and regulatory compliance, and litigation of natural resources, environmental, and Indian law.

Timothy M. Taylor, partner at Stoel Rives LLP, helps residential, commercial and industrial developers achieve compliance with California's numerous land use and environmental laws, with a particular focus on the CEQA and related litigation.

Robert D. Thornton, partner at Nossaman LLP, specializes in advising state and regional infrastructure authorities on environmental issues regarding large infrastructure projects.

Nicholas C. Yost, partner with Dentons, focuses his practice on counseling, document review, administrative proceedings and litigation under NEPA and its state analogues, including CEQA.

Laura Godfrey Zagar, partner at Perkins Coie, focuses on environmental counseling and litigation related to energy and infrastructure projects and represents utilities, renewable energy developers and others before federal, state and local agencies, including the BLM.