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Community & Ecosystems Division


Community & Ecosystems Division

The Yurok Tribe Environmental Department mission is to protect the lands, air and water resources of the Yurok Reservation for the benefit of current and future generations of tribal members.

The Environmental Department staff utilize science, traditional knowledge and environmental regulation for the purposes of enhancing tribal sovereignty and expanding environmental regulatory authority of the Tribe to promote and protect these resources within the Yurok Reservation.

C & E Programs

Wetlands Program

Protection and restoration of Klamath River wetlands is critical to the many fish, waterfowl, and terrestrial species that inhabitant these complex ecosystems. Understanding and documenting the current location and condition is paramount in beginning to manage wetlands for beneficial uses. The Environmental Department Wetlands Program reports can be found here. Learn more. Photo Gallery


Air Program

Educate Tribal members on the hazards of air pollution. Represent Tribal cultural burning interests in regional policy forums. Provide information exchange on local air quality conditions and hazards. Develop Tribal Implementation Plan (TIP) for air quality. Burn Permit Applications are available through this link. Contact Joe Hostler, Environmental Specialist or Louisa McCovey, Director.


Environmental Health

Coordinate with local stakeholders on and adjacent to the Reservation on pesticide uses affecting Tribal and other local residents. Monitor for environmental contaminants, including pesticide presence and effects in water, plant, and animal tissues. Conduct public outreach, education, and notification on issues and conditions that may impact environmental and community health. Contact Suzanne Fluharty, Division Manager or Louisa McCovey, Director.


Climate Change

The Environmental Department staff are engaged in Climate Change research, Adaptation Planning and coordination with tribal, agency and regional stakeholders to identify potential Climate Change impacts and needs to assist the Tribe in planning and preparing for Climate Change and potential impacts to Yurok lands, waters and resources. The Environmental Department received an Environmental Justice grant from USEPA in 2010 to conduct community scoping, build staff technical capacity on Climate Change research and science and prepare an Initial Yurok Tribe Climate Change Prioritization Plan to identify needs and priorities for future Climate Change efforts and planning. Contact Environmental Director, Louisa McCovey or Joe Hostler, Environmental Specialist for more information.



A "brownfield" can be defined as an currently unused piece of property, where based on its past land use history, the community perceives that it contains some form of contamination rendering it unusable. Contact Louisa McCovey, Director or Suzanne Fluharty, Division Manager. Copies of completed Phase I and Phase II ESA reports can be found here.



Environmental Education

Environmental Department staff engage in a variety of programs and community activities on Environmental Education. Community outreach and education materials are developed to provide information and resources on the environmental issues re: the Klamath River and the environment of the Yurok Indian Reservation. Contact Louisa McCovey, Director.


Environmental Research

Environmental Department staff are involved in a wide range of grant funded research projects to assess and monitor environmental conditions of the Klamath River and the Yurok Indian Reservation. Past and current research include Environmental Inventory of potentially contaminants within Yurok Reservation lands through an Environmental Regulatory grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) 2007-2010 and our current EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) research grant studying the cumulative risks and potential contamination of key subsistence aquatic resources (coast and river) including: salmon, sturgeon, lamprey, shellfish, crab, seaweed. All Yurok Tribe Environmental Department environmental research is based on the Community-Based Participatory Research model which includes and relies on the Tribal membership, Tribal Committees (Natural Resources and Cultural Committees) and Tribal Council to identify research priorities, methods and integration of Traditional Knowledge. Contact Louisa McCovey, Director

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