The Natural Resources Department works to preserve the natural resources that have always provided for the Nimiipuu people.

Cultural Resources Program 

The mission of the Cultural Resource Program (CRP) is to promote the understanding and use of nimiipuu’neewit (traditional Nez Perce life-ways) as integral components of Tribal culture and regional management. The CRP fulfills its programmatic purpose by:

  • Assisting Tribal Leadership in treaty rights protection
  • Documenting traditional and ancestral knowledge
  • Integrating nimíipuutimpt within our Tribal community and infrastructure
  • Protecting sites, landscapes, and associated knowledge integral to the perpetuation of nimíipu’neewit through meaningful consultation

The Cultural Resource Program consists of 5 major areas that work to fulfill these goals:

  • Archaeology/Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO)
  • Ethnography
  • Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)
  • Language preservation
  • Hanford Cultural Resources

Contact: Nakia Williamson-Cloud, Cultural Resource Program Director
208-621-3850 |

Research Permit Form

Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (ERWM)

ERWM, the tribe’s nuclear waste cleanup program, is involved in cleanup of the Hanford nuclear site, which contaminated many natural resources in the mid-Columbia River area. ERWM works to protect and restore Nez Perce cultural and natural resources in this area.

Projects under ERWM include:

  • A database that tracks information about the Hanford site cleanup
  • Outreach to educate the public on Hanford issues
  • Support for Nez Perce college and high school students in developing careers in the STEM field
  • Involvement in the Hanford Natural Resource Damage Assessment


Contact: Jack Bell
208-621-4710 |

Emergency Management

The tribe’s first responders to an emergency may include tribal police, the Fire Management Program, the Emergency Operations Center, and the Hazardous Emergency Response Team. The tribe has agreements in place with county, city, and state governments to provide additional medical, law enforcement, and fire response.

The Nez Perce Community Emergency Response Team helps train people to respond to emergencies. Members of this team support first responders and can assist community members if no first responders are present.

Contact: John Wheaton
208-621-3760 |

Air Quality Program

Through a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program, the Nez Perce Tribe oversees burn permits and air quality concerns.


Burn Permit Applications

Land Services Program

To protect natural resources while providing economic opportunity for Indian land owners, the Land Services Program includes:

Contact: Kim Cannon
208-621-3721 |

Contact the Bio-Control Center: Paul Brusven
208-621-3520 |

Forestry and Fire Management

The Nez Perce Reservation contains much forested land, which offers economic opportunities and settings for cultural and recreational activities. The Forestry and Fire Management Division maintains and develops the forests, manages the harvesting of timber, and prevents and responds to fires.


Water Resources

Protecting tribal water sources is vital to providing clean drinking water and ensuring safe fishing, swimming, and ceremonial uses. The Water Resources Division manages and protects the waters found on tribal lands.

Contact: Ken Clark
208-843-7368 |

  • The Nez Perce Tribal Water Utility Board is accepting letters of interest to fill one (1) vacancy on the Utility Board.  The applicants must be 18 years of age or older, an enrolled Nez Perce Tribal member, and reside within the Nez Perce Reservation boundaries. Utility Board members shall meet a minimum of once per month to provide guidance to Utility Program staff, develop and implement appropriate rules and regulations, set utility rates, and hear grievances. For more information and how to apply contact Jason Vangen at (208) 843-7368 or email Jason at Open until filled.

Wildlife Program

The purpose of the Wildlife Division is to restore, perpetuate, enhance, and manage the wildlife and rare plant resources of significance to the Nimiipuu. The Wildlife Division consists of 6 major units:  638 Wildlife Management, Precious Lands Management, Clearwater Mitigation Lands Management, Condor Recovery, Rare Plant Conservation, and Integrated Resource Management Planning.

Contact: Neil Thagard
208-621-4676 |

  • McCall: 208-634-1061