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U.S. Geological Survey Activities Related to American Indians and Alaska Natives
Fiscal Year 2001

Contents | Tribes/Tribal Governments | Organizations/Events | States | Intro | Highlights | Education | Resource/Environment | Technical Assistance | General Coordination/Policy | Future Opportunities | Map (156 Kb PDF) | USGS Contacts

Technical Assistance

Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Water Issues. Little is known about surface- and ground-water resources beneath the lands of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi. Tribal members living on the Reservation depend upon domestic water from fairly shallow wells completed in unconsolidated glacial and lacustrine deposits. Three small tributaries of the St. Joseph River system pass through agricultural land prior to crossing the Reservation. In Fiscal Year 2000, a 4-year cooperative agreement was implemented between the Tribe and the USGS. The cooperative study will analyze and describe Tribal water resources. Results of the study will be used to establish baseline conditions. USGS and Tribal environmental staff are working cooperatively on several aspects of the data collection effort. Activities in Fiscal Year 2001 included surface- and ground-water measurements. Surface water was sampled and analyzed for a suite of water constituents including common agricultural pesticides/herbicides. Sampling on the three tributaries to the St. Joseph River system investigated surface-water quality during three distinct periods of agricultural activity: immediately after fall harvest, prior to plant emergence in the spring, and during the early summer growth season. Activities in Fiscal Year 2002 are expected to concentrate almost exclusively onground water, with water-quality sampling and potentiometric surface delineation scheduled (potentiometric surface can be defined as the standing water level in a bore hole). A single early- to mid-summer surface-water-quality sampling on the three tributaries to the St. Joseph River system is also scheduled. Contact: Tom Weaver, 906-786-0714,

Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. USGS Michigan Water Resources Office staff met representatives of the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to develop a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for submission by the Tribe to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Plan would provide for a cooperative 4-year study of surface-water quality in Lac Vieux Desert. Additional activities will probably include streamflow measurements of three tributaries and the outlet of the lake and re-establishment of a lake level monitoring station. Potential activities include defining groundwater/surface-water interaction within the lake basin and determination of the basin's water budget. A multi-year cooperative agreement between the USGS and the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians will be forthcoming in early Fiscal Year 2002 after completion of the EPA QAPP review. Contact: Tom Weaver, 906-786-0714,

Ground-Water Contribution and Community Water Systems, Menominee Lands. The USGS is studying the extent and composition of areas that contribute water to, and travel time of water captured by, community wells on lands of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. This information will be used by the Menominee government for water resource and well-head protection planning in community areas. USGS Contact: Charles Dunning, 608-821-3827,; Menominee Contact: Gary Schuettpelz, 715-799-4937,

Oneida Hydrologic Investigations. The objectives of this cooperative project with the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin are to collect long-term data at two sites and to perform trend analysis for pesticides, nutrients, and suspended sediment. This results of the study will assist Oneida officials with environmental and developmental planning. USGS Contact: Kevin Richards, 608-821-3861,; Oneida Contact: Jim Snitgen, 920-869-5812

Ho Chunk Water Quality. The USGS has begun assisting the Ho Chunk Nation by assessing the hydrology and water quality of the streams on and in close proximity to Ho Chunk lands. The project will include an analysis of existing information on chemical, physical, and biological investigations. Areas will be identified for which more information is needed to define water quality. Monitoring will then be undertaken to collect the necessary data. Data collected will be used to prepare a comprehensive water-management program for the Ho Chunk Nation. USGS Contact: Dan Sullivan, 608-821-3869, Ho Chunk Contact: Michelle Gorski, 715-284-2852,

Water-Quality, Chemical, and Biological Monitoring Of Selected Lakes. The USGS has an extensive project in Wisconsin, in which the St. Croix Chippewa Tribe is one of many cooperators. The project will determine the current water quality and trophic status of lakes and assess the condition of specific lakes in comparison with other lakes of the same type in the region. A quantitative database will be built so that any future detrimental changes or trends can be detected quickly and evaluated objectively. USGS Contact: Bernie Lenz, 715-234-4015, St. Croix Contact: Leslie Weaver, 715-349-2195

Neopit Mill Pond Sedimentation And Sediment Chemistry Study. The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin is cooperating with the USGS on a study of sedimentation characteristics in Neopit Mill Pond, which was formed by damming the West Branch of the Wolf River. USGS Wisconsin Water Resources District personnel are determining the texture, age, and organic and trace element chemistry of sediment stored behind the dam. The USGS staff, with the help of Menominee Tribe personnel, will also map the pre-dam channel and topography of the West Branch of the Wolf River through the mill pond. USGS Contact: Faith Fitzpatrick, 608-821-3818,; Menominee Contact: Doug Cox, 715-799-4937,

Historical Trends in Streamflow, Sedimentation Rates, and Sediment Trace Element Concentrations Associated with the Wolf River, Keshena Falls to Balsam Row Dam. This project identified natural and historic concentrations of trace elements in streambed, floodplain, and backwater sediments of the Wolf River from Keshena Falls to Balsam Row Dam, mostly within the lands of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. This cooperative study between the Menominee Tribe and the USGS also determined the range of historic (150+ years) variability of flooding and the sedimentation characteristics along the same reach of the Wolf River. Major factors affecting stream sedimentation and flooding characteristics-geologic/natural versus land-use effects-were identified. This study was completed in Fiscal Year 2001 and a report is being prepared. USGS Contact: Faith Fitzpatrick, 608-821-3818,; Menominee contact: Doug Cox, 715-799-4937,

Spirit Lake Nation Capacity Building. USGS personnel accompanied Spirit Lake Tribal staff in the field and provided quality-assurance regarding the collection, processing, and shipping of water-quality samples. USGS personnel have helped Tribal staff assemble and install wetland-monitoring packages, and provided training on how to read and record water-level information, how to calibrate the equipment, and how to transfer data from the field to the office. USGS personnel have also provided training on how to select an appropriate location for a discharge measurement, how to make a discharge measurement, and how to compile a discharge measurement. Contact: Wayne R. Berkas, 701-250-7429,

Hogs, Water, and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. USGS hydrologists are providing technical assistance to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe for their development of monitoring plans for proposed pork production facilities. Tribal and USGS staffs are also working together on a related proposal to improve understanding of ground-water flow in the Pierre Shale by studying the hydrogeology near the potential pork production sites. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will apply this technical assistance to future water-quality monitoring efforts on their lands. Contact: Larry D. Putnam, 605-355-4560 ext. 212,

Hydrologic Information and Capacity Building for the Caddo Tribe. The Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma is concerned about the vulnerability of ground water to pesticide contamination in northern Caddo County and Canadian County, Oklahoma. On behalf of the Tribe, the USGS is constructing an aquifer sensitivity map to outline areas where the aquifer is susceptible to pesticide contamination. The Tribe, with USGS assistance, is developing a geographic information system (GIS) that will include land use, pesticide use, and other data for parcels of land. USGS scientists are working with Tribal employees on ways to use GIS resources to make ground-water vulnerability maps. At the Caddo Tribal headquarters in May 2001, several Tribal members were trained in the use of spatial data and basic GIS software applications by USGS staff. The training was coordinated with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, a USGS partner. Training will be continued in Fiscal Year 2002. Contact: Carol J. Becker, 405-810-4436,

Technical Assistance to the Blackfeet Tribe on Water Resources Issues. In Fiscal Year 2001, the USGS continued to provide technical assistance to the Blackfeet Nation on water-resources issues. The USGS provided the Blackfeet Tribal government with information and guidance on stream-gage construction, operation, and maintenance, as well as stream-gaging procedures, and flow computation. Tribal authorities, with USGS advice, are also developing a pesticide management plan to protect the Reservation's water resources. Contact: Mike Cannon, 406-457-5900,

Mapping Exotic Plants in the Southwest. In conjunction with land managers, biologists at the USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center's Colorado Plateau Field Station are developing a database on exotic plants in the Southwest. The database will become an important tool for inventorying, monitoring, and sharing data on exotic (non-native) plant species that are invading the area. USGS scientists are gathering data on the plants and compiling it according to Federal standards. The database can also be used to generate maps of locations of the plants. The goals of this effort include developing and maintaining the Southwest Exotics Plant Database, maintaining a distribution system that integrates educational, management, and scientific information to aid in control of the exotic plant species, and facilitating a collaborative partnership among Tribal, Federal, State, and private land managers. Contact: Kathryn Thomas, 520-556-7466 ext. 235,

Navajo Surface Water Project. The Navajo Surface Water project is designed to help personnel of the Navajo Nation's Water Resources Department compute streamflow records and operate their streamflow-gaging stations. The USGS is providing technical assistance to Navajo hydrologists and technicians by populating databases with hydrologic data to compute and store streamflow data. USGS scientists also are training Navajo personnel to compute records and develop rating curves. Additionally, USGS personnel are providing quality assurance for the project. The USGS currently operates two streamflow gages in cooperation with the Navajo Nation to provide near real-time hydrologic data and to provide training opportunities to Tribal personnel. Contact: Gregory G. Fisk, 520-556-7225,

Wetlands on the Navajo Reservation. USGS wetland scientists assisted in the design of a constructed wetland on the Navajo Nation and are subsequently studying whether the design improves the quality of the wastewater from the community of Piñon, Arizona, for reuse and/or discharge. Concurrently, this wetland was designed to provide wildlife habitat that is otherwise scarce in the area. This is a cooperative effort among the Navajo Nation, the Indian Health Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and the USGS. Besides collecting water quality data at this site annually since 1999, the group has been collecting sediments, vegetation, and invertebrates annually for bioaccumulation studies of certain chemical elements of concern. Results from this research will provide information on how and when to build additional treatment wetland cells for further development in the Piñon area and in other remote locations within the arid southwest. Contact: Mid-Continent Ecological Science Center, 303-445-2212 or 303-445-2230, or

Stream-Gaging Cooperation. The White Mountain Apache Tribe permitted USGS employees to access stream gages on Tribal lands, under the terms of an Intergovernmental Agreement. USGS staff helped train White Mountain Apache Tribal staff in water-quality and surface-water data collection techniques. Contact: Christopher Smith-Arizona 520-670-6671 ext.251,

Roger Sinclair, Blackfeet Nation Water Resource Department, helping install a staff gage in Duck Lake, Blackfeet Nation. Photo by M.R. Cannon. Roger Sinclair, Blackfeet Nation Water Resource Department, helping install a staff gage in Duck Lake, Blackfeet Nation. Photo by M.R. Cannon.

Availability and Quality of Surface-Water and Ground-Water Resources of the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe. During 2001, the USGS collected water-level measurements at 12 wells, measured stream discharge at 2 streamflow gages, and collected water-quality samples from springs, wells, and surface-water sites on lands of the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe. This program was designed to assist the Tribe in managing its water resources and to provide water-quality data that the Tribe could use to assess the health of Tribal members by meeting EPA water-quality standards. Contact: Robert J. Hart, 928-556-7137,; Gregory G. Fisk, 520-556-7225,

Moapa Data Management Tools. The USGS Nevada Water Resources District, in cooperation with the USGS-Biological Resource Discipline, and Lake Mead National Recreation Area donated excess computer equipment to the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians to help them develop Tribal geographic information system. USGS Water Resources personnel met with Tribal representatives to discuss future training and assistance for the Tribe. Contact: Contact: Donald Harper. 702-897-4015,

Streamgaging by the Hoopa Valley Tribe. Hoopa Valley Tribal employees are operating four gaging stations in the Trinity River watershed under general direction and quality assurance review by USGS scientists. Tribal employees have attended USGS classes on sediment measurement in addition to on-the-job training during USGS field work. As part of the Trinity River Restoration Program, the Hoopa Valley Tribe is planning to expand its role in stream discharge measurements and sediment sampling. Contact: Jim Bowers, 760-247-1401,

Surface-Water Quality Training for the Karuk Tribe of California. USGS scientists are training Karuk Tribal personnel in water-quality sampling, measurement, and quality assurance/quality control procedures. The training builds Tribal capacity to manage water resources. Contact: Jim Bowers, 760-247-1401,

Ground-Water Model Review. The USGS provided review of a consultant's ground water model prepared for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The model covers parts of the Owens Valley. Contact: Wesley Danskin, 858-637-6832,

Timbisha Shoshone GIS training. The Federal Government has recently transferred ownership of land within and adjacent to Death Valley National Park to the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe. The USGS Nevada Water Resources District provided technical expertise to the Tribe to help incorporate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) into their land management and planning processes. USGS employees assisted Tribal personnel to improve Tribal knowledge of GIS software, develop a project related to Tribal concerns, exchange existing data coverage's maintained by other agencies, and produce maps and data to demonstrate GIS capabilities to the Tribal Council. Contact: Donald Harper. 702-897-4015,

Aquifer Characterization with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. USGS hydrogeologists continued work on a project to provide the Morongo Band with comprehensive information on the chemical and physical characteristics of their primary water supply aquifers. Technical reports were provided earlier and a graphical poster for use by the Morongo Band is being reviewed. The poster will be used to educate residents of the area and to improve management of their water supply resource. Contact: Allen Christensen, 858-637-6875,

USGS Technical Assistance to Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The USGS continues to provide networking support to the BIA. During Fiscal Year 2001, the USGS created a new BIA backbone (digital system support) in Alaska. The USGS also ensured connections throughout the BIA, in both Alaska and the rest of the United States, by configuring their routers. The USGS employees moved the BIA onto a new computer system and facilitated several separate moves of digital equipment for the BIA in Anchorage. Some additional routing issues were resolved for all of the BIA in early Fiscal Year 2002. Contact: Pat Murphy, 650-329-4044, BIA).">

Students at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute.  Photo by Joseph Kerski, USGS. Students at Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute. Photo by Joseph Kerski, USGS.

Surface-Water Monitoring Stations. The USGS operates the following surface-water monitoring stations, usually with cooperative funding from the tribe, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), or a third party:

No. of
Cooperator Contact
2 Passamaquoddy Tribe Contact: Robert Lent-Maine,
2 Seminole Tribe of Florida & South Florida Water Management District (includes 2 continuous recorders with Tribal nutrient autosamplers) Contact: Mitch Murray-Florida,
1 Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Contact: Tom Weaver, Michigan,
2 Sokaogon Chippewa, Mole Lake Band Contact: Rob Waschbusch-Wisconsin,
1 Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
1 Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin
1 Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin
1 Mohican Nation, Stockbridge-Munsee Band
1 Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
2 Prairie Island Indian Community Contact: James Fallon-Minnesota,
3 Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
2 Three Affiliated Tribes Contact: Doug Emerson- North Dakota,
5 Bureau of Indian Affairs Contact: Ralph Teller-South Dakota,
605-355-4560 ext. 222,
3 Oglala Sioux Tribe
1 Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
1 Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe
5 Rosebud Sioux Tribe
3 Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
1 Citizen Potatwatomi Nation Contact: Robert Blazs-Oklahoma,
2 Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes Contact: Wayne Berkas-Montana,
9 Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
7 Blackfeet Nation
4 Northern Cheyenne Tribe
11 Bureau of Indian Affairs
3 Chippewa Cree Tribes of the Rocky Boy's Reservation
17 Tribal Water Engineer through the Joint Business Council of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes (Wind River Reservation) Contact: Bob Swanson-Wyoming,
2 Southern Ute Indian Tribe Contact: Bob Boulger-Colorado,
970-245-5257 ext. 21,
1 Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
5 Bureau of Indian Affairs Contact: Michael Roark-New Mexico,
2 Pueblo of Zuni
1 Nez Perce Tribe Contact: Thomas S. Brennan-Idaho,
4 Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
1 Bureau of Indian Affairs & Peabody Coal Co. (Navajo Reservation) Christopher Smith-Arizona,
520-670-6671 x251,
3 Bureau of Indian Affairs & Peabody Coal Co. (Hopi Reservation)
1 Arizona Department of Water Resources (Navajo Reservation)
2 Hopi Tribe
2 Havasupai Tribe
3 Hualapai Tribe
6 Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe (2 continuous records and 4 crest-stage gages)
1 Tohono O'odham Nation
2 Pueblo of Zuni
3 Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Contact: Kerry Garcia-Nevada,
10 Walker River Paiute Tribe
1 Summit Lake Paiute Tribe
1 Shoshone-Paiute Tribes
4 Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation Contact: Robert Kimbrough-Washington,
253-428-3600 x2608,
2 Nisqually Indian Tribe
1 Quinault Indian Nation
1 Makah Nation
1 Quileute Tribe
1 Coeur d'Alene Tribe
1 Skokomish Tribe of Indians
7 The Tulalip Tribes
2 Spokane Tribe of Indians
1 Nooksack Indian Tribe
6 Lummi Nation
7 Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
2 Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe
1 Bureau of Indian Affairs
11 Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation Contact: Thomas A. Herrett-Oregon,
1 Nez Perce Tribe
7 Hoopa Valley Tribe Contact: Robert Mason-California,
2 Karuk Tribe of California
2 Tule River Tribe
1 Haida Corporation Contact: David F Meyer-Alaska,
1 Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
3 Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Water-Quality Monitoring Stations. The USGS collects water-quality data at the following sites:

No. of
Cooperator Contact
4 Three Affiliated Tribes (lake sites) Contact: Doug Emerson-North Dakota,
4 Spirit Lake Nation (ground-water wells)
4 Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians (lake sites)
5 Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation (surface-water sites) Contact: Jim Putnam-Kansas,
6 Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation (wells)
2 Southern Ute Indian Tribe Contact: Bob Boulger-Colorado,
970-245-5257 ext. 21,
3 Crow Tribe of Indians Contact: Lori Tuck-Montana,
6 Wind River Environmental Quality Commission through the Joint Business Council of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes (Wind River Reservation) Contact: Bob Swanson-Wyoming,
1 Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Contact: Kerry Garcia-Nevada,
4 Walker River Paiute Tribe
4 Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe Contact: Christopher Smith-Arizona,
2 Karuk Tribe of California Contact: Robert Mason-California,

Ground-Water Monitoring Stations. The USGS operates the following groundwater monitoring stations:

No. of
Cooperator Contact
1 Collection of Basic Records (CBR) program (observation well located on Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians' Reservation) Contact: Christopher Smith-Arizona,
520-670-6671, ext. 251,
4 Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe
6 Bureau of Indian Affairs (Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe)
15 Pechanga Band and Morongo Band of Mission Indians (wells for monthly depth to water) Contact: Robert Mason-California,
3 Pechanga Band and Morongo Band of Mission Indians (continuous record wells)
6 Pechanga Band and Morongo Band of Mission Indians (wells for annual water quality)

Sediment-Monitoring Stations. The USGS operates the following sediment-monitoring stations:

No. of
Cooperator Contact
1 Wind River Environmental Quality Commission through the Joint Business Council of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes (Wind River Reservation) Contact: Bob Swanson-Wyoming,
3 Hopi Tribe Contact: Christopher Smith-Arizona,
520-670-6671, ext. 251,
1 Pueblo of Zuni

The contacts provided in the report were accurate at the time of publication. Please refer to the USGS Employee Directory or the Office of Tribal Relations contact page if you require information about a specific activity.

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