• U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Held Tuesday, May 24, 2022
In celebration of American Wetlands Month this May, this webinar highlighted the cultural importance of wetlands to Tribal communities. Wetlands and other water resources provide Tribes with healthy, traditional foods; plants used for medicinal, healing, and ceremonial purposes; reeds and grasses for weaving baskets and textiles; and fish and other wildlife. During the webinar, three tribal representatives from across the U.S. shared their stories about the cultural importance of wetlands. Presentations addressed tribal uses of wetlands, wetland mapping data and assessment efforts, as well as efforts to protect and restore these valuable resources.
- Portia Osborne, Policy Analyst, National Association of Wetland Managers [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]
• DJ Monette, Associate Native American Liaison Advisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters
• Nathan Dexter, Native American Liaison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Columbia - Pacific NW Region [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]
• Roger LaBine, Water Resource Technician, Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]
• Jessica Lewis, Environmental Scientist, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]
Nathan Dexter (Klamath/Modoc) joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2014 as a Regional Native American Liaison for the Pacific Region in Portland, Oregon. A native Oregonian, Nathan graduated from Lewis & Clark College and the University of Colorado School of Law before embarking on a career that has touched many facets of tribal government. He has worked for an intertribal organization, Oregon Legal Aid Native American Program, a national Indian law firm, as an in-house tribal attorney, and for the Bonneville Power Administration and the Department of Energy.
Roger LaBine is an enrolled member of the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. He is currently employed in the Environmental Department as a Water Resource Technician with the responsibility of monitoring the water quality of surface waters in tribal territory and involved in the Manoonmin restoration and monitoring program. Roger is the tribal delegate on the Michigan Wild Rice Initiative, co-chairs the Education and Outreach Subcommittee, and co-chairs the Michigan Wild Rice Coalition. He is also a consultant/advisor on several Manoomin Research projects. Roger is a member of the Midewiwin Lodge and received his Mentoring and Teachings from the lodge, his Grandparents and Uncle. He was introduced to Manoomin harvesting and Manoomin Camp in 1972 when he was invited to accompany them in the annual harvest in Northern Wisconsin. He started assisting his Uncle Niigaanaash (Ne-gone-osh) in 1980 with the restoration of Manoomin on Lake Lac Vieux Desert, their tribal homeland. He supported Niigaanaash in his negotiations with the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company requesting their support in the project and through the litigation to get the waters lowered to promote the return of the Manoomin beds. He has continued the project after Niigaanaash walked in 1999. Roger was the recipient of the 2019 Michigan Heritage Award given by the State of Michigan and Michigan State University for his work of preservation, education, outreach, and restoration efforts throughout the State of Michigan and the Great Lakes Basin. He conducts Manoomin Camps and Manoomin workshops throughout the year across the Great Lakes Basin, and they are open to both the tribal members and to the general public.
Jessica Lewis serves the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians as an Environmental Scientist in the Office of Environmental Protection. She is the program lead for the tribal Wetlands Program and several other environmental programs. Jess has been an FAA licensed drone pilot for three years and uses aerial photography for many program areas including wetland identification, mapping, and evaluation.
Part 1: Introduction: Portia Osborne, Policy Analyst, NAWM
Presenters: Nathan Dexter, Native American Liaison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Columbia - Pacific NW Region
Part 2: Presenters: Roger LaBine, Water Resource Technician, Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and Jessica Lewis, Environmental Scientist, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
Part 3: Questions & Answers
Held Wednesday, April 13, 2022 - 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. EST
- Brenda Zollitsch, Senior Policy Analyst, National Association of Wetland Managers [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]
- Hannah Druckenmiller, Fellow, Resources for the Future [POWERPOINT PRESENTATION]
- Charles A. Taylor, PhD Candidate, in Sustainable Development, Columbia University
In 2020 the EPA narrowed the definition of ‘Waters of the United States’, significantly limiting wetland protection under the Clean Water Act. Current policy debates center on the uncertainty around wetland benefits. We estimate the value of wetlands for flood mitigation across the U.S. using detailed flood claims and land use data. We find the average hectare of wetland lost between 2001 and 2016 cost society $1,840 annually, and over $8,000 in developed areas. We document significant spatial heterogeneity in wetland benefits, with implications for flood insurance policy and the 50% of ‘isolated’ wetlands at risk of losing federal protection.
Hannah Druckenmiller is an Environmental Economist and Fellow at Resources for the Future. She received her PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics in 2021 from UC Berkeley, where she was a doctoral fellow at the Global Policy Lab and an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. Hannah’s research focuses on quantifying the value of healthy ecosystems and assessing the causes and consequences of long-run environmental change. She is studying the effects of forest degradation, wetland loss, and land use change.
Charles A. Taylor is a PhD candidate in Sustainable Development at Columbia University specializing in environmental economics. His research interests span agriculture, land use, ecosystem services, and climate change. Much of his work involves satellite data and remote sensing. He has taught environmental economics at City College of New York and Fordham University. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Company, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as an agricultural consultant, and The Earth Partners LP, the land and environmental investment company. He co-founded the Drylands Natural Resource Centre, a farmer-owned cooperative and research center. Charles studied Economics and Political & Social Thought at the University of Virginia.
Part 1: Introduction: Brenda Zollitsch, PhD, National Association of Wetland Managers
Presenter: Hannah Druckenmiller, Fellow, Resources for the Future
Part 2: Questions & Answers