EPA Region 10 Tribal Wetland Training WebinarsNAWM and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) work with tribes to help them develop effective wetland programs which accommodate and account for the unique ways in which Tribes manage their wetland and cultural resources. The first of these webinars are developed with an advisory group from EPA Region 10 and the Pacific Northwest Tribal Wetlands Working Group (TWWG). Later webinars in this series capture lessons learned from Tribes in regions all across the U.S.

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View Past EPA Region 10 Tribal Wetland Programs Webinar Series Here

View a List of EPA Region 10 Tribal Wetland Programs Webinar Recordings Here

Getting Started with Tribal Wetland PlansRegister Here

Thursday, September 29, 2022 - 3:00-4:30pm ET


  • Yvonne Vallette, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10
  • Mary Iorio, Environmental Division, Three Affiliated Tribes 
  • Josh Cunningham, Environmental Division, Three Affiliated Tribes
  • Tiffany Allgood, Environmental Programs Office, Coeur d’Alene Tribe


This webinar is the first in a new series focused on working with Tribal Communities to build and develop wetland programs. The webinar will include an overview of Wetland Program Plans (WPPs) and the EPA’s Core Elements Framework. Then representatives from the Three Affiliated Tribes and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe will each share their experiences in developing WPPs and establishing wetland programs. The presentations will include discussion of efforts to foster a cultural reconnection to wetlands, lessons learned in wetland program development, and future program goals and directions.


Yvonne Vallette
Overview of Wetland Program Plans and the Core Elements Framework

EPA’s Core Elements Framework (CEF) outlines the four core elements that serve as the foundation for development of tribal aquatic resource programs, providing a comprehensive menu of program-building activities for each of the core elements to help tribes create their own wetland program. The CEF was designed to help in the development of Wetland Program Plans (WPP) which are voluntary strategic plans developed and implemented by tribal programs. WPPs describe overall program goals along with identifying broad-based actions and more specific activities that can help in supporting and achieving the goals of tribal wetland programs.

Mary Iorio and Joshua Cunningham
Wetlands and Cultural Connectivity: Developing the Three Affiliated Tribes Wetland Program Plan

The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation (Three Affiliated Tribes) has a deep and complicated relationship with wetlands. For generations, the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara people have occupied the upper Missouri River floodplain, utilizing the region’s plentiful wetlands for farming, hunting, and trapping purposes. After the creation of Lake Sakakawea in the 1950s, communities were relocated to the uplands and lost many of the culturally-significant wetlands on which they had relied. Since the late 2000s, oil production in MHA Nation has increased significantly, accompanied by increased environmental problems and infrastructure development that threaten to alter, remove or otherwise degrade the local wetlands. With the help of the EPA and St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, the TAT Environmental Division has begun developing a Wetland Program Plan that will be incorporated into the existing Water Quality Program, assisting in monitoring and assessment and fostering a cultural reconnection to wetlands across the Reservation.

Tiffany Allgood
The Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Wetland Program Development

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe is located in northern Idaho. The Tribe’s name in the Coeur d’Alene language is Schitsu’umsh, “the ones who were found here.” The Tribe’s Reservation is approximately 345,000 acres. Through mainly agriculture and infrastructure development, the Tribe estimates it has lost 65% of the wetlands on the Reservation. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe began its wetland program in Fall 2013. The Tribe will describe why it started its wetland program and discuss the steps it took to get it established. The Tribe will also share how it has been able to sustain the program over the last 9 years. Progress and accomplishments, future program goals, and program challenges will also be highlighted.


Yvonne ValletteYvonne Vallette is an Aquatic Ecologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  For the last twenty-five years she has worked at EPA Region 10’s Oregon Operations Office in Portland serving as the Region’s coordinator for enhancing State and Tribal Programs.  Her work with EPA is focused on the technical and policy aspects of the Clean Water Act (CWA), including Section 404. Her practicable experience includes work in: aquatic resource monitoring and assessment development, 404 enforcement, compensatory mitigation, impact analysis, CWA jurisdiction, 404 program assumption, and aquatic resources restoration.

Mary LorioMary Iorio has worked for the Three Affiliated Tribes Environmental Division since 2015, serving as Water Quality Coordinator since 2018. As Water Quality Coordinator, she manages the tribe’s EPA CWA 106 grant and has received multiple grant awards for ambient water quality monitoring, wetlands program development, and other projects on the Fort Berthold Reservation. She has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and is a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation.


Joshua Cunningham has worked as Water Quality Specialist for the Three Affiliated Tribes Environmental Division since 2020. He received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Haskell Indian Nations University in 2015 and a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 2018. As Water Quality Specialist, he assists with ambient water quality monitoring, the tribal wetland program, and other special projects on the Fort Berthold Reservation, including stormwater management. He is a member of the Cherokee Nation.

Tiffany AllgoodTiffany Allgood has worked as the Manager of the Environmental Programs Office in the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Natural Resources Department since 1997. The Tribe has allowed Ms. Allgood to use her education and experience to raise funds for and manage programs and projects in areas such as energy efficiency and renewable energy, wetlands, brownfields, environmental health, climate change, groundwater monitoring, environmental planning, solid waste and more. Prior to working for the Tribe, Ms. Allgood held positions with the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the City of Arcata, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, and the County of Santa Cruz Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services. Ms. Allgood has a B.A. in Literature from the University of California and an M.S. in Natural Resources from California State University at Humboldt.

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