William Trousdale (President EcoPlan International) with David A. Hanson (Principal HansonRM) gave a seminar on Consultation on Environmental Issues: Impacts to Cultural Services.
The seminar presented a framework, applications and case studies for using multicriteria attribute theory and structured decision support to avoid impacts, mitigate for, or restore cultural services.
Trousdale and Hanson discussed how Tribal consultation can be done better. This is a growing need. Regulatory requirements, underpinned by growing ethical concerns for social justice, are increasingly mandating that responsible parties address cultural losses resulting from environmental injuries caused by resource development, exclusion, degradation or destruction. Tribal consultation requirements are an often misunderstood and neglected requirement arising in the context of governmental actions. These requirements establish a mechanism for ensuring that the impacts a proposed governmental action have on a Tribe are acknowledged and addressed before the proposed action occurs. Done properly, consultation can help all parties build trust and meet their objectives. Failing to acknowledge and comply with applicable requirements may cause delays and open the door to judicial challenges to the proposed action.