Nvn-nvst-'aa~-ta (Department of Natural Resources)


The mission of the Nvn-nvst-'aa~-ta (Natural Resources) Department is to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of both the Tolowa Dee-ni' Nation and Tolowa aboriginal territory. The Department honors this mission through a number of programs and services, all working towards the goal of promoting culturally appropriate stewardship of Tribal lands, water, air and resources.


The Nvn-nvst-'aa~-ta Department is responsible for issues and projects pertaining to the water, wastewater, air, solid waste, watershed, water quality, ocean protection, cultural resources, natural resources, facilities maintenance, and emergency management. Department staff work under the guidance of TDN Strategic Plan goals 2, 4, 5 and 6 (listed below):

TDN Strategic Plan Goals:

Goal 2: Engage with the larger community to build relationships and create a strong tribal community; Goal 4: Ensure a healthy and balanced environment that sustains Dee-ni' lifeways and the earth;
Goal 5: Reclaim and revitalize Tolowa Dee-ni' Identity by supporting traditional lifeway, community and our language;
Goal 6: Support overall wellness grounded in our traditional philosophy and identity.

Strategic goals are used to inform a five-year Tribal Environmental Plan (TEP), which provides a vision and direction to the Natural Resources Department for program, service, and function delivery across the Department for the next five (5) years. Through an extensive planning process that included input from Tribal citizens, Natural Resources Department staff and Tribal Council identified priorities for building capacity to address Tribal needs.

The TEP is developed with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tribal Region 9. The EPA manages federal environmental programs in Indian Country, unless and until tribes have assumed regulatory and program management authorities to do so. EPA will assist interested tribal governments in assuming regulatory and program management responsibilities for those programs that have delegable responsibilities, and thus work closely with Department staff to build environmental program capacity in areas prioritized by the TEP. The TEP is reviewed and approved by Tribal Council and the Environmental Protection Agency (specific to those responsibility areas that intersect with EPA’s own). Annual work plans for each program and individual staff are developed using the Council-approved TEP.

Responsible Programs

(to explore the areas of responsibility for each Program, please use links to left):

  • Habitat and Wildlife
  • Fisheries
  • Marine
  • Water Quality
  • Emergency
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Public Works and Facilities (PWF)
  • Emergency Management

Facilities and Services:

  • Howonquet Community Water System
  • Howonquet Community Wastewater System
  • Rowdy Creek Fish Hatchery and Board
  • Natural Resources and Harvesting Committee
  • Elder Assistance Yard Abatement
  • Marine Biotoxin Monitoring

Plans and documents:

  • TDN Tribal Environmental Plan (current)
  • TDN Tribal Code Title 16- Harvest Title
  • 2021 Chis-chu Naa-tr'vlh-xat (Roosevelt Elk, Cervus canadensis roosevelti Hunt) Regulations