California Native American tribes taking action on climate change are getting a boost from a new State program designed to support tribally led efforts.
Nearly $2 million awarded through the Tribal Government Challenge Planning Grant Program will support projects that identify solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve clean energy access and advance climate resiliency on Tribal lands and in tribal communities.
“California recognizes the leadership of tribes in advancing strong clean air standards as well as ambitious climate and energy goals,” said Christina Snider, Tribal Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom. “These grants provide opportunities to focus on new Tribal climate and energy planning activities.”
Funded by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and administered in partnership with the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC), the program focuses on the unique needs of Tribal governments and the valuable ongoing role tribes serve in helping the State achieve its climate goals.
“The CEC is proud to provide funding to support tribal climate leadership through this unique initiative,” said CEC Commissioner Karen Douglas. “These tribally driven projects will bring important research and technological gains while helping ensure all communities benefit from access to the state’s clean energy investments.”
The grants range from $215,000 to $250,000 and support planning for a variety of climate change and clean energy projects, including energy storage, renewables, biomass and community and energy resilience to climate impacts.
“The California Strategic Growth Council Team looks forward to building relationships and collaborating with the Tribal Government Challenge grantees to ensure projects advance tribes’ goals and priorities around climate change, energy, and resilience,” said Louise Bedsworth, SGC’s executive director. “We commend all of the applicants for submitting thoughtful proposals and are eager to support the awardees as they begin their planning processes.”
The Tribal Government Challenge Program is also supporting a Statewide Gap Analysis to provide an assessment of tribes’ clean energy and climate change adaptation and resilience priorities. The analysis is led by Glendora-based firm Prosper Sustainability along with a consulting team including tribal professionals, and women- and Native American-owned businesses, all with extensive experience working with California Native American Tribes.
- The Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians (Lake County) of the Big Valley Rancheria received $250,000 for a feasibility study to determine how to convert existing electric infrastructure to a microgrid system that incorporates renewable generation and energy storage.
- The Karuk Tribe (Siskiyou County) received $250,000 for eco-cultural revitalization and climate resilience monitoring. The grant also funds alternative energy planning and feasibility studies, and an assessment to examine the socio-economic impact of removing the Klamath hydroelectric facility.
- The Kashia Band of Pomo Indians (Sonoma County) received $250,000 for a comprehensive energy planning project for residential and community facilities including onsite renewable energy generation. The grant will also fund a study to examine the feasibility of biomass fuel and energy production from tribally owned forests.
- The Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians of California (Lake County) received $215,000 for an energy audit, conservation plan, and assessment of climate change impacts on tribal energy use and infrastructure.
- The Pit River Tribe (Shasta, Siskiyou, Modoc, and Lassen Counties) received $250,000 for a feasibility study of solar and biomass production and energy storage capabilities on the tribe’s land.
- The Pala Band of Mission Indians, the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians and the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians (San Diego County) received $250,000 to assess and prioritize the three tribes’ needs and opportunities for energy, climate, and community sustainability, and to conduct advanced planning on priority strategies selected by tribal leaders.
- The Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians (Lake County) received $248,000 for a feasibility study for a bioenergy plant and to produce a bioenergy feasibility tool.
- The Tule River Tribe (Tulare County) The Tule River Tribe (Tulare County) received $250,000 to develop a comprehensive energy and climate plan that will include climate adaptation and sovereign resiliency mitigation goals. Tule River will be working with WampWorx Energy, a Native-owned firm, to identify clean, renewable energy solutions for Tribal nations.
News item from the California Energy Commission