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Tribal Lands & Environment Forum

2019 Tribal Lands & Environment Forum

This year marks the tenth anniversary of ITEP’s Tribal Waste and Response Assistance Program, and we are excited to offer the 9th annual Tribal Lands and Environment Forum (TLEF). This year’s forum will be taking place at the Palm Springs Renaissance Hotel and Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, California, August 19-22, 2019.

The TLEF would not be the premier event it is without you! So, to thank you, we are reducing the registration for this year to only $25.

This year’s TLEF will feature special trainings, field trips, and breakout sessions focused on the conference theme: A National Conversation on Tribal Land and Water Resources . Topics highlighted at the TLEF include solid/hazardous waste management, brownfields, UST/LUSTs, Superfund sites, and emergency response. Tribal water program topics – water quality, drinking water, and habitat restoration (including wetlands, streams and fisheries) will also be included with breakout sessions, trainings and field trips. Plenty of networking opportunities will also be offered, making this a terrific event for tribal professionals, federal staff, nonprofit and industry personnel, and students of environmental sciences and Native American Studies, to connect with their colleagues who are also protecting the environment and their communities.

For more information on restaurants, entertainment, and local attractions in Palm Springs please visit:

On this website you will find information on Forum registration, submitting session/presentation proposals, hotel reservations, airport and transportation needs, sponsorship packages, artisan and exhibitor selections, Multi-Media Meetup networking and learning opportunity, travel scholarships, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), contact information, and the TLEF draft program. You may also access presentations and agendas from past forums.


Online registration for the 2019 TLEF will close on Monday, August 5. After August 5 registration can only be completed onsite. Please take note that registration onsite will increase to $50.

This year, to thank you for making the TLEF such a successful event, we are reducing the registration fee to $25.

Everyone attending the 2019 TLEF, including presenters, scholarship recipients, and exhibitors, will need to complete the online registration process.

A request for a travel Scholarship is part of the registration form. We suggest reviewing the information located on the “Travel Scholarship” tab before beginning the registration process.

Links to Online Forms, Deadlines Document and Refund Policy Document:

2019 Deadlines:
  • Cancellation/Refund Deadline: Monday, August 5
  • Online Registration Cut Off: Monday, August 5*
  • Substitution Deadline: Monday, August 5**
  • Onsite Registration Fee (increased): $50
*All participants, including, but not limited to: speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, and sponsors who plan on attending the conference must register in the registration form.

**Substitution is encouraged by this date for accurate onsite records.

Travel Scholarship

ITEP offers a limited number of scholarships each year to federally-recognized tribe professionals to supplement the costs of attending the conference. Please see the information listed below on how to be considered.

Scholarship Travel Information
For each person awarded a travel scholarship, ITEP will cover up to one (1) hotel room, plus taxes, for a maximum of five (5) nights, as well as provide a reimbursement for up to $500.

  • Hotel: One hotel room, plus taxes, and no incidentals (hotel and tax will only be paid for by the host; all other charges will be your responsibility – some examples are, but not limited to: room service, laundry services, bell desk, and porters will NOT be covered by the scholarship).
    • A reservation will be made for you by an ITEP staff member after you have provided information by Monday, July 15. No lodging reservations will be made after this deadline for scholarships recipients. Lodging for business travel may ONLY be from Sunday, August 19 with check out by Friday, August 23, 2019.
    • Upon check-in at the hotel, you will be required to provide a credit or debit card or cash to hold at $50/day per day that you are staying for a security deposit at the hotel. ITEP will not be able to request that the hotel turn off this requirement.
  • Per Diem and Travel Costs: Following the TLEF you will be sent a reimbursement form by ITEP that will reimburse allowable costs up to $500. This can be used for per diem and travel expenses. Should you have questions about allowable costs please email
  • To read about eligible expenses, please download the document here [PDF].
2019 Timeline:
  • Deadline for travel scholarship submission through registration: Friday, June 7
  • Notification of award: Friday, June 14
  • Acceptance of award: Monday, July 15*
* In the event you do not respond to the award notification email that you receive from ITEP indicating your arrival/departure dates by 5:00pm Mountain Time, July 15, 2019, your travel scholarship request will be cancelled, and you will not have a hotel reservation.

Guidelines and Instructions
In order to indicate your interest in a travel scholarship, check the button: “Yes, I would like to be considered for a travel scholarship.” when you register for the conference.

Please note to be considered, you:
  • must pay full advance Forum registration,
  • must be an employee of a federally-recognized tribe,
  • and comply with and complete all necessary communication and forms.
When you are accepted for a travel scholarship, we will send you an email announcement of the award. Your next step to ITEP will be to send an email indicating your arrival and departure dates for business travel as soon as you have completed your travel plans. When planning your travel and arrival/departure dates, be advised that these dates must fall within the TLEF hotel room block dates; Sunday, August 19 through Friday, August 23. You will be financially responsible for any hotel nights that you request outside of the TLEF room block dates noted above and will need to communicate your extension with the hotel directly. Hotel information is located on the “Travel” tab. Please note that the hotel is a smoke-free facility.

Presentation Proposals

Do you have information you want to share at the 2019 TLEF? We are now accepting breakout session and training proposals!

If you are interested in presenting at the 2019 TLEF, either during a breakout session or one of the special trainings offered, please fill out the online proposal form. Generally, ITEP will consider proposals dealing with solid waste, brownfields, Superfund, UST/LUST, emergency response, tribal water resources and utilities, and cross-media issues.

2019 Timeline:

  • Proposal Submissions: Friday, May 17
  • Letter of Notification from ITEP: Tuesday, May 28
  • Program Published Online: Monday, July 22
  • Presentation Submission via Dropbox: Monday, August 12
Please note that all presenters who plan on attending the conference will need to also register for the forum. Online registration is available via the “Registration” Tab.

Information to Prepare for Submission:
  • Bio: submit a short bio for each presenter included in your proposal
  • Presentation Title
  • Presentation Description: somewhere between 4-6 sentences for posting and using in the program that informs attendees about the session
  • Audiovisual Needs
  • General Set up (e.g., classroom, rounds, panel discussion with/moderator, etc.)
Presenter Responsibility and Guidelines:
  • Presenters are responsible for travel and lodging accommodations and other associated costs for this conference. These fees and costs will not be reimbursed unless selected for a scholarship. You may indicate your need for a scholarship through the registration form.
  • Presenters are responsible for adding their presentation to the TLEF Dropbox folder no later than Monday, August 12, 2019.
  • Presenters must use the file naming convention they will be provided with by ITEP upon acceptance of their submission.
  • Presenters are encouraged to relate their presentation to the conference theme, A National Conversation on Tribal Land and Water Resources.
  • Presentations that appear to be promotional in nature may not be considered.
Online Submission Forms
To submit a proposal, navigate to the Proposal Form:

For more information please contact:
Julie Jurkowski, Program Coordinator Sr.

Multi-Media Meetup

The Multi-Media Meetup session of the TLEF is a networking opportunity for forum attendees to share information and interact with other attendees in an informal, exhibit-style atmosphere. This special session is an excellent opportunity for:

  • Tribal professionals to highlight their work, sharing their successes with, and garnering feedback from other attendees;
  • Representatives from various agencies, industries, and organizations to share information on the services and products they provide to tribal professionals and tribes;
  • Researchers and students to provide information on studies and projects they are involved in with other attendees.
The Multi-Media Meetup will take place during the TLEF, on Wednesday, August 21, from 3:30 to 5:00 pm. Requests to participate in the Multi-Media Meetup should be submitted no later than July 26, 2019.

Participants are encouraged to display materials that discuss unique projects, original research, innovative technologies, or other subjects related to solid waste, UST/LUST, Superfund, brownfields, emergency response, surface and/or groundwater quality, habitat restoration, water facilities, and/or climate change. This session is free to all participants – there are no charges for display tables. ITEP will provide a 6-foot table, chairs, and a limited number of presentation easels, poster board, tape and accessories for your use. Please feel free to bring your own table coverings, dazzling displays or artwork, and/or other items you wish; just be aware that whatever you bring has to fit in front of, on top of, or behind your table. The more you can engage the TLEF attendees the better!

Forum sponsors are not responsible for issues related to copyright or culturally sensitive information. Participants are responsible for shipping and setup/breakdown of all materials before, during and after the session. Any items left behind will be discarded accordingly.

To reserve a table, navigate to the page for the Multi-Media Meetup Registration Form:

2019 Important Dates:
  • Sign up Deadline: Friday, July 26
  • Multi-Media Meetup: Wednesday, August 21, 3:30-5:00 pm


We are currently accepting proposals for trainings and breakout sessions. We appreciate your interest in the program, and we will update this page with the 2019 TLEF agenda, which will be available in June.

This year’s TLEF will feature special trainings on Monday, August 19; additional trainings and field trips during the morning of August 20; the opening plenary in the afternoon of August 20, which will feature a special keynote speaker; Multi-Media Meetup networking event in the afternoon of August 21; breakout sessions during August 21 and 22; and the closing plenary in the afternoon of August 22, which will also feature a special keynote speaker.

To access the current agenda please download the document below:
A Draft Agenda will be posted in June.

Field Trips

Field trips are an integral part of every TLEF, so attendees can visit tribal operations and other sites highlighting land and water issues. ITEP works with local tribes and other entities to secure interesting and relevant field trips.

Schedule and Sign Ups
Some of the field trips will be associated with trainings offered on Monday, while others will be open to general conference participants. Usually, field trips are limited by the size of vehicle available, and will be booked on a first-come, first-served basis. You must register for field trips and receive a confirmation to participate in advance. Please bring your confirmation to the Forum, in the event there are any questions.

Please visit this page again for more details regarding the schedule and how to register.


Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism Marketing Department Photo Source: Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism Marketing Department

Hotel Accommodations
The Palm Springs Renaissance Hotel (host hotel), where the TLEF will be held primarily, is offering a reduced group rate.

888 E Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Check In: 4:00 pm
Check Out: 11:00 am
Parking: Fees apply for resort and valet parking, please see the hotel website for details
Phone: (760) 322-6000
Maps and Directions:
Please note: if you receive a scholarship, please do NOT reserve your own lodging reservation. Lodging reservations will be made by an ITEP conference representative, and a confirmation will be sent to you via email. Once you receive a confirmation, please verify that the lodging reservations meet your travel needs.

Group rooms are subject to availability as the block was booked based on previous group attendance numbers. You MUST book a room by the deadline of Thursday, July 18, 2019 in order to receive the reduced group rate of $106 plus taxes. Special concessions include: free in-room basic Internet, complimentary airport shuttle, and complimentary parking in the overflow lot. (Parking fees will apply for resort and valet parking.)

Hotel room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes (currently 16.89%) in effect at the time of check-out.

Phone Hotel Reservations: 1 (888) 682-1238 and identify: 2019 Tribal Lands and Environment Forum as the group
Online Hotel Reservations:

If you have an issue booking a room earlier than the cutoff date of July 18, please send an email to with “Lodging” in the subject line to notify a representative.

Airport Transportation

Airport Shuttle
While staying at the host hotel, you will receive free airport transfers to/from the hotel for your convenience. For participants who may be booked at other hotels or properties, please visit the hotel website for transportation information.

Traveling by Air
Please visit this link to get interactive air travel maps and more information about the variety of airports into Palm Springs, as well as the local Palm Springs airport:

Ground Transportation

Traveling by Ground
Please visit the link for a variety of information on driving to Palm Springs:

Hotel Directions
Additionally, you may visit the hotel website for directions, map and local weather:

Local Map
To view a local general map of the Palm Springs area and general attractions, please download the PDF file.

Visit Palm Springs
The Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism has a comprehensive visitor website, you may visit here:

The Bureau also provided a Visitor Guide, please download PDF to read more.



What is the Tribal Lands and Environment Forum?
The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, National TWRAP Steering Committee, USEPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM), and Office of Water (OW) host annually, the Tribal Lands and Environment Forum. This year’s TLEF will feature special trainings, field trips, and breakout sessions focused on our conference theme: A National Conversation on Tribal Land and Water Resources. Topics highlighted at the TLEF include solid/hazardous waste management, brownfields, UST/LUSTs, Superfund sites, and emergency response. Tribal water program topics – water quality, drinking water, and habitat restoration (including wetlands, streams and fisheries) will also be included with breakout sessions, trainings and field trips. This is a great opportunity for tribal professionals, federal staff, personnel from universities, nonprofits, industry, and other groups, as well as college students studying environmental science and American Indian Studies.

When and where is the 9th Annual Tribal Lands and Environment Forum?
This year’s Tribal Lands and Environment Forum will be held at the Palm Springs Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Palm Springs, California, August 19-22, 2019, with August 19 holding optional special trainings and field trip(s).

What meals are included in my registration cost?
Refreshments are served in the mornings and afternoons, and this year a luncheon will be provided on Wednesday featuring a special presenter and additional opportunities for attendees to spend time together.

What does the conference schedule look like?
The TLEF is a 4-day event, starting on a Monday and ending on Thursday. Monday is a day with optional trainings and possible field trips, the official conference begins on Tuesday morning. Please see the schedule on the “Agenda” tab for more information. Please note that the schedule is subject to change.

Are there field trips and excursions?
Field trips are an integral part of every TLEF, so attendees can visit tribal operations and other sites highlighting land and water issues. Please check the “Field Trips” tab for more information.

Do you offer exhibitor or sponsorship opportunities? Where can I find information on exhibitor or sponsorship opportunities? Yes, we offer exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities. You can view prices, available packages, apply and pay, among other things by visiting the “Exhibitors/Sponsors” tab.

Who do I contact for general conference questions?
You may contact customer service by emailing

How can I register for the Tribal Lands and Environment Forum?
To show appreciation to professionals and students in the field, ITEP is offering a specially reduced group rate of $25/person this year. Thank you for your interest in the 9th annual conference.

You may register through an online form by going to the “Registration” tab.

Please take note of the registration deadlines for the regular rate. On Monday, August 5 online registration closes, and you will no longer be able to register until you arrive onsite, at which point it will increase to $50/person. Additionally, please take note of the Cancellation/Refund deadline, which is August 5, 2019. A full list of deadlines is also listed on the “Registration” tab.

How will I know if I’m registered?
All attendees will receive a confirmation by email. This confirmation verifies your registration for the conference. Please feel free to contact a conference representative if you have any additional questions at

The registration will also send an invoice for any amount due. Payments are due before the start of the conference. If your organization is paying with a Purchase Order/Check, please follow up by sending an email with a copy of the Purchase Order to

If you chose to pay by credit card during registration, you will receive a message from another system with an auto-generated receipt.

Note about SPAM: To avoid system messages from going to a SPAM folder, please approve messages from “”.

How can I pay for the conference?
You may pay for the conference online in the registration system with a credit card. This is the easiest way to pay and receive an automated receipt. You may also pay through a direct deposit (company payments only, not individuals), Purchase Order/company check, or by an individual check.

For payments by Check: Please ensure that checks are made payable to: “NAU-ITEP” with a note in the memo line regarding your registration identification, registration names, and/or registration Invoice number.

Are any scholarships offered?
Scholarships are available for the conference for employees of federally-recognized tribes. Please visit the “Travel Scholarships” tab for more information.

What if I need to cancel my registration?
If you are unable to attend the conference, you are required to submit a written cancellation notice no later than Monday, August 5, 2019 by 5:00pm MST for a full refund. If your cancellation notice is received after the deadline a refund will not be possible. Please send a request in writing to with “Cancellation” in the Subject line.

What if I forget to cancel and do not participate in the conference?
An unpaid no show still owes the conference hosts. If we do not receive a cancellation by the August 5 deadline, you will not receive a refund. Whether or not a registrant participates, a head count for a number of items have already been purchased and all costs incurred, this cannot be recovered, so no refund is possible after the deadline.

What if I would like to substitute someone in my place?
Yes, however, the new registrant will need to complete a new registration due to personal information needed for each participant (e.g., contact information, food restrictions and/or allergies, ADA, etc.).

If possible, please notify the staff of the cancellation of the original person’s registration before the cancellation/refund deadline Monday, August 5, 2019 by 5:00pm MST. A staff member will then apply payment (if already received) to the new registration as quickly as possible to avoid any potential issues onsite.

What if I do have a refund coming and I do not receive it?
It is the registrant’s responsibility to follow up with a conference representative after the conference in the event a refund is not received, and you believe you are owed one. If a registrant does not follow up on a refund and it is not received, no refund will be possible following this deadline due to account closure.
For questions about refunds, please email with “Refund” in the subject line.

Please see the “Registration” tab to download the refund policy document and read the refund policies. Upon registration, you checked a box stating you understand these refund policies that you may refer to online.

Is there a lodging group rate available for the event?
There is a reduced hotel group rate available at the Palm Springs Renaissance Hotel, the host hotel. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are not able to secure lodging at the host hotel, please email with “Lodging” in the subject line.

The deadline to take advantage of the rate is Thursday, July 18, 2019. Rates and rooms are subject to availability, so reserve a room as soon as conveniently possible.

Please see the “Travel” tab for more information on the hotel, links to maps, the tourism board webpage, airport shuttles and more.

Contact Us

For questions regarding the website, registration, accommodations, and other logistics, please contact the general conference inbox at

For questions regarding the agenda and/or program content and scholarship information, please contact:
Todd Barnell, Project Director
Phone: 928-523-3840

For questions regarding exhibiting, placing an ad, sponsorships or volunteering, please contact:
Julie Tieman, Event Coordinator Senior
Phone: 928-523-5680

For questions regarding session proposals, field trips, or presentations, please contact:
Julie Jurkowski, Program Coordinator Senior
Phone: 928-523-9404

For questions regarding the Multi Media Meetup, please contact:
Lisa Vandever, Program Coordinator
Email: Phone: 928-523-8039

Past TLEFs:

*Note: links below for presentations will redirect to files on; links to photos are redirected to If you have difficulty accessing these files, please contact ITEP.

2018 TLEF: Spokane Convention Center
Spokane, WA
August 13-16, 2018

2018 TLEF Presentations

2018 TLEF Booklet [pdf]

2018 TLEF Highlights video [mp4]

2017 TLEF: Cox Business Center
Tulsa, OK
August 14-17, 2017

2017 TLEF Presentations

2017 TLEF Attendee Networking list. [pdf]

2016 TLEF: Mohegan Sun Resort
Uncasville, CN
August 15-18, 2016

2019 TLEF Presentations

2016 TLEF Conference Booklet [pdf]

2016 TLEF Attendee Networking list [pdf]

2013 TLEF: Hyatt Regency Tamaya
Pueblo of Santa Ana
August 19-22, 2013

2013 TLEF Presentations

2013 TLEF Conference Booklet [pdf]

2013 TLEF Attendee Networking List [pdf]

2012 TLEF: Mill Casino and Hotel, Coquille Indian Tribe
Coos Bay, OR
August 20-23, 2012

2012 TLEF Presentations

2012 TLEF Attendee Networking List [pdf]

2012 TLEF Presenter Bios [pdf]

2012 TLEF Agenda Booklet [pdf]

2011 TLEF: Radisson Hotel and Conference Center
Oneida/Green Bay, WI
August 23-25, 2011

2011 TLEF Presentations

2010 TLEF: US Grant Hotel
San Diego, CA
August 24-26, 2010

2010 TLEF Presentations

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