CalEPA Tribal Advisory Committee

The mission of the CalEPA Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) is to educate CalEPA and its Boards, Departments, and Office (BDOs) and advocate concerning the Tribal beliefs and perspectives of cultural resources protection, environmental protection, historical and current day Tribal lands stewardship of the environment, and develop strategies and action plans to address Tribal environmental issues under CalEPA purview.

TAC Charter

About the TAC

On Aug. 17, 2010, the CalEPA Tribal Advisory Committee Charter was approved by CalEPA and Charter Tribes. The purpose of the CalEPA Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) is to discuss environmental issues between California Tribes and CalEPA. 

The TAC meets with the Secretary of CalEPA and/or her designee and the directors of each CalEPA BDO or their designees – the BDO Tribal Liaisons – at least quarterly each calendar year.

Each member of the committee is appointed by CalEPA upon nomination by a Tribe. Each member of the TAC is considered an “at large” advocate, to the best of their ability, for the interests of all the Tribes in the geographic area of the State of California (south, central, north, southeastern and eastern) in which their Tribe is located. The TAC committee meet quarterly each calendar year.

Since the inception of the Tribal Advisory Committee, CalEPA has gained invaluable experience in actively pursuing the state’s joint sovereign interest with Tribes to safeguard and protect the State’s precious resources for the benefit of current and future generations.

CalEPA reimburses each Committee member for travel and lodging expenses to and from Committee meetings. On occasion, and when feasible, Committee members may also host quarterly meetings on their respective Tribal lands.

The CalEPA Tribal Advisory Committee:

  • Chairperson: Sarah Ryan, Environmental Director, Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians
  • Vice-Chair: Vacant
  • Secretary: Crystal Robinson, Environmental Director, Quartz Valley Indian Reservation
  • Member: Clifford Batten, Environmental Director, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
    • Alternate: Chris Manzano, Assistant Environmental Manager, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
  • Member: Nora McDowell, former Tribal Chairwoman, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe
  • Member: Lex Koscielak, Chemehuevi Indian Tribe
  •  Member: Matthew Teutimez, Tribal Biologist,  Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians – Kizh Nation
    • Alternate: Andrew Salas, Tribal Chairman, Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians – Kizh Nation

Now Seeking TAC Nominations

There are currently six Tribes on the TAC with room for up to six more. 

If you wish for your Tribe to be considered for TAC, please email or mail a letter on your Tribal letterhead to the following no later than March 3, 2023:

The letter should include your nomination for a member or staff person of your Tribe. You cannot nominate an organization. In this letter, please include the person’s qualifications to be on the TAC and why they want to be on the TAC.

Notifications of the new TAC member decisions will be made by March 13, 2023, with the new members attending the March 2023 meeting, scheduled for March 29, 2023.