About Tribal-FERST

Tribal-FERST (Tribal-Focused Environmental Risk and Sustainability Tool) is an online tool developed by United South and Eastern Tribes Inc. (USET) with support from scientists from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Tribal-FERST is an online information and GIS mapping tool designed to provide Tribes with easy access to the best available human health and ecological science.


Our Mission

Tribal-FERST is intended to empower Tribal Nations by providing access to relevant science that can be used to develop sustainable, cost-effective solutions for reducing environmental exposures and health risks. Using this web-based geospatial decision support tool, Tribal Nations may employ a holistic approach to address environmental concerns and plan for the future.

What is Tribal-FERST?

There are several components to Tribal-FERST that allow users to do the following:

View maps of a Tribal Nation community’s environment including specific data on air quality, water quality, and impacted homeland soils or sites within the homeland that are impacted by pollution.

Compare Tribal Nation community environmental conditions surrounding air, water, and soils.

Gather information about environmental conditions at the Tribal Nations

Explore solutions and community strategies to understand or address environmental conditions

Interpret data and use it to implement decisions using Tribal-FERST and other community assessment guides

Share Environmental stories and solutions via Tribal Nation case studies for Tribal Nations to present their learning experiences and provide solutions for other Tribal Nation facing similar challenges


History of Tribal-FERST and USET

Tribal Nations face unique and numerous environmental and human health challenges. As tribal leaders work to build and enhance environmental safeguards in their communities, user-friendly, science-based tools may contribute to sustainable solutions. Tribal-based tools are needed to prioritize environmental issues, understand exposure pathways, and conduct comprehensive impact assessments – all of which are important in decisions to improve public health and the environment. Tribal-FERST (Tribal-Focused Environmental Risk and Sustainability Tool) is an online tool initially developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA wanted to continue enhancing the tool for Tribal Nations, thus decided it would be best for the United South and Eastern Tribes Inc. (USET), to continue growing the tool with direction from Tribal Nations since USET is a Tribally lead organization.