The Nisqually Planning and Economic Development Department provides community development planning, economic feasibility and coordination, transportation planning, land acquisition, land management, environmental review, forestry, and grant writing services in support of tribal community development efforts. Planning staff are located in the new Tribal Administration building, with economic development staff located in the old DNR trailers.



Planning and Economic Staff include:


Program Name Staff Description
Transportation Planning Heidi Thomas           Update and maintain Long Range Transportation Plan for Tribe; work with BIA on Reservation Road System and funding; represent Tribe in regional planning consortia.
Special Projects Chelsie Sharp Special planning and parks projects as assigned, currently focusing on Medicine Creek Treaty Monument, Nisqually Valley Heritage Plan, and Nisqually State Park.

Joe Cushman

Justine Capra

Cynetha Blacketer

Carry out grant writing and related planning and support duties in response to tribal priorities and funding opportunities at local, state, and federal levels, and private sector.
Land Manager

Joe Kautz, coordination

with Joe Cushman

and Lisa B.

Manage reservation consolidation program; develop management plans for Tribal properties; assist with acquisitions.
Economic Development

Joe Cushman

Mike Mason

Identify, assess, develop, and help implement tribal economic development initiatives in support of tribal economic diversification and self sufficiency
Parks Planning Lisa Breckenridge (50%) Staff to Tribal Parks Commission; facilitate Tribal co-management role at Nisqually State Park; development and improvement plans for Reservation Parks
Land Crew

Miles McCloud

Eric Burfiend, crew leaders

8 crew members
Manage all reservation parks and off-reservation special properties including Medicine Springs, Lake St. Clair, and Nisqually State Park. Develop crew member skills over time through in-house training program. 
Land Acquisition

Joe Cushman, coordination with

Lisa B, Joe Kautz,

& Justine Capra

Manage Tribal Land Acquisition and Fee to Trust programs. 
Master Planning

Joe Cushman, Lisa Breckenridge (50%)

Coordination with

Joe Kautz

Justine Capra
Coordinate updates to Tribal Master Plan as prioritized by Council; coordinate Master Planning Technical Team; provide updates to Master Planning 
Environmental Planning/Forestry

Curtis Stanley:

coordination with

Joe K and Joe C

Coordinate with BIA on forestry issues, and coordinate with EPA regarding on rez environmental planning projects and issues.
Planning Special Projects Managers  Julie Palm

Lori Lund

Diane Moreno
Provide staff support to planning and community development projects, including Elder center project, PSC repurposing, Public Works/Fleet/MP/Transit Bldg, BPA Phase II, 2020 census, transit/planning coordination, and land acq & management program, master planning




The Planning and Economic Development department can be contacted at:
4820 She-Nah-Num Drive S.E. Olympia, WA 98513
Phone: (360) 456-5221 • Fax: (360) 438-8618

Joe Cushman, Director


Additional Resources.jpglightbulbicon30x30.jpg Downloadable Flyers (Require Adobe Reader, click here dowloadicon_25x25.jpg to download it for free)

dowloadicon_25x25.jpg Nisqually State Park Interpretive Plan
dowloadicon_25x25.jpg Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) 2022
dowloadicon_25x25.jpg 2022 CEDS Strategic Plan Outline for Public Review and Comment



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