ARMP-IRMP Planning Portal

Getting Started

Which plan is right for you?

Below, you can survey the similarities and differences between an Agricultural Resource Management Plan (ARMP) and an Integrated Resource Management Plan (IRMP) so you can decide which one is most fitting for the needs and desires of your community.


Integrated Resource Management Plan (IRMP)

Agricultural Resource Management Plan (AMRP)

  • Overall view of Reservation resources
  • Outlines all agricultural resources of Reservation
  • Considers interactions between all reservation resources and their management
  • Includes everything that is grown or managed for food production
    • both for people and livestock
  • Not federally mandated or BIA regulated, unless:
    • BIA is contracted as part of management 
    • Federal funding will be used to implement plan aspects
    • This will also be used as a NEPA document
  • Federally mandated and regulated
    • Legal authority and regulations provided by American Indian Agricultural Resource Management Act (AIARMA) of 1993
  • Used to determine tribal vision for the Reservation and its resources
  • Mandated 3 year timeline
  • Used to provide direction for resource management
  • Good for 10 years
  • All resource management plans (AMRP, FMP, etc.) must conform to direction and goals outlined in IRMP
  • Must conform to IRMP if tribe has one
  • Prevents conflicting goals in resource management 
  • Strengthens tribal sovereignty
  • Typically more time consuming and expensive
    • This depends on the scope and scale of the plan
  • Allows tribes to manage agricultural products (livestock, cropland, anything you eat) to fit their needs and goals
  • Good for 10+ years
  • Community must be involved in plan development 
  • Community input and involvement is important throughout the entirety of the development process
  • BIA is still a partner with the Tribe 
    • BIA, and other agencies, must follow direction of ARMPs
  • Can choose whether or not to work with BIA, USDA, EPA and other federal and/or state agencies 
  • Directs management of resources
  • Plan intended to direct tribal policy regarding resources 
  • Tribe takes over management of these resources from BIA
  • Living document, can be updated as necessary
    • should be re-evaluated yearly
  • Re-evaluate plan periodically over the course of its life (10 years)

ARMP & IRMP Templates

Having decided which plan is most fitting for you, you can below find both an ARMP template, put together by the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC), and an IRMP template, put together by the Native Lands Advocacy Project (NLAP). 

IRMP Process

For more information about creating an IRMP, consult the document below, which includes both a flow chart of the process as well as an explanation of each step. 


  1. Determine if IRMP is needed: This is the very beginning stage of the IRMP development process. At this point the tribal council, tribal community, and heads of the various tribal departments have decided that the development of an IRMP would be beneficial and will provide direction to the various resource management activities that occur on the Reservation.
  2. Begin IRMP planning process: This stage is kicked off by Tribal resolution or statute(s) that outline the need for an IRMP as well as the official support for the development of the document. This is also the stage where the IRMP chair and development team will be determined/hired as well as identifying the data currently available, what will need to be collected/created, and the technical support that will be needed. 
  3. Develop vision for Reservation resources: At this stage, the tribal community is heavily involved. Community meetings are held, surveys are conducted, meetings with various local organizations and other stakeholders occur at this time. The purpose for all of this is to develop a common vision (goal) for the reservation and its resources. What do the community members and stakeholders want from their resources? What are valued uses and experiences that community members get from the Reservation resources and how can those be preserved/promoted?
  4. Assess current resource conditions: In this stage the current conditions of the Reservation resources are assessed. This is done on any and all resources that will be included in the IRMP. This is done through resource testing, analyzing and/or creating data, mapping, and any other resource assessment methods and techniques that are deemed necessary. The purpose for this is to determine the management directions/activities for each resource that will work towards the tribal vision(s).
  5. Develop resource management alternatives: The development of management alternatives is important to the IRMP development process because it allows the IRMP development team to think through different approaches to resource management and varying levels of management intensities. During this stage, environmental impact assessments will be conducted and the potential environmental impacts for each alternative will be included. It is important to keep in mind when developing these alternatives that they must contribute to accomplishing the tribal vision for their resources. One of the alternatives developed will be denoted as the preferred alternative and will be the methodology utilized for resource management planning and activities.
  6. Develop IRMP document: The IRMP document is put together. This can be done by someone on the IRMP development team or can be contracted out to a third-party writer. Editing of the written document can also be done in this same manner.
  7. Implement IRMP/tribal vision into resource management: After the document is written, it goes to the tribal council, stakeholders, and community members for review. Once the document is reviewed and any changes or alterations that are deemed necessary have been made then the Tribal council will, typically, write up another resolution to adopt and implement the IRMP into resource management. 

*Note that the IRMP does not outline specific management activities or plans. An IRMP is a tribal policy document and is used to direct the management of Reservation resources towards a common vision. It is up to the various departments to develop management planning documents with specific management methodologies that follow the guidance provided by the IRMP

  1. Monitor resource management and re-evaluate tribal vision: Continue to monitor the management of Reservation resources periodically and adjust the IRMP (or other planning documents) as necessary. Keeping in mind that the Tribal vision provides the direction for resource management.


ARMP Process (According to AIARMA 1993)

In 25 U.S. Code § 3711(b), the Indian Agricultural Resource Management Planning Program is defined as follows: 

(1) To meet the management objectives of this section, a 10-year Indian agriculture resource management and monitoring plan shall be developed and implemented as follows: 

(a) Pursuant to a self-determination contract or self-governance compact, an Indian tribe may develop or implement an Indian agriculture resource plan. Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (C), the tribe shall have broad discretion in designing and carrying out the planning process. 

(b) If a tribe chooses not to contract the development or implementation of the plan, the Secretary shall develop or implement, as appropriate, the plan in close consultation with the affected tribe. 

(c) Whether developed directly by the tribe or by the Secretary, the plan shall– 

(i) determine available agriculture resources; 

(ii) identify specific tribal agricultural resource goals and objectives; 

(iii) establish management objectives for the resources; 

(iv) define critical values of the Indian tribe and its members and provide identified holistic management objectives; 

(v) identify actions to be taken to reach established objectives; 

(vi) be developed through public meetings; 

(vii) use the public meeting records, existing survey documents, reports, and other research from Federal agencies, tribal community colleges, and land grant universities; and 

(viii) be completed within three years of the initiation of activity to establish the plan.” 

The purpose of this Act is to provide a tribe with the means to create a long-term strategy for agricultural development on their reservation. The Act also states that:

(2) Indian agriculture resource management plans developed and approved under this section shall govern the management and administration of Indian agricultural resources and Indian agricultural lands by the Bureau and the Indian tribal government.”

25 U.S. Code § 3712, titled “Indian Participation in Land Management Activities,” further explains:

(a) Tribal Recognition: The Secretary shall conduct all land management activities on Indian agricultural land in accordance with goals and objectives set forth in the approved agricultural resource management plan, in an integrated resource management plan, and in accordance with all tribal laws and ordinances, except in specific instances where such compliance would be contrary to the trust responsibility of the United States.”