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Lorraine Loomis Elected Chair of Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

By • Sep 16th, 2014 • Category: Lead Story, News

OLYMPIA – Lorraine Loomis, a Swinomish tribal member, has been elected chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.

She replaces the late Billy Frank Jr., who served as NWIFC chairman for more than 30 years. Frank died on May 5, 2014 at the age of 83.

“I am honored and humbled to be elected chair of the NWIFC,” said Loomis. “No one can ever replace Billy. …

Lummi fishermen pass down reef net heritage

By • Sep 15th, 2014 • Category: Lead Story, Video

Lummi Nation tribal fishermen are teaching young tribal members the traditional method of harvesting salmon in a reef net.

The tribe had four new wooden canoes made for reef netting. Traditionally, fishermen suspended the reef net between two canoes.

“It’s an imitation of the seafloor, like a reef, that’s why it’s called a reef net,” said Lummi fisherman Richard Solomon. “Sxwole is what our people …

Beavers relocated to improve salmon habitat

By • Sep 10th, 2014 • Category: Lead Story, News

This summer, raceways at the Tulalip Tribes’ Bernie Kai-Kai Gobin Hatchery were renovated into temporary beaver condominiums.

Six beavers nestled together in a furry cluster in one of the manmade lodges, confirming wildlife biologists’ suspicions that this was a family unit. Tribal staff, along with biologists from the University of Washington (UW), had captured the beaver colony in Duvall, where they were flooding a blueberry farm.…

Tribes call on EPA to update water quality standards

By • Sep 8th, 2014 • Category: Lead Story, NWIFC Blog

Treaty tribes are meeting today with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to step in and set new water-quality rules for the state, after sending Gov. Inslee a letter expressing dissatisfaction with his proposed rule change.

From the Herald of Everett:

“The tribes’ principal objective for revised water quality standards is to protect the health of future generations, and we have determined that your proposal does not

Nisqually Tribe working with neighbors to restore Ohop Creek

By • Aug 26th, 2014 • Category: Lead Story, News

Kyle Kautz, Nisqually tribal natural resources, collects fish from a pool in the former Ohop Creek channel.

This summer, the Nisqually Tribe, the Nisqually Land Trust and the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group are tacking on another 1.5 miles of restored habitat to Ohop Creek.

“In this stretch of creek, salmon aren’t really given much space to feed or hide,” said David Troutt, natural resources …

Olympian: State’s failure to fix culverts violates treaty rights

By • Aug 22nd, 2014 • Category: Lead Story, NWIFC Blog

Billy Frank Jr. stands on top of a culvert in 2008.

The Olympian wrote an editorial urging the state to heed a federal injunction to fix fish-blocking culverts:

Imagine you are driving on the freeway, returning from a long trip, longing with all your heart just to be home. Suddenly you are forced to a complete stop because the freeway is broken and you are facing

Column: Reducing cancer protection undermines higher fish consumption rate

By • Jul 28th, 2014 • Category: Lead Story, NWIFC Blog

The Olympian today features a column by Emily Lardner, co-director of the National Resource Center for Learning Communities at The Evergreen State College:

Gov. Jay Inslee has announced his intention to increase the official estimate for how much fish we can safely eat in Washington, from 6.3 grams per day (about the size of a Ritz cracker) to 175 grams per day (about 6 ounces). This

NWIFC Magazine: Remembering Billy Frank Jr.

By • Jul 18th, 2014 • Category: Lead Story, NWIFC Blog

The latest NWIFC News magazine is available, focused on the life and history of NWIFC’s chairman emeritus, Billy Frank Jr., who passed away May 5.

The 12-page full-color publication features Billy’s life history, photos and remembrances from friends, family and co-workers.

The magazine is available for download here.

Tribes Cautious About Governor’s Toxics Reduction Plan

By • Jul 9th, 2014 • Category: Lead Story, News

Treaty Indian tribes in western Washington have mixed feelings regarding Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcement today about the state’s fish consumption and cancer risk rates used to determine water quality standards.

Tribes are generally supportive of Inslee’s move to increase the state’s fish consumption rate to 175 grams per day, but are deeply concerned about a proposed tenfold increase in the cancer risk rate.

The current cancer …

Governor to announce decision on water quality standards today

By • Jul 9th, 2014 • Category: Lead Story, NWIFC Blog

You can watch the governor’s announcement here at noon.

This decision comes after decades of advocacy by the tribes to increase the state’s fish consumption rate (an important part of the formula to determine water quality standards) to a realistic level. Currently, the rate is 6.5 grams a day, well below even the consumption of an average state citizen. This rate is especially low compared …