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The Nisqually Tribe taking a close look at how salmon recovery can mean wildlife recovery

By • Mar 3rd, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

Troy Rahmig, a consultant working for the Nisqually Tribe, checks a game camera near Ohop Creek.

The Nisqually Indian Tribe is taking a look at how improvements to a creek meant to benefit salmon could also be helping elk, deer and beavers.

“For over a decade we’ve been planning and conducting restoration on miles of salmon habitat on Ohop Creek,” said David Troutt, natural resources director …

Swinomish Tribe Studies Effect of Climate Change on Community, Culture

By • Feb 25th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

Climate change threatens not only the environment, but also tribal communities whose culture, livelihood and identities depend on natural resources.

“Current climate change assessments omit key community health concerns, which are vital to successful adaptation plans, particularly for indigenous communities,” said Jamie Donatuto, environmental health specialist for the Swinomish Tribe.

“Recent assessments show that indigenous communities, especially coastal communities, are disproportionately vulnerable to a number of …

Upper Skagit’s Sustainable Forestry Turns Maples to Guitars

By • Feb 19th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

Pacific Tonewoods general manager Eric Warner shows a guitar with a back made from a maple tree.

Two maple trees harvested from Upper Skagit Tribe timberlands have a musical future ahead of them.

The trees were sold to Pacific Rim Tonewoods, a specialty sawmill upriver from the Upper Skagit Reservation that sells lumber to guitar makers Taylor and Martin, among others. While most guitar tops, sound …

Squaxin Island Tribe, partners, winning battle with invasive weeds

By • Feb 6th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

Brian McTeague, Natural Resources Quantitative Services Manager for the Squaxin Island Tribe, notes the location of knotweed along Skookum Creek.

After three years of work, the Squaxin Island Tribe and the Mason Conservation District, have controlled the spread of salmon-killing knotweed in the Skookum Creek watershed. “This is a huge step forward,” said Andy Whitener, natural resource director for the tribe. “This shows that through consistent …

Upper Skagit Tribe harvests last full return of hatchery steelhead

By • Feb 4th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

It’s the end of an era for Upper Skagit tribal fishermen as the last full return of hatchery steelhead arrives in the Skagit River this winter.

“Our ancestors gave up everything so that we could continue to fish in our traditional areas,” said Scott Schuyler, natural resources director for the Upper Skagit Tribe. “Without hatchery production, we can’t have a meaningful fishery.”

The last full steelhead …

Dairy Farm Pollution Costs Lummi Nation

By • Jan 16th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

An aerial photo shows a manure lagoon at a dairy farm adjacent to the Nooksack River. Courtesy of Kim Koon.

Whatcom County’s booming dairy and agricultural industry has cost Lummi Nation shellfish harvesters millions of dollars already, and a recent closure of shellfish beds in Portage Bay is adding to the tally.

Manure from dairy cows is discharged either directly or indirectly into the Nooksack River, …

Squaxin Island Tribe Tracks Warm Water Impact on Salmon

By • Jan 7th, 2015 • Category: News

Squaxin Island Tribe natural resources technician Joe Puhn removes a temperature gauge from Johns Creek near Shelton.

The Squaxin Island Tribe is collecting year-round temperature data on dozens of streams in deep South Sound.

“Salmon need clean, cold water in order to thrive in streams” said Erica Marbet, water resources biologist for the tribe. Using instream temperature monitors, or thermographs, the tribe has been monitoring temperatures …

Lummi Formally Asks Army Corps to Halt Coal Terminal

By • Jan 6th, 2015 • Category: News

The Lummi Nation has written a formal letter urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reject the permit to build the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point.

“The impacts on the Nation’s treaty rights associated with this project cannot be mitigated,” wrote Lummi Chair Tim Ballew II.

From EarthFix:

Corps spokeswoman Patricia Graesser responded to a request for comment by saying her agency is …

Decades old co-management benefit today’s South Sound chum salmon

By • Jan 6th, 2015 • Category: Lead Story, News

Michael West, fisheries technician for the Squaxin Island Tribe, samples a chum salmon in a South Sound creek.

Fisheries management decisions made decades ago by the Squaxin Island Tribe and their state salmon co-managers are still paying dividends for the Kennedy Creek chum run.

In the early 1980s – just a few years after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the tribe’s status as a salmon co-manager …

Upper Skagit Tribe Thins Forest for Elk Forage

By • Dec 18th, 2014 • Category: News

The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe’s natural resources department thinned and mulched forestland on Puget Sound Energy (PSE) property last fall to improve elk forage in the North Cascades mountains.

Degraded and disconnected habitat is one of the main causes of the decline in numbers of the Nooksack elk herd, which went from a population of more than 1,700 20 years ago to about 300 by 2003. …