Yesterday Billy Frank Jr. joined Gov. Christine Gregoire and other dignitaries to announce the Puget Sound Partnership.
The Tacoma News Tribune:
Billy Frank Jr., a Nisqually Indian who is chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, is among Gregoire’s Puget Sound Partnership appointees. In echoing Gregoire’s call for attention to the Sound’s needs, he compared it to the nest of a pair of eagles that live near his home.
“This Puget Sound is our nest, all of our nests, and it’s asking for help right now,” Frank said.
“It isn’t a case of can we do it. We have to do it,” said Frank, a Nisqually elder and longtime advocate for tribal-fishing rights. Franks called on everyone to work together to ensure the sound is a resource for generations to come.
“It’s asking for our help,” he said. “Take care of it. It’s our home. It’s our backyard.”
“The cleanup initiative is so important to all of us,” said Frank, of the Fisheries Commission. “It isn’t a case of can we do it; we have to do it.
“This Puget Sound is our nest — all of our nests. And it’s asking for help.”
Part of the new effort is focussed on restoring estuaries throughout Puget Sound. From the Olympian:
$3.25 million to restore estuaries and salmon habitat, keying on projects where there are other partners in the watersheds, includ-ing the tribes and federal government.
It could spell financial help for such projects as the Deschutes River estuary study, which is looking at the pros and cons of convert-ing Capitol Lake into a free-flowing river, state Department of Fish and Wildlife official Tim Smith said.
Estuary restoration work by the Nisqually Tribe and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Nisqually Delta also could benefit from the governor’s initiative, he said.
“Pollution is not the only problem facing Puget Sound,” noted Jeanette Dorner, salmon recovery program manager for the Nisqually Tribe, “Loss of habitat is the biggest threat to salmon recovery in the Nisqually.”