Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Native American Tribes Awarded More Than $2.03 Million for Conservation Projects in Three Western States

May 25, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MAY 25, 2011

Contact: Erica Szlosek (916) 9768-6159


Native American Tribes Awarded More Than $2.03 Million for Conservation Projects in Three Western States

SACRAMENTO -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced more than $2.03 million in Tribal Wildlife Grants that will go to 11 Native American Tribes in the Pacific Southwest Region to fund a wide range of conservation projects.

Nationwide, more than $54 million has gone to Native American tribes through the Tribal Wildlife Grants program since 2003, providing support for 335 conservation projects administered by participating Federally-recognized tribes.  The grants provide technical and financial assistance for the development and implementation of projects that benefit fish and wildlife resources and their habitat, including non-game species.

The grants have enabled tribes to develop increased management capacity, improve and enhance relationships with partners (including state agencies), address cultural and environmental priorities and heighten tribal students’ interest in fisheries, wildlife and related fields of study. 

The funded projects are:

Bishop Paiute Tribe, California ($200,000)
Conservation Area Management Project
The main goals of this project are to: 1) introduce new populations of the endangered Owens pupfish (Cyprinodon radiosus) and sustain species of concern, including Speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus) and Owens tui chub (Siphateles bicolor snyderi), in small, intensively managed refuges within the Tribe’s Conservation Open Space Area 2) reintroduce, sustain, and nurture populations of species of concern of Owens Valley Checkerbloom (Sidalcea covillei) and Inyo County Mariposa Lily (Calochortus excavates) and tribal culturally important plants such as the Nupeechee (Clinopodium douglasii); a medicinal herb for the tribe.

Cold Springs Tribe of Mono Indians, California ($200,000)
Haslett Basin Wildlife Preserve
The tribe has a partnership with the Sierra Foothill Conservancy, a local land trust who recently acquired a 120-acre property in the Haslett Basin located in the eastern portion of Fresno County.  This property is the ancestral home of many of the tribal members and an important wintering ground for the north Kings River deer herd. This Property (Haslett Basin Wildlife Preserve) is currently being managed to enhance the deer migration corridors and holding areas as well as address the issues concerning the decline in deer populations.
This grant is funding: 1) the development of a 50-year comprehensive resource management plan for the property; 2) conducting an archeological survey of the property; 3) acquire permits for environmental and resource compliance; 4) improvements on 115 acres of wildlife habitat for deer and; 5) building capacity and awareness for the natural and cultural resources of Haslett Basin.

Dry Creek Rancheria, Band of Pomo Indians, California ($200,000)
Culvert Replacement for Fish Passage Project
The funds awarded for this proposal will be used to remediate the culverts installed along the only access road to the Rancheria (BIA Route 93). These were installed as a response to flooding events that occurred in the mid 80’s when massive mudslide had filled the creeks and destroyed the access road.  Activities for include installation of shorter, “bottomless” culverts, restoring the channel bed and banks to pre-culvert form and function, riparian habitat restoration. This project will remove specific stressors from in and around the creek such as channel incision, fish passage blockages, and the removal of invasive terrestrial species.

Elem Pomo Tribe, California ($199,950)
Clear Lake Hitch Recovery Project Migration Barrier Removal
The Clear Lake Hitch (Lavinia exillicauda chi) is a culturally significant fish to the Tribes surrounding Clear Lake in Lake County California. The Hitch was listed by the California Department of Fish and Game as a fish Species of Special Concern in California in 1995 due to population decline and loss of habitat. This is the first time the Elem Pomo tribe has requested TWG funding and is part of an inter-tribal project to restore the Hitch populations through habitat restoration and enhancement. This funding will be used to remove passage obstructions on Kelsey Creek and a large instream passage barrier on Siegler Creek, and for public outreach and educational efforts; which include a community creek clean-up day.

Klamath Tribes, Oregon ($42,383)
Determining Causes of Mule Deer Decline in the Klamath Basin 
Mule deer (Odecoiles hemionus) are important to the Klamath Tribes for subsistence and have continued to be important culturally and spiritually in the context of a rapidly changing society. The funding will support research to continue identifying the causes for decline in the populations of mule deer throughout the historic reservation area. Work activities for this project include analysis of blood samples from mule deer, pregnancy and parasitical analysis, as well as telemetry studies investigating migration patterns.
 
Pala Band of Mission Indians, California ($200,000)
Tribal Habitat Conservation Plan
These funds will be used to begin the first phase of a two phase project in developing a tribal Habitat Conservation Plan to protect local natural resources. This project will have a steering committee that is a partnership with the Tribe and U.S. Fish and Wildlife to plan the goals and objectives in assessing and restoring natural resources. Work activities funded for this project will be for extensive vegetation mapping of tribal lands, wildlife surveys for general population analysis, and population surveys for federally listed species. 

Pauma Band of Mission Indians , California ($200,000)
Mission Reserve Restoration Project 
The project is a one year endeavor to remove invasive species on the reserve, restore native species, and outreach to the community, communicating the importance in improving wildlife habitat. The Pauma Band of Mission Indians has partnered for this project with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), San Diego Audubon Society, and California Department of Parks and Recreation to accomplish the goals of this project.

Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians, California ($187,000)
Scotts Creek Eight Mile/Hitch Habitat Enhancement Project
These funds will allow for the development of a habitat enhancement project in the Eight Mile Valley, a 20 acre region that is the headwaters reach of Scott Creek; a tributary to Clear Lake located in Lake County, California. The goal is to restore the natural channel-floodplain relationship in the valley to reduce sedimentation into Clear Lake and enhance instream habitat to the Clear Lake Hitch (Lavinia exillicauda chi); listed by the California Department of Fish and Game as a Fish Species of Special Concern in California in 1995

Wiyot Tribe, California ($200,000)
Eel River Pacific Lamprey Restoration Project
The primary objective of this project is to identify specific causes of declines to the Pacific Lamprey (Lampetra tridentata) populations along the Eel River. Funding will support an assessment to identify overall habitat and biological constraints affecting the survival of key life stages of the Pacific Lamprey. Primary work activities for this project will be to conduct a instream habitat and passage assessment to inform future planning efforts. 
 
Yurok Tribe, California ($200,000)
Assessing Reintroduction Potential and Planning for Management of California Condors in the Greater Yurok Ancestral Region
Grant funds will support planning activities to re-introduce the California Condors (Gymnogyps californianus), a federal and State listed Species, back into the Yurok ancestral territory. The Tribe has been partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, California State Department of Parks and Recreation, and Ventana Wildlife Society, and many others to accomplish the planning activities for effectively re-introducing the condor back into their former, historical northern range.

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Nevada ($200,000)
Habitat Restoration to Promote Reproductive Success of the Cui-ui below Marble Bluff Dam
This grant funding will be used to conduct habitat assessments and to restore and revegetate a section of the Truckee River located below Marble Bluff Dam. Removal of invasive species and revegetation of the stream banks will facilitate bank stability decreasing sediment inputs into the river. Riparian planting will also provide better instream habitat for the endemic Cui-ui (Chasmistes cuius). Work activities for this project will also be spawning habitat surveys and mapping to provide baseline data valuable for evaluating project success.  

The Wildlife Action Plan Tribal Grant supports the Tribe in sustaining ecosystem integrity and conserving native aquatic and terrestrial species and their associated habitats by building on this knowledge.  With this award, the Tribe will build its ability to manage and conserve their precious fish and wildlife resources through long range integrated resource management planning. They will maintain viable populations of game and non-game species and manage their associated habitat to enhance game species. Finally, the Tribe will sustain and restore native fish populations of cultural and conservation concern.

The grants are provided exclusively to federally-recognized Indian tribal governments and are made possible under the Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2002 through the State and Tribal Wildlife Grant program. The Request for Proposals for the 2012 grant cycle will be open until September 2, 2011.  For more information and a TWG Application Kit, visit http://www.fws.gov/nativeamerican/grants.html.

-FWS-

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