This web page is provided as a service to Tribes. Information is compiled from many sources. The information and opinions from sources other than the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Service. For additions or corrections to tribal "Tracks" news: contact Ivy Allen, Phone: 303-236-4575, Email: Ivy_Allen@fws.gov.
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Tribal Conservation of the Sagebrush Ecosystem
The Mountain-Prairie Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has sent out a requeste for proposals (RFP) for "Tribal Conservation of the Sagebrush Ecosystem." Approximately $70,000 in funding is available through this RFP. The RFP packet includes information and guidance for preparing and submitting a project proposal. Applications are limited to Federally recognized tribal governments who manage lands capable of achieving long-term on-the-ground conservation actions for the sage-steppe ecosystem and associated species.
***Note: This RPF is limited to only those Tribes located within the Mountain-Prairie Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is shown below in a list and pictured in the RFP on the map.
Photo: Wyoming sagebrush and desert Indian paintbrush on Seedskadee NWR . Credit:: Tom Koerner/ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Reminder: September 3 Application Deadline for
Tribal Wildlife Grants (TWG)
The request for proposals for the FY 2015 TWG grant cycle opened May 1, 2014 and will close September 3, 2014.
Tribal Wildlife Grants (TWG) provide up to $200,000 to support Native American tribal governments to develop or enhance their capacity to manage and conserve fish and wildlife resources. In Fiscal Year 2014, the Tribal Wildlife Grants program was funded at $4,084,000.
Proposals must be submitted to the appropriate Regional Office, postmarked by September 3, 2013. Tribes with a headquarters office located in the states of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota should submit applications to the address listed below.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Native American Liaison
134 Union Blvd.,
Lakewood, CO 80228
***View the Application Kit which includes information and guidance for preparing and submitting a project proposal.
***For best rankings, proposals should align with the Mountain-Prairie Regional Priorities (PDF 1 MB).
Spring 2014 - Peaks to Prairies: Mountain-Prairie Regional Newsletter
FOCUS ON: HEALTHY LANDSCAPES
From Regional Director, Noreen Walsh
I spend a lot of time nowadays thinking about what the future holds for my children and yours. Thinking about whether they will get to experience the same kind of wild places that have touched my heart and generated a sense of wonder about the diversity and beauty found on earth. I recently returned from a visit to the Centennial and Big Hole Valleys in Montana, and heard the voice of these places, first because of the raw beauty of these landscapes, but soon thereafter because of the good people I met. I was there to see firsthand, the efforts to conserve the Arctic grayling, a magnificent colorful fish of these mountain streams. Declining in recent times due to a variety of factors, these fish had come under consideration for Endangered Species Act protection
Click here or on the photo to read more from our Regional Director, Noreen Walsh, and about the landscapes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working to protect in this edition of Peaks to Prairies.
New Issue of the Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management Now Available
View and download the below articles for the Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management online here.
Clement J. Frost sworn in as Southern Ute chairman
After six years in retirement, Clement J. Frost has returned to the office of Southern Ute chairman. Frost was sworn into office Thursday, May 29 as the new chairman of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Gaining 33 percent of all votes cast in the May 28 special election, Frost will serve out the remaining six months of late Chairman Jimmy R. Newton Jr.'s term.
Frost is no stranger to the Tribal Council or chairmanship. He has been in and out of office since first being elected to the council in 1979. He first became tribal chairman in 1996 and previously has served as Southern Ute chairman for a total of seven years. With time already ticking on Frost's term, he wasted no time appointing Councilman Mel Baker as the new vice chairman. "I thought about who would be best to listen to the tribal members today, and I am appointing Mel Baker my vice chair. He worked for housing, and he has been out there talking to the people and I know I have his support," Frost said. He then went on to appoint his former vice chairman, Michelle Olguin, as the new executive officer.
Native American Fish and Wildlife Society News From the Eagle's Nest
The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society is pleased to send you our latest newsletter, From the Eagle's Nest. We are glad to provide you with the latest news and information regarding news important to Native American tribes and natural resources.
No matter what the challenges we face or endure as a Society, we are resilient people who have survived much on our earthly path. In closing, I want to wish you all a blessed year ahead in 2014!
D. Fred Matt Executive Director of the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society
As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you would like to contribute to our newsletter. Thank you.
Service Announces Draft Economic Analysis, Draft Environmental Assessment for Revised Canada Lynx Critical Habitat
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a Draft Economic Analysis (DEA) and a draft environmental assessment for the proposed revised designation of critical habitat for the Contiguous U.S. Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Comments on an amended required determinations section of the proposal may also be made during this comment period.
The Service is also reopening the comment period on the September 26, 2013 proposed revised designation of critical habitat for the lynx DPS to allow all interested parties the opportunity to comment simultaneously on the revised proposed rule, the associated DEA, the draft environmental assessment, and the amended required determinations section. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted, as they will be fully considered in preparation of the final rule.
Green Works for Climate Resilience: A Guide to Community Planning for Climate Change
The National Wildlife Federation is intending this guide is to provide an overview of the kinds of nature-based approaches that can be used to respond to and prepare for the impacts of climate change. Although this guide is not exhaustive, it highlights common examples, profiles approaches that communities are already using, and describes strategies that communities can use to implement nature based approaches.
Today, more than half of the people in the world, and 80% of the US population, live in urban areas. Cities are on the frontlines of climate change impacts, such as sea-level rise and coastal flooding, drought, and extreme weather - all of which are exacerbating existing urban challenges, including resource degradation, economic downturns, affordable housing crises and others. The ability of cities to thrive in the face of rapid growth and a changing climate will depend on the ways in which we plan, develop, and manage our cities in the coming decades.
Funding Opportunity for Clean Air
National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program
EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality is soliciting proposals nationwide for Tribal projects that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions in terms of tons of pollution produced by diesel engines and diesel emissions exposure, particularly from fleets operating in areas designated by the Administrator as poor air quality areas.
Eligible diesel emission reduction solutions include verified emission control technologies such as exhaust controls, cleaner fuels, and engine upgrades, verified idle reduction technologies, verified aerodynamic technologies and low rolling resistance tires, certified engine repowers, and/or certified vehicle or equipment replacement.
The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately $1 million.
Eligibility: tribal agency or Inter-tribal consortium with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality. Funding opportunity # EPA-OAR-OTAQ-14-06. Deadline: 8/12/14.
Tribal Climate Change Newsletter May 2014
Welcome to the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) Tribal Climate Change Newsletter. This monthly newsletter provides news items, resources, announcements about funding opportunities, conferences, and training, and other information relevant to tribal climate change issues.
Would you like to receive this newsletter directly in your email in-box? Send an email to Sue Wotkyns, Climate Change Program Manager 928-523-1488 to subscribe or unsubscribe to the newsletter.
The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP) was created in 1992 to act as a catalyst among tribal governments, research and technical resources at Northern Arizona University (NAU), in support of environmental protection of Native American natural resources.
BIA Draft Integrated Noxious Weed Management Plan and Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Weed Control Projects on Indian Lands
The Bureau of Indian Affairs Western Region, Division of Natural Resources, has developed a Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) to evaluate noxious weed control projects within BIA Western Region funded by the BIA Noxious Weed Program, and related cooperative projects. The Integrated Noxious Weed Management Plan outlines the noxious weed control techniques to be carried out and describes control strategies for specific noxious weed species and management zones. The PEA evaluates potential impacts on the human and natural environment, in accordance with the provisions of Section 102(2) (c) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 P.L. 91-190 (NEPA).
Service Determines New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse Warrants Protection Under ESA
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the final listing of the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse - a small furry mammal found on riparian areas and wetlands in New Mexico, southern Colorado and eastern Arizona - as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The final rule will publish in the Federal Register on June 10, 2014, and will be effective 30 days after publication.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determination that the jumping mouse warrants listing as an endangered species is based on the significant decline of its populations in occupied localities due to cumulative habitat loss and fragmentation across its range, of which 95 percent is on federal and state lands. Ongoing habitat loss is expected to result in additional extirpations of populations. The primary sources of habitat loss include impacts from grazing, water management and use, drought (exacerbated by climate change) and wildfires (also exacerbated by climate change).
Obama Administration Announces $6.7 Million to Hire Young People to Work on Public Lands Across the Nation
Secretary Jewell Joined Groundwork Denver, Youth Corps Members at Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge, site of One of 43 projects Winning Grants on May 22, 2014
As part of the Department of the Interior's ambitious youth initiative to inspire millions of young adults and veterans to play, learn, serve and work in the great outdoors and the President's 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Initiative, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell came to Denver to announce $6.7 million in grants to support conservation employment and mentoring opportunities at 43 projects on public lands across the country - a 60 percent increase over last year's funding.
The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society took some time to stop by and visit with Secretary Jewel during the event!
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lists Lesser Prairie-Chicken as Threatened Species and Finalizes Special Rule Endorsing Landmark State Conservation Plan
Special Rule Establishes Unprecedented Conservation Partnership with States to Provide Regulatory Certainty for Landowners and Businesses; Enables States to Maintain Lead Management for Conservation Efforts
In response to the rapid and severe decline of the lesser prairie-chicken, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced the final listing of the species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as well as a final special rule under section 4(d) of the ESA that will limit regulatory impacts on landowners and businesses from this listing. Under the law, a "threatened" listing means the species is likely to become in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future; it is a step below "endangered" under the ESA and allows for more flexibility in how the Act's protections are implemented.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Availability of the Final Revised Recovery Plan for the Pallid Sturgeon
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service releases a Pallid Sturgeon Revised Recovery Plan (Plan). The Pallid Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) is a bottom-feeding fish considered to be a relic of the dinosaur era, which historically occupied the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers in Montana downstream to the Missouri-Mississippi confluence and the Mississippi River possibly from near Keokuk, Iowa, downstream to New Orleans, Louisiana.
The species is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act). Pallid Sturgeon are an important indicator of the health of several of America's largest rivers, and represent a unique piece of America's natural history, with fossil ancestors dating back over 70 million years. The draft revised plan summarizes and updates the available information on the species life history needs, reevaluates the threats to the species, and identifies recovery efforts.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Asks Public to Share the Shoreline with the Piping Plover
Less than 3,000 piping plovers remain in North America, which is why they are listed as endangered in the Great Lakes and threatened on the Atlantic coast and in the Northern Great Plains. Piping plovers are small, stocky migratory shorebirds and more than half of the continent's population nests in North Dakota.
This year, due to rising water levels, plovers are running out of shoreline at North Dakota's Lake Sakakawea. This has caused the species to nest in areas where they normally might not choose, including high traffic areas near parking lots and boat ramp areas. Piping plovers are very sensitive to human presence. Too much disturbance causes the parent birds to abandon their nest.
Utah's First Condor Chick?
The California condor is the largest bird in North America, and is one of our nation's most magnificent birds, with wings spanning an amazing nine and half feet!
A cooperative venture between wildlife conservation and public land management agencies excitedly and optimistically reports that a California condor has apparently hatched in the wild in the state of Utah for the first time since an experimental population was released in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in northern Arizona in 1996. Biologists are waiting to visually confirm the chick's existence before the milestone becomes official, but recent behaviors by the adult pair are encouraging. Captive bred condors continue to be released in northern Arizona and have successfully nested there; however, they have been spending more time in Utah each year.
California Condors are highly endangered. Only 22 individuals remained alive in 1982. The Peregrine Fund produces condors at the World Center for Birds of Prey in Idaho and releases them in Arizona as a "non-essential experimental population" under a Memorandum of Understanding and applicable special permits with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and others.
Graham's Beardtongue and White River Beardtongue Draft Economic Analysis, Draft Environmental Assessment & Draft Conservation Agreement
Public comment period reopened until July 7, 2014
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the availability of a draft economic analysis and draft environmental assessment on a proposal to designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for Graham's beardtongue and White River beardtongue, two endemic plants found on oil shale soils in Uintah and Duchesne Counties, Utah, and Rio Blanco County, Colorado. The Service also announced the availability of a draft conservation agreement for the two species. The Service will reopen the public comment period until July 7, 2014, on the August 6, 2013, proposed listing rule and proposed designation of critical habitat for both species; a draft environmental assessment; and additional data on species occurrences obtained since the proposed rule.
Extension of Final Decision on Listing the Gunnison Sage-Grouse
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the D.C. District Court has granted a six-month extension of the deadline to make the final decision on whether to list the Gunnison sage-grouse for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The extension, granted with the consent of the plaintiff in the relevant court case, will provide additional time for the Service to review information received during the public review process on whether final listing as a "threatened species" may be necessary. The Service originally proposed an "endangered species" listing. The Service will propose a 4(d) special rule to tailor the take prohibitions of the ESA to those necessary and advisable for conservation of the species. This time extension will allow for public engagement and comment on that special rule before a final listing determination.
The Gunnison sage-grouse lives in isolated portions of Colorado and Utah. Its former range, extending into Arizona and New Mexico, was whittled down by energy development, cattle grazing, and invasive weeds that disturbed the sagebrush habitat on which the grouse survives. This male grouse is in full strut, fanning his tail feathers and inflating the air sacs on his chest. (Courtesy G. Vyn)
Eagle Summit Update
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society (Native American Fish and Wildlife Society) NAFWS co-hosted an Eagle Summit III, followed by a government-to-government consultation regarding eagles in Denver, Colorado, on Thursday, March 20, 2014. This event was free and the date and city were chosen to coincide with the Denver March Powwow.
Download Documents and Photos from Eagle Summit III
Federal Agencies Propose Revised Rules to Improve Implementation of the Endangered Species Act
Address processes for designating and implementing critical habitat
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service - the two federal agencies responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act (ESA) - proposed two rules and a policy to improve the process of designating areas of "critical habitat" and consulting on the effects of federal actions on critical habitat. These proposals are designed to increase the predictability and transparency of the Services' actions related to critical habitat under the ESA.
Critical habitat represents the habitat essential for a species' recovery. The ESA requires, with few exceptions, that critical habitat be designated for species that are protected under the act. Critical habitat designations do not create reserves or protected areas, but federal agencies are required to consult with the Services to ensure that any actions they authorize, fund or carry out are not likely to result in the "destruction or adverse modification" of designated critical habitat.