News Release

March 16, 2012

Pacific Region Tribes Receive Funding To Enhance and Restore Habitat and Protect Species

Media Contacts:
Jane Chorazy, (503) 231-2251

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced more than $4.2 million in Tribal Wildlife Grants that will fund a wide range of conservation projects by Native American Tribes in 17 states. These grants provide technical and financial assistance for development and implementation of projects that benefit fish and wildlife resources and their habitat, including non-game species. Of the grants awarded for the 2012 cycle, nearly $600,000 will be given to tribes in Oregon and Washington.

"Tribal Wildlife Grants help our tribal partners fund and staff conservation projects of cultural and national significance," said Service Director Dan Ashe. "Tribal nations are our country's leading stewards on conservation efforts, and these grants open the doors for consultation opportunities to help conserve fish, wildlife, and plants for present and future generations."

Since 2003, more than $54 million has gone to Native American Tribes through the Tribal Wildlife Grants program, providing support for more than 350 conservation projects administered by participating federally recognized tribes. Tribes in Washington, Oregon and Idaho have received nearly $13 million since the program's inception and have successfully completed more than 58 conservation projects that have increased management capacity, improved and enhanced relationships with partners including state agencies, addressed cultural and environmental priorities, and heightened interest of tribal students in fisheries, wildlife and related fields of study.

"Tribal Wildlife Grants are much more than a fiscal resource for tribes. The projects and partnerships supported by this program have enhanced our commitment to Native Americans and to shared wildlife resources in the Pacific Northwest," said Pacific Regional Director Robyn Thorson. "This program has enhanced the Service's efforts to collaborate more effectively with Pacific Region tribes in conserving and restoring the vast diversity of fish and wildlife habitats they manage."

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. Proposals for the 2013 grant cycle are due September 2, 2012. For additional information about Native American conservation projects and the TWG Application Kit, go to http://www.fws.gov/nativeamerican/grants.html.

For a complete list of the 2012 Awarded Tribal Wildlife Grants see the news release at http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/AMERICAS-GREAT-OUTDOORS-Salazar-Announces-More-than-4-point-2-Million-in-Conservation-Grants-to-Native-American-Tribes.cfm

To download the application for the FY 2013 Grant cycle: http://www.fws.gov/nativeamerican/grants.html

Grants Awarded in the Pacific Region are as follows:

OREGON

Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians $200,000
Lamprey Conservation Project in the Umpqua Basin

The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians will partner with the Fish and Wildlife Service to establish a program that will affect long-term change toward conservation of lamprey in the Umpqua Basin and meet the goals established in the Pacific Lamprey Conservation Plan. The Pacific lamprey is a culturally important species to the Tribe and an historic food source. Restoration of this unique fish can meet tribal and Service objectives. The tribe will complete the following objectives within the two year grant period:
" Hire coordinator and convene a multi-agency Umpqua Basin Lamprey Workgroup.
" Work on mapping distribution, habitat, spawning, barriers, and restoration opportunities.
" Research smallmouth bass predation on lamprey in the Umpqua Basin.
" Offer workshops on lamprey, lamprey identification and restoration.
" Monitor projects that affect lamprey.
" Visit with other tribes in the region to collect information on harvest and research.

WASHINGTON

Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe $199,389
Duckabush Elk Home Range, Herd Structure and Habitat Assessment Project

The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe will build on the tribes capacity to manage the Duckabush elk herd, the most economically and culturally important wildlife resource in the tribes traditional hunting area. A focused research, monitoring and enforcement effort is needed to reduce uncertainty in knowledge of the herds behavior, population trends, and response to hunting pressure. New knowledge obtained from this effort will improve hunting regulations and ensure sustained opportunities for subsistence and ceremonial elk harvest by Port Gamble SKlallam tribal hunters. This grant will enable the tribe to build enforcement infrastructure and construct a geographic database to assist in monitoring and regulating big game harvest.

Swinomish Indian Tribe $200,000
Kukutali Preserve Habitat Research and Conservation Management Plan

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community will continue executing the Kukutali Preserve Habitat Research and Conservation Management Plan and will inventory, manage, protect and enhance wildlife and habitat resources on the 118 acres of tidelands, nearshore, and old-growth forests of Kukutali Preserve on the Swinomish Reservation for the benefit of fish and wildlife of cultural significance to the Swinomish people. This project will develop a long-term, 50-year management plan for Preserve by the tribe and their partners, Washington State Parks, co-owners and managers of the Preserve.

This project will develop a baseline inventory and assessment of wildlife and habitat resources and create a conservation management plan to protect the sustainability of resources of Kukutali Preserve. This project will also provide restoration project design for the benefit of the threatened Skagit Chinook salmon by providing protection to critical rearing habitat and a restoration plan, fulfilling a key recommendation of the Skagit Chinook Recovery Plan 2005.

Inventories would identify baseline wildlife and habitat conditions including surveys of the uplands and tidelands. Results of the surveys and monitoring will be used to develop a conservation management plan that will be a key element of a permanent Kukutali Preserve Master Management Plan (ensuring long-term protection and benefits to rare and at-risk species and protect habitat conditions), design a restoration project to enhance conditions at Kiket Lagoon within the Preserve, and provide educational information and examples to educate tribal members and public visitors about fish and wildlife and their habitats.