The Native American Policy. of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service articulates the general principles thatguide our government-to-government relationships with Indian Tribes in the conservation of fish and wildlife resources. The conservation values and partnerships that we share with Indian Tribes help the Service to accomplish its mission and fulfill our Federal and Departmental trust responsibilities to Native Americans.
For questions about this policy or how we work with our Tribal partners, contact the Regional Native American Liaison for your area of the country.
Click on a thumbnail to download a DOI state map for federal lands and Indian Reservations.
The Eaglecam at the National Conservation Training Center is provided by Outdoor Channel.Any advertisements associated with the video are not supported or associated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Outdoor Channel, in partnership with the National Conservation Training Center, provides this live EagleCam to stream the activities of the eagle nest located 110 feet up, in a tree on the grounds of the US FWS National Conservation Training Center. The nest has been active since 2006, fledging several juvenile bald eagles. The eagles return to the nest for the winter season around mid-January, with eggs being laid in early February. The eagles are wild birds, and anything can happen in the wild. NCTC does not interfere or intervene, and allows nature to take its course. You'll see life and you might see death, but this is real nature in action!
The crew poses in front of their mural. Photo credit: USFWS.
Native American Urban Youth Corps Devote Time to Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge Working on Conservation Projects
October 2014 In partnership with the Conservation Legacy, La Plazita Institute, Inc. and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service developed a conservation service project for a field crew of 8 Native American youth participants in October 2014 at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and a $25,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the La Plazita Native American Urban Corps was formed with the purpose of providing learning opportunities to Native Youth ages 16 to 25 as they work on conservation projects on Tribal and Ancestral lands and waters. At Valle de Oro NWR the crew was involved in a variety of important tasks including building trails to groundwater monitoring wells, clean-ups, community outreach and they even designed and painted a mural.
A wide variety of feathers are important in Native American
cultural and religious practices. Left to Right: Woodpecker feathers on rattle, American kestrel tail fan, Red-tailed hawk fan, Anhinga tail fan with macaw feather, Scissor-tailed flycatcher fan, Red-shafted flicker tail fan. Photo credit :USFWS.
Non-eagle Feather Repositories Receive Grants from Fish & Wildlife Service
Two non-eagle feather repositories established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) Southwest Region have been awarded Service migratory bird program grants to assist in providing legally obtained bird feathers and parts for Native American cultural, ceremonial and religious needs.
Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and Refuge Host Bat Blitz
Found in the Ozark Highlands and Boston Mountains ecoregions of northeastern Oklahoma and northwestern and north-central Arkansas, the Ozark big-eared bat is a medium sized bat with distinctively large ears.
Photo credit: Richard Stark / USFWS.
August 2013 The Ozark Plateau National Wildlife Refuge, in cooperation with the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, hosted the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network’s 12 Annual Bat Blitz, July 28 – August 1, 2013. A bat blitz is a coordinated, intensive bat survey designed to sample the bat community in an extensive area. About 100 people participated in this year’s bat blitz. Ten teams were divided up into field crews of about 10 each to conduct the surveys. Participants surveyed the bat community in the Ozark Highlands of northeastern Oklahoma, including the refuge, Wildlife Management Areas of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, and lands owned by the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, the City of Tulsa, and The Nature Conservancy. Hundreds of bats of nine different species were captured during the Bat Blitz, including the federally-listed endangered Ozark big-eared and gray bat. Experienced bat researchers served as team leaders at each netting site and supervised the work of the field crews. This cooperative blitz is just one example of how the Southwest Region and our Tribal partners do work together to achieve mutual conservation goals.
Non-Eagle Feather Repositories Established in Southwest
(Southwest Region – Arizona and Oklahoma) After a successful two-year pilot, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Southwest Region issued a permit enabling a non-eagle repository and distribution effort to continue on a permanent basis. The pilot was first approved in an effort to assist in meeting an unfilled need by Native Americans for feathers and other parts of migratory birds other than eagles for religious and cultural practices and beliefs.
In 2010, the Service’s Southwest Region established the pilot in partnership with the Comanche Nation Ethno-Ornithological Initiative, in Cyril, Oklahoma, and Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Both partners have successfully administered their facilities and achieved our mutual goals.
Over the two-year period of operation, the Oklahoma and Arizona Repositories have successfully distributed hundreds of feathers, parts and whole bird species – ranging from anhinga to red-tailed hawks – to Native Americans across the country representing more than 200 Tribes.
The Southwest Region continues to work with six different tribes to establish tribally managed eagle aviaries. The Region also continues to work with the Service’s National Eagle Repository to provide eagle feathers, parts and whole birds for cultural purposes. To learn more about our partnerships and collaborative work with tribes, visit our website at www.fws.gov/southwest
Southwest Region Awards Three Tribal Wildlife Grants
May 2013 For the Southwest Region, a total of 18 TWG proposals were received during the FY 2013 request for proposals, representing a funding request of $3,342,735. After a competitive scoring and ranking process, the top three proposals to be awarded are:
Hopi Tribe ($200,000)
Ecology of Golden Eagles on Hopi Lands. This ongoing study will assist in the Tribes continued efforts in studying the golden eagle ecology within the southwest and the Colorado Plateau, via the use of satellite tracking and monitoring of juvenile survivability and dispersal within the Colorado Plateau.
Navajo Nation ($200,000) Golden Eagle Aviary for the Navajo Nation. Expanding upon the Navajo Nation’s Zoo, this funding will allow the Nation to add an additional aviary that will aid the Zoo in furthering its mission by providing a home for more than 20 injured eagles that need a permanent home.
Jemez Pueblo ($200,000) Mule Deer and Elk: Habitat and Movements in Rapidly Changing Forests. This project will allow the Pueblo to further understand the seasonal movements of the deer and elk herds, identification of sensitive areas which will be critical to protect, and a greater understanding of the population size.
From left to right: LaDonna Harris,
Bill Voelker, Director of SIA,
Benjamin Tuggle, Southwest Regional Director USFWS,
Joe Early, NAL USFWS and
Troy - Co-Director of SIA, pose for a picture after the signing of the Non-Eagle Feather Repository MOA. Photo credit: L. Whittle, USFWS.
Establishment of the First Non-Eagle Feather Repository
(Albuquerque, New Mexico) Today, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service), in cooperation with the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma, established a two-year pilot, non-eagle feather repository to provide Native Americans with a permitted source to obtain non-eagle feathers from federally regulated migratory birds for religious and cultural use. For decades Native Americans have used various natural resources and wildlife for subsistence, as well as for cultural and religious purposes. Feathers remain one of the most sought after items by tribal cultural and religious practitioners. To assist in legal acquisition of federally regulated migratory bird feathers, the Service established the National Eagle Repository in Denver, Colorado. This repository serves as a legal source of eagles and eagle feathers for qualified, federally enrolled, tribal members for use in religious ceremonies. At one time, this repository also distributed other protected and regulated migratory birds, like hawks and falcons. However distribution of these non-eagle species was discontinued in the late 1990s. Since then, the Service has looked for ways to help meet tribal needs for non-eagle feathers. In cooperation with the Comanche Nation, the Service is issuing a permit to establish the first Native American-managed non-eagle feather repository. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and a permit were signed today enabling the Comanche Nation Ethno-Ornithological Initiative (SIA) based in Cyril, Okla., to receive and distribute regulated migratory bird feathers, deceased birds and parts from zoos, falconers, rehabilitators and other permitted sources to federally enrolled tribal members across the country. Learn more...
Dr. Tuggle and Megan Mosby, Executive Director, Liberty Wildlife, at the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society Southwest Region Conference, Phoenix, AZ. Photo credit: Joe early, USFWS.
Two-year Pilot Program Provides Opportunity to Establish Non-Eagle Feather Repositories.
The Comanche Nation Ethno-Ornithological Initiative (SIA) based in Cyril, Okla., became the first permitted and tribally managed non-eagle feather repository in the country. Now in cooperation with Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation, Scottsdale, Arizona, a second repository is permitted. Under the agreement established through a two-year pilot, these entities will work together and with the Service to assist Native Americans throughout the country to lawfully acquire migratory birds, their parts and feathers for religious and cultural purposes.
June 2,, 2009 — A journey inside the facility and an intimate look at the Eagles and other Raptors of the world currently living at Sia. Also included in the video is an honoring ceremony for the Region 2 USFWS Director Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, who has been an active supporter of Sia's endeavors. Credit: SIA. (Time: 9 min.)
Non-Eagle Feather Repository Receives National Award Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the 2011 Partners in Conservation Awards to 17 organizations who have achieved exemplary conservation results with community engagement and local partnerships. This year’s awards recognize more than 500 individuals from all 50 states and include representatives from Tribes, local communities and states, other Federal agencies, business and industry, nonprofit institutions, and private landowners. The awards also include 150 outstanding Interior employees who are helping to advance important conservation initiatives are also recognized this year. Learn more...