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Midwest Region
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Ruffed grouse population, reproduction and habitat selction will be studied by the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Photo by Lindsay Stedman/USFWS.

Ruffed grouse population, reproduction and habitat selection will be studied by the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Photo by Lindsay Stedman/USFWS.

Federally recognized tribes in the Midwest are awarded tribal wildlife grants

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Midwest Region is pleased to announce funding for two tribal fish and wildlife conservation projects totaling $395,396 through the Service’s Tribal Wildlife Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2017. The following federally recognized tribes received funding: Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Tribal Wildlife Grants provide assistance to federally recognized tribes for development and implementation of programs that benefit fish and wildlife resources and their habitat. Activities funded through the program may include: planning for wildlife and habitat conservation, fish and wildlife conservation and management actions, fish and wildlife related research, habitat mapping, field surveys and population monitoring, habitat protection and public education relevant to the conservation project.

“The Trump Administration is working hard with states and local communities to find solutions that are driven at the local level, rather than in Washington, D.C. As a hunter, I know the​ work of state wildlife agencies is absolutely critical to wildlife conservation in the United States,” said Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt. “We're thrilled to be able to collaborate with them, their local communities, and other partners to ensure important fish, wildlife, habitat and cultural needs are met. Tribal and state wildlife grants are foundational to protecting our nation’s wildlife legacy, including game and non-game species.”

Since 2003, more than 445 projects -- totaling over $76 million have been funded nationwide, to federally recognized tribes through the Service’s Tribal Wildlife Grant Program. These projects have made a substantial difference on the ground and have helped build capacity for tribal management of culturally important fish, wildlife and plant species.

Fiscal Year 2017 Midwest Region funded projects include:

Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe ($199,075)

Identifying Key Habitats for the Conservation of Juvenile and Adult Walleye in Mille Lacs Lake.
This study’s objectives are to: 1) assess the thermal niche of juvenile and adult walleye across seasons; 2) identify aquatic habitats that are key for adult and juvenile life stages; and 3) identify temporal, spatial, and thermal overlap of juvenile and adult walleye habitats.

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians ($196,321)

Developing an adaptive management process for ruffed grouse in the 1836 Ceded Territory
Sault Tribe’s Inland Fish and Wildlife Department seeks to: 1) increase Sault Tribe’s capacity to partner in forest and wildlife management and climate change planning; 2) assess ruffed grouse survival, reproduction, habitat selection across a gradient of aspen dominance; and 3) collaborate and work with the U.S. Forest Service, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and other tribes in the 1836 Ceded Territory to establish a ruffed grouse advisory board and generate recommendations for alternative ruffed grouse management.

Nationwide the Service received 74 proposals requesting a total of $12.64 million in project funding this year. The proposals were reviewed by regional and national scoring panels and 25 projects totaling $4.2 million were funded. The Service is honored to work with federally recognized tribes to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of tribal citizens and the American public.

By Alejandro Morales
Regional Office - External Affairs

Last updated: September 13, 2017