Newsroom Midwest Region

Three midwest tribes awarded tribal wildlife grants for species of traditional importance

July 17, 2018

A white-tailed deer, Blanding’s turtle and American woodcock. Photos by USFWS.
A white-tailed deer, Blanding’s turtle and American woodcock. Photos by USFWS.

We at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are pleased to announce funding for three tribal fish and wildlife conservation projects. These projects are awarded through our Tribal Wildlife Grant Program and total $563,279. The following federally recognized tribes will be awarded for their outstanding proposals: Grand Portage Band of Chippewa Indians, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians.

Tribal wildlife grants provide assistance to federally recognized tribes for development and implementation of programs that benefit fish, wildlife, plants and the natural resources for their habitats. 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.

Since 2003, more than 473 projects, totaling more than $93 million have been funded nationwide to federally recognized tribes through the 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.

2018 Midwest Region tribal wildlife grant projects include:

Grand Portage Band of Chippewa Indians ($199,999)

Mooz (moose) habitat overlap with white-tail deer: understanding the spatial and temporal risks of parasite transmission in multi-species boreal system

Grand Portage plans to utilize global positioning system (GPS) radio telemetry technology and existing data to evaluate habitats shared by moose and deer. By researching the shared habitats, Grand Portage will be able to perform an epidemiological study to quantify transmission of the brainworm parasite between deer and moose. The research will be conducted by surveying gastropods in deer and moose feces to determine which species might contribute to brainworm transmission. This data will contribute to Grand Portage’s moose management and help guide external partners in making decisions for moose management.

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians ($165,068)

Finding, protecting and managing important turtle areas

The Pokagon Band Department of Natural Resources will be monitoring three turtle species including the Blanding’s turtle, spotted turtle and eastern box turtle on tribal lands. Turtles are an important species to the band. The largest clan in the Pokagon Band is Turtle clan, a Water clan, whose members were traditionally responsible for caring for the earth and water, and making sure natural resources were in harmony with people. Unfortunately, all three turtle species are imperiled and are facing a decline in population, habitat and sightings. The Pokagon band would like to research how to best keep these species from becoming threatened or endangered of extinction.

Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians ($198,212)

Golden-winged warbler and American woodcock monitoring, critical habitat restoration and young forest education project

Red Lake will conduct research on 44,000 acres of tribal land to identify potential American woodcock and golden-winged warbler habitat restoration sites. Breeding bird counts will be conducted to evaluate restoration efforts and develop maps to illustrate the best sites for restoration efforts. The research will assist Red Lake in making a decision to restore existing habitat or create 500 acres of new young and mixed aged forests. Additionally, the research will help Red Lake update their management plan for both species on the reservation.

Nationwide, we received a total of 102 proposals requesting more than $17 million. The proposals were reviewed by regional and national scoring panels and a total of 28 tribal wildlife grants are being awarded, totaling $5,058,496. We are 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.