Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
Pacific Region Tribes to Receive Funding To Enhance Restore Habitat and Protect Species

March 25, 2016


Division of Public Affairs
External Affairs
Telephone: 703-358-2220

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe announced nearly $5 million in Tribal Wildlife Grants (TWG) will go to fund 29 Native American projects that benefit fish and wildlife resources and their habitats.  Of those funds, $964,163 will be awarded to tribes in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

“Tribal Wildlife Grants help our tribal partners fund and staff conservation projects of cultural and national significance,” said Pacific Regional Director, Robyn Thorson.  “Tribal nations are North America’s original stewards of our natural resources.  With assistance from these grants, Tribal members expand their Natural Resource programs and explore additional opportunities to help conserve fish, wildlife, and plants for present and future generations.”

Since 2003, this program has provided more than $72 million to Native American tribes for more than 420 conservation projects administered by federally recognized tribes.  These grants provide technical and financial assistance for the development and implementation of projects (including non-game species) that benefit fish, wildlife, cultural and natural resources.

The grants have enabled tribes to develop increased management capacity, improve and enhance relationships with partners including state agencies, address cultural and environmental priorities, and train the next generation of conservationists by engaging tribal students interested in fisheries, wildlife and related fields of study.  Some grants have been awarded to support recovery efforts for federally listed threatened and endangered species.

The grants are provided exclusively to federally recognized 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 2017 grant cycle will be due in the fall of 2016.  For additional information about Native American conservation projects and the Tribal Wildlife Grants application process, visit

Grants awarded for the 2016 Grant Cycle in the Pacific Region are:

Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians

The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians will receive $96,635 for the Tenmile Lakes Basin Lamprey Conservation Project.  The tribe is taking a proactive approach to support the return of lamprey populations in the Tenmile Lakes Basin on the Southern Oregon Coast.  This project reflects a Tribal priority based on the historical importance of these ancestral lands, as well as the cultural and historical importance of the lamprey to tribes.

With assistance from their collaborative partners, the tribe will undertake a demonstration project on Eel Creek in the basin, where they will conduct an in-stream survey and document lamprey spawning habitat conditions and passage impediments.  An additional part of the project includes mitigating in-stream lamprey passage impediments and designing, fabricating, and installing a lamprey passage structure at the Eel Creek Dam to allow for lamprey access to Eel Lake.

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

Since the Removal of two large dams on the Elwha River, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe has been successfully restoring the natural habitat and bringing back native species to the area.  The awarded project for 2016 entitled ‘Lamprey re-colonization of the Elwha River post dam removal’ will provide the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe $187,125 to study and document the re-colonization process for these important species. This will be accomplished by tracking successful adult lamprey spawning migrations (using radiotelemetry), mapping nest construction, and surveying for larvae in restored habitats.

Nez Perce Tribe

Idaho’s Nez Perce Tribe will receive $200,000 to bring condors back to the Pacific Northwest.  The Tribe’s “Condors in Hells Canyon: an assessment of habitat and threats to successful reintroduction” project will conduct comprehensive field?based assessments of California condor nesting, roosting and foraging habitat within the greater Hells Canyon ecosystem.  This study will also provide valuable data on potential threats to condor reintroduction to the region and is the first step in a multi?level process to reintroduce condors to the region.

Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe

Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe was awarded $187, 400 for a population dynamics study on Mountain goats in the North Cascades.  The Tribe proposes to capture and collar 20 mountain goats in the mountain ranges near Darrington, Washington and will monitor and record their daily movements.   An additional benefit of this study would be the data collected on weather conditions that will help identify patterns and changes in the goat’s activity.  The grant will also enable the Tribe to conduct aerial surveys to collect photos and evidence on mountain goat populations, spring calving and herd mortality.  Data like this is needed to determine prime habitat selection and seasonal movement patterns in a changing climate.  Partnering with the Stillaguamish Native American Tribe and others, TWG funding will have a much larger impact on these imperiled species and the resulting research on mountain goats in the Sauk and Stillaguamish Watersheds will identify how warmer, drier climate conditions in local alpine areas may affect mountain goats now and into the future.

Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon

Oak habitat will be restored at Rattlesnake Butte Wildlife Area with an award of $124,240 to the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon.  The Tribe and its partners plan to restore 83.5 acres of oak habitat within Rattlesnake Butte, which will result in restoration of both oak savanna and oak woodland habitats.   The TWG funds will enable the tribe to conduct habitat assessments on portions of the 34.8 acres of oak savanna and the 48.7 acres of oak woodland on the butte.  Habitat restoration will also take place with the development of treatment prescriptions and map the applications using Arc GIS.

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe

Wildlife resource managers work closely with the Tribes to manage black bear populations for multiple user groups in western Washington.  The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe is awarded $168,563 to manage black bear populations for sustainability and hunter opportunity, while also collecting important information on black bear population size, demographics, and the effects on timber resources in the White River watershed.


See the complete list of 2016 Awarded Grants

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