US Fish & Wildlife Service logo
Southeast Region US Fish & Wildlife Service header


Secretary Norton Announces $8 million in Grants to Tribes to Help Conserve Fish and Wildlife


August 11, 2005

Contacts: Patricia Fisher, (202) 208-5634

Interior Secretary Gale Norton today announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is awarding nearly $8.1 million to help 45 federally recognized Indian tribes manage, conserve and protect fish and wildlife resources on tribal lands in 18 states.

The Service is awarding the grants under two programs: the Tribal Landowner Incentive Program and Tribal Wildlife Grant Program. The Tribal Landowner Incentive Program supports federally recognized Indian tribes to protect, restore, and manage habitat for species at-risk, including federally listed endangered or threatened species, as well as proposed or candidate species on tribal lands. The Service is providing about $2.1 million to help fund 17 Tribal Landowner Incentive projects.

About $6 million will help fund 28 projects under the Tribal Wildlife Grant program. These grants are awarded to federally recognized Indian tribes to benefit fish, wildlife and their habitat including species that are not hunted or fished.

“We are empowering Tribes to do what the federal government cannot do alone for imperiled species on tribal lands,” said Secretary of the Department of Interior Gale Norton. "These programs help us preserve tribal lands and their natural resources to conserve our shared wildlife heritage."

Since 2003, the Service has put $23 million to work for tribal conservation efforts through both the Tribal Landowner Incentive Program and the Tribal Wildlife Grant Program.

“From the Orca inlet in Alaska to the cypress swamps in Florida, Indians and Indian tribes are helping us achieve our mission,” said acting FWS director Matt Hogan. “Thanks to these two special grant programs, we are strengthening our partnerships to promote species conservation and protect healthy ecosystems for future generations.”

The 562 federally recognized Indians and Indian tribes have a controlling interest in more than 52 million acres of tribal trust lands and an additional 40 million acres held by Alaska native corporations. Much of this land is relatively undisturbed, providing a significant amount of rare and important fish and wildlife habitat.

Examples of Tribal Landowner Incentive Program grants awarded today:

The Lummi Tribe in Washington will receive $150,000 to design the Upper South Fork Instream Project, which will support salmon recovery in the Nooksack River basin. Designated as the highest priority for habitat restoration for Nookstack stocks, this 16-mile reach will provide habitat for chinook and other salmonid species. The Lummi tribe will design permit-ready projects that address habitat diversity, channel stability, sediment load and water quality to address salmonid critical habitat needs.

The Native Village of Eyak in Alaska will receive $149,559 to help restore the razor clam in southeastern Prince William Sound. After declaring the razor clam a species-at-risk, the Traditional Council of the Native Village of Eyak requested funding to help them restore the stock to levels that would sustain a subsistence harvest and eventually provide commercial harvest opportunities.

The Penobscot Indian Nation in Maine will receive $149,490 to restore and reopen 500 miles of river habitat for shortnose sturgeon, Atlantic salmon, American eel, American shad, and alewives. The Penobscot are working with numerous partners to remove two large dams, decommission a third, and boost power production at six other dams in the Penobscot watershed. For the first time in over 200 years, 100 percent of migratory fish historical habitat will be reopened.

Examples of Tribal Wildlife Grants awarded today:

The Pueblo of Acoma will receive $250,000 to study bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain Elk in New Mexico. They will use GIS landscape methods to evaluate if the 431,000-acre reservation contains suitable habitat for a potential reintroduction of bighorn sheep. They are also monitoring Rocky Mountain elk movements using GPS collars to document migration patterns, seasonal usage, and identify critical areas.

The White Earth Band of Ojibwe will receive $155,000 to rear and restock Lake Sturgeon in Minnesota’s Red River watershed. The White Earth Reservation Lake Sturgeon Recovery Plan requires 8,000 fingerlings to be reared and stocked in White Earth Lake, and an additional 5,000 fingerlings to be reared and stocked into Round Lake every year. With their partners at both the state and federal level, the White Earth Land Recovery Project and Rainy River First Nations have reintroduced over 48,000 fingerlings of this endangered species into its historical habitat.

The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe in South Dakota will receive $250,000 to reintroduce both the swift fox and black-footed ferret to the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation. These species will help restore ecological balance, increase biodiversity and promote prairie ecosystem conservation by increasing public awareness.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida will receive $250,000 to develop an invasive species management plan for both plant and fish species on the Big Cypress and Brighton reservations. They will determine the impact of non-indigenous fish populations on native fish populations and remove exotic plant species, which will help restore habitat for the federally protected wood stork, Florida panther, Audubon’s Crested Cara Cara, and bald eagle.

The Chickaloon Native Traditional Council in Alaska will receive $167,768 to restore fish passage and improve habitat on Moose Creek. They will restore over 1000 lineal feet of stream channel from a fast flowing steep channel to a step-pool system that improves fish passage for adult and juvenile coho and Chinook salmon, dolly varden and trout. They will also enhance 2.5 acres of riparian vegetation in the flood plain.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

The Tribal Landowner Incentive Program supports federally recognized Indian tribes to protect, restore, and manage habitat to benefit species at-risk, including federally listed endangered or threatened species, as well as proposed or candidate species on tribal lands. The Service has approximately $2.14 million available for this program and will fund 17 of the 35 proposals submitted. These selected grants represent 17 tribes in 11 states.

Tribal Landowner Incentive Program grants awarded

Native Village of Eyak -- $149,559
Razor Clam Rehabilitation Project

Susanville Tribe -- $28,525
Cradle Valley Indigenous Landscape Enhancement Project

Round Valley Indian Tribes -- $95,300
Mill Creek Habitat Restoration Project and Fisheries and Wildlife Management Plan

Penobscot Indian Nation -- $149,490
Katahdin to the Sea: Restoring the Penobscot River Ecosystem (Phase 2)

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians -- $17,800
Inventory and Protection of White Ash and Black Ash

Little River Band of Ottawa Indians -- $149,805
Comprehensive Management Plan for White-Tailed Deer

Grand Portage Band of Chippewa Indians -- $141,616
Identification of Suitable Habitat for Canada Lynx

Fort Peck Tribes -- $150,000
Manning Lake Wetlands Tribal Wildlife Refuge Project

Northern Cheyenne Tribe -- $150,000
Native Prairie Conservation Incentive Program

Spirit Lake Nation -- $150,000
Assessment of Flooded Habitats, Important Wildlife Habitats and the Development of a Land Use Plan

Pueblo of Sandia -- $78,094
Wetland/Bosque Pond Restoration Project for Habitat Creation for the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

Pueblo of Santa Ana -- $149,997
Pueblo of Santa Ana Rio Grande Restoration Program: Rio Grande Silvery Minnow Survey and Habitat Assessment

Duck Valley - Shoshone-Paiute Tribe -- $149,347
Survey Wildlife and Habitat in the Blue Creek Wetlands for the Development of a Wetlands Management Plan

Lower Brule Sioux Tribe -- $149,904
County Line Prairie Restoration and Conservation Project

Lummi Tribe -- $150,000
Upper South Fork Instream Project Design

Nooksack Tribe -- $103,000
Replacement of Multiple Fish Passage Barriers

Yakama Tribe -- $149,981
Shrub-Steppe Rehabilitation and Management Project

The Tribal Wildlife Grant Program supports federally recognized Indian tribes to develop and implement programs that benefit wildlife and their habitat, including non-game species on tribal lands. The Service has approximately $5.98 million available for this program and will fund 28 of the 121 proposals submitted. These selected grants represent 28 tribes in 16 states.

Tribal Wildlife Grants awarded

Chickaloon Village Traditional Council -- $167,768
Moose Creek Fish Passage Restoration Project

Huslia Tribal Council -- $248,100
A Holsitic Appraoch to Managing Moose along the Koyukuk River

Native Village of Larsen Bay -- $75,000
Acquire and Apply Digital Orthophoto and GIS Technologies in the Karluk River Watershed

Native Village of Port Lions -- $250,000
Port Lions Brown Bear Rehabilitation Project

Poarch Band of Creek Indians -- $225,000
Box Turtle, Migratory Duck & Longleaf Pine Ecosystem Recovery Project on the Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve

Hopi Tribe -- $250,000
Golden Eagle Nest Inventory, Population, Productivity Survey and Ethnographic Study

San Carlos Apache Tribe -- $249,596
Assessment of Domestic Cattle Mortality in an Area of Mexican Wolves and Three Other Sympatric Carnivores on the San Carlos Apache Reservation

Hopland Tribe -- $119,417
Hopland Band of Pomo Indians Creek Habitat Restoration Project

Twenty-Nine Palms Tribe -- 249,847
Old Woman Mountain Preserve Project

Seminole Tribe of Florida -- $250,000
Development of an Invasive Species Management Plan for Fish and Plant Species on Lands of the Seminole Tribe of Florida


For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at or

NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at Our national home page is at:, GA 30345
Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286

Graphic for Clickable Items Click for Privacy Statement Click here for Freedom of Information Act Statement Click here for Disclaimer Statement Click here to Contact the Southeast Region Click here for Sitemap Click here for the Search Engine for US Fish and Wildlife Service Click here for the Regions in the US Fish and Wildlife Service