History, Heritage, and Environmental Stewardship
Celebrating the Pacific Northwest Region's Tribal Wildlife Grants Recipients

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Since time immemorial, Tribes have relied on their plant and animal relatives to support their way of life by providing food, clothing, and items of cultural use. Today, many Tribes commit financial resources and engage in partnerships to restore landscapes and conserve the species and resources in their care for the benefit of future generations. 

Since 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Tribal Wildlife Grant program has provided opportunities for vital conservation projects on Tribal lands. The Service partners with Tribes to protect threatened and endangered species, restore habitat, and conduct research. The grant program has leveraged millions of dollars to sustain fish and wildlife and help Tribes maintain their heritage. 

In 2022, eight Tribes in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho received a total of nearly $1.5 million for conservation projects. Many of these Tribes have been investing in these efforts for many years, and their continued funding reflects their success and dedication. The summaries below describe the selected projects.

1. Colville Confederated Tribes: Supporting the Return of Canada Lynx in North-Central Washington 

The Colville Confederated Tribes are receiving funding to support the continued implementation of the Canada Lynx Augmentation project. This project is an international effort to live-trap and release lynx from British Columbia on the Colville Indian Reservation. The Tribe anticipates increases in both distribution and occurrence of lynx throughout the Kettle Range as well as in British Columbia and the Cascades. The continued funding of this project will allow Tribal biologists and partners to continue this significant work to return the endangered Canada lynx to the Kettle Range in north-central Washington. Carrying out this project allows the Tribe to manage a culturally significant species across state, federal and international boundaries and strengthen Tribal sovereignty.  

2. Tulalip Tribes of Washington: Adaptive Salmon Restoration via Beaver Relocation within Tulalip Tribes Ancestral Lands 

Through the Tulalip Beaver Project, beavers will be live-trapped from urban areas around Puget Sound. The beavers will be relocated to remote streams in the Snohomish and Stillaguamish watersheds on U.S. Forest Service land. By building dams at relocation sites, beavers will help protect, create, and restore vital aquatic, riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

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, and wetland habitat for salmon and other native wildlife. Tulalip Beaver Project staff will monitor the relocation sites for beaver activity, changes in habitat, wildlife presence, and salmon spawning and rearing. The beaver dams will help increase salmon habitat and salmon populations while making the watersheds more resilient to the effects of climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

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3. Lummi Indian Business Council: South Fork Nooksack Cavanaugh Island Phase 2 Restoration Project  

The Lummi Nation will use grant funding to restore river habitat in the South Fork Nooksack River in Skagit County. The goal is to restore early Chinook salmon spawning, rearing, and holding habitat to recover self-sustaining runs to harvestable levels. Installing engineered logjams, modeled after historic logjams, and restoring more than seven acres of riparian habitat will help recreate the natural landscape. The project enhances the benefits of the South Fork Chinook Rescue Program and a native broodstock broodstock
The reproductively mature adults in a population that breed (or spawn) and produce more individuals (offspring or progeny).

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hatchery program that already support salmon recovery. The project will also help lower water temperatures and benefit other threatened and endangered species, such as steelhead, bull trout, and other species of salmon. 

4. Nez Perce Tribe: Evaluation and Planning for Sockeye Salmon Reintroduction to Wallowa Lake 

With the help of Tribal Wildlife Grant funding, the Nez Perce Tribe will conduct research to accomplish the Tribe’s long-term goal of restoring a population of sockeye salmon to Wallowa Lake in eastern Oregon. Sockeye salmon disappeared from Wallowa Lake in the early 1900s and restoring the fish to the ancestral lands of the Tribe is of deep importance. Recent renovations to the Wallowa Lake Dam have been proposed. The goal is to rehabilitate the dam to make it fully operational and ultimately restore fish passage fish passage
Fish passage is the ability of fish or other aquatic species to move freely throughout their life to find food, reproduce, and complete their natural migration cycles. Millions of barriers to fish passage across the country are fragmenting habitat and leading to species declines. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Fish Passage Program is working to reconnect watersheds to benefit both wildlife and people.

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to Wallowa Lake. Although renovating the dam would restore fish passage to and from the lake, important information gaps remain related to sockeye salmon reintroduction. With this grant, Tribal staff will research four critical information gaps:  

  • Migration corridor conditions for adult and juvenile sockeye salmon. 

  • Impacts of non-native species in Wallowa Lake.