Author: eoconnell

Remembering The Fight For Treaty Rights

Decades after the Fish Wars of the 1960s and ’70s, Puyallup tribal members are still working to protect tribal treaty rights. At the tribe’s annual Fish Wars remembrance in September, tribal members and activists reflected on the civil disobedience that led to the Boldt decision reaffirming tribal treaty fishing rights. Puyallup tribal members Dakota Case and Chester Earl spoke just hours after being arrested at a protest against a planned liquefied natural gas plant on the Puyallup Tribe’s reservation. Construction had continued at the plant despite the Puyallup tribal council issuing a Stop Work Order. “The most amazing part...

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Quinault: Keep Atlantic Salmon on the East Coast

The Quinault Indian Nation thinks the state can do a better job responding to the recent spill of 165,000 Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound. In the most recent edition of their newspaper Nugguam, the tribe called on the state to expand the focus of its response to include the Pacific Ocean and coastal rivers. They also reminded the state that “tribal governments must be factored into and fully considered in any related decision making.” The tribe’s concern for coastal rivers is rooted in an incident 14 years ago. Said Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinault tribe: “(Atlantic salmon are)...

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Puyallup Tribe adding a new salmon hatchery

The Puyallup Tribe of Indians is putting the finishing touches on a new salmon hatchery in the upper Puyallup River watershed. The tribe is planning to release 100,000 fall chinook from the facility on Wilkeson Creek next year. The upper Puyallup, where Wilkeson Creek is located, is the most productive portion of the watershed for chinook. “The chinook that rear here tend to have greater success because they have the right kind of habitat available to them,” said Blake Smith, enhancement manager for the tribe. The area is less developed than the rest of the Puyallup watershed, and is...

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Tribe studies fish habitat in community-owned forest

The Nisqually Indian Tribe is funding a fish habitat assessment of one of the first community-owned commercial forest in the state. Last fall the non-profit Nisqually Community Forest organization bought 640 acres in the upper Nisqually River watershed. The tribe’s study will help the nonprofit understand the stream habitat on their new property and the effects forest management could have on threatened steelhead. Partners in the community forest effort include the Nisqually River Foundation, the Nisqually Land Trust, Northwest Natural Resources Group, the Nisqually Tribe, Pierce County, and the Mount Rainier Visitor Association. “From our perspective, local ownership means...

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New technique helps tribe explore groundwater-fed creeks

Squaxin Island Tribe biologists are using an underwater camera to find juvenile salmon in small creeks. The camera is paired with a cell phone to peek into pools and underneath logs. The technology is complementing snorkel surveys the tribe is conducting throughout the Skookum Creek watershed to determine where juvenile coho rear. The camera can get into some tributaries, like Little Creek, that are too small for snorkelers to access. The biologists can look at the snapshots to see if the fish are showing signs of stress. Surveys have shown that coho prefer cool refuges fed by groundwater. “No...

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    • Northwest Treaty Tribes is a service of
      Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
    • Northwest Treaty Tribes Magazine for Fall 2017 Available Now
    • Billy Frank Jr Memorial Edition of the NWIFC Magazine Available Here
    • Treaty Rights at Risk

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