Author: kneumeyer

Reservation wetlands ranked by culturally important plants

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community is using traditional knowledge to incorporate cultural values into wetland management. In 1999, a wetland inventory identified 54 wetlands on the Swinomish Reservation and assessed 36 of them for functions such as flood and stormwater control, base flow and groundwater support, and shoreline and erosion protection. “We realized that standard wetland inventory and functional assessment methods could not adequately identify wetland functions related to tribal cultural values,” said Todd Mitchell, Swinomish environmental director. “We are fortunate that as the tribal government and regulatory authority, we are able to incorporate cultural values within our policies.”...

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Stillaguamish Tribe Awarded $1 million for Dairy Waste Management

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has awarded $1 million to the Stillaguamish Tribe for an innovative project in dairy nutrient management. In Washington state, the Stillaguamish Tribe was the lone recipient of a nationally funded Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). “The CIG program provides seed money to help spur cutting-edge projects,” said NRCS Washington’s Acting State Conservationist Alan McBee. “We are excited to partner with the Stillaguamish Tribe and see the results of this state-of-the-art project.” The tribe proposes to demonstrate successful implementation of an emerging animal nutrient treatment system for dairy farms. The technology, originally developed to...

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Tribes build beaver deceiver to reduce flooding on Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie forest road

To a beaver, a culvert providing fish passage under a forest road looks like a hole in a dam in need of fixing. Over the years, beavers in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest had filled a 17-foot-wide pipe, flooding a road along the Suiattle River. The U.S. Forest Service asked area tribes for help. The Stillaguamish Tribe has been working with Snohomish County and private landowners to build “beaver deceivers” to prevent the industrious animals from clogging culverts. “We have a beaver translocation program, but we’re trying to keep as many beavers in place as possible,” said Jennifer Sevigny,...

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Upper Skagit Tribe monitors juvenile steelhead survival and migration

The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe is tracking Skagit River juvenile steelhead before they out-migrate to salt water – if they out-migrate to salt water. The tribe has been tagging juvenile steelhead with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags for a few years to collect information about freshwater production in tributaries to the Skagit River. This year, they also are using Juvenile Salmon Acoustic Telemetry System (JSATS) tags, which can be detected at a greater distance than a PIT tag. Steelhead smolts are collected in screw traps in Hansen Creek near Sedro-Woolley and Illabot Creek near Rockport. Upper Skagit natural resources...

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Tribes join effort to monitor for invasive green crabs

Tribal natural resources staff are setting traps for European green crab on the North Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound, hoping not to find any. A small number of the invasive crab were found last year in North Puget Sound, apparently not enough to establish a population. However, since April, 60 green crab have been found at a single site near Sequim. “At Dungeness Spit, multiple crabs are being found at the same site, over successive days of trapping,” said Emily Grason, Washington Sea Grant’s Crab Team program coordinator. “This indicates a situation where the population could grow very quickly,...

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