Author: troyal

New Tribal Building to Run Fully on Solar Power

The Skokomish Tribe’s new community center could be considered one of the most energy efficient buildings in the region and one of the largest tribally owned solar energy systems on the West Coast. With 438 solar panels on the roof of the new 22,000-square-foot building, the panels will produce about 129,000 kilowatts of energy a year – enough energy to power 11 single family homes, said Dave Nichols, the tribe’s construction project manager. “In a way, the tribe will be a utility producer since it’s producing more than 100,000 kilowatts of energy,” Nichols said. “Electricity for the building will...

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Stream Temperatures Provide Insight into Salmon Habitat

The Suquamish Tribe has spent the past 15 years tracking water temperatures in nearly 30 of Kitsap County’s salmon streams. “Stream temperature monitoring gives us a good understanding of where some creeks and watersheds may be less suitable for salmonids because of high stream temperatures,” said Steve Todd, the tribe’s ecologist. A temperature gauge the size of a bottle-cap is installed in the stream and takes measurements every 30 minutes between June and September. Some streams are warm in summer while other streams remain cool, but one observation is clear, he said: waters are warmer during particularly warm summers,...

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State of Our Watersheds: Permit-Exempt Wells Hurt Salmon Habitat

While permit-exempt wells represent a source of water for many landowners in the North Olympic Peninsula, withdrawals through these wells affect groundwater supply, thus affecting salmon habitat. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe explores the real-time use of this resource in its chapter of the State of Our Watersheds report. Legally, property owners are allowed to withdraw water for domestic purposes without obtaining a water right. There are 1,003 wells that affect groundwater supply and instream flows in the Lower Elwha Area of Concern.   Between 1980 and 2009, 801 wells were completed at a rate of about 27 new...

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State of Our Watersheds: Shoreline Modifications Detrimental to Salmon Habitat

Of all the Puget Sound counties, between 2005 and 2014, Mason County had the largest amount of armored shoreline developed on its waterfront properties. More than 200 hydraulic project approvals were issued during that time period, resulting in 1.6 miles of armored shoreline, while only 714 feet of armoring were removed. Armored shoreline is an issue for nearshore habitat, which provides a space for salmonids to rear and forage, and is continually being impacted, according to the most recent State of Our Watersheds Report, released by Northwest Treaty Tribes. Bulkheads, fill, roads, highways, docks and piers are all examples of shoreline development...

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Jamestown Shellfish Hatcheries Address Ocean Acidification and Oyster Populations

Ocean conditions have the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe concerned about shellfish survival rates and treaty harvesting rights. “Tribes aren’t able to harvest oysters like they once did,” said Kurt Grinnell, Jamestown council member. “We just don’t get the natural shellfish recruitment like we used to.” To address these concerns, the tribe has started its own shellfish hatcheries at Point Whitney in Brinnon and Kona, Hawaii. The tribe also has two large shellfish nurseries called floating upwelling systems (FLUPSYs) at the John Wayne Marina in Sequim. Currently, the program provides locally grown oyster seed for restoration efforts on area beaches, as...

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

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