NWIFC, Fish and Wildlife commission meet

Representatives of the 20 treaty Indian tribes in western Washington and the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission met Nov. 18 in an historic meeting to discuss natural resource co-management. It was the first time the tribes and state commissioners had met in such a forum since the advisory group to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife was created about 10 years ago.

Tribal representatives provided an overview of the legal history and importance of the co-manager relationship and the need to continue working together on behalf of fish and wildlife.

Planning for the upcoming salmon season setting process also was a focus of the meeting. Discussion ranged from how to improve communication to a proposal by the state commissioners to assume a more active role in the planning process.

Members of each commission also reiterated the importance of protecting and restoring salmon habitat.

While no meeting date was set, tribal and state commission members said they expect similar meetings in the future.

The meeting can be viewed on TVW at www.tvw.org