Search Results for: state of our watersheds

State of Our Watersheds: Shoreline Management Act needs enforcement

The state Shoreline Management Act (SMA) needs to be better enforced if we are going to recover riparian habitat faster than it is being lost. Adopted by voters in 1972, the SMA aims “to prevent the inherent harm in an uncoordinated and piecemeal development of the state’s shorelines.” Intense human land use puts continuous stress on lowland riparian resources in the Snohomish River watershed, for example. Analysis by the NWIFC, released in last year’s State of Our Watersheds Report, found that along anadromous fish habitat streams in the Snohomish River basin, riparian forest cover was only 49% in 2011,...

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State of our Watersheds: Lack of Funding for Co-Manager Response

There isn’t enough financial support by federal and state governments to support co-management, according to findings by the Makah Tribe in the State of our Watersheds Report. According to the report: The Makah Tribe has some concerns with the lack of sufficient commitment by federal and Washington state natural resources agencies to protect, properly manage and recover salmon as salmon habitat is being damaged and destroyed faster than it can be restored. Unfortunately, co-management activities occur far away from the state capital, where many state agency staff are housed: Some state agencies are better than others, but in a...

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State of Our Watersheds: Samish Bay Pollution Impedes Tribal Harvest

Despite the efforts of the Clean Samish Initiative formed in 2009, tribal treaty rights to harvest shellfish in Samish Bay continue to be threatened by poor water quality, as documented in the treaty tribes’ State of Our Watershed Report. Five different tribes have reserved rights to collect fish and shellfish from the bay. Conditions have improved somewhat, but high counts of fecal coliform bacteria continue to keep most of Samish Bay’s commercial shellfish areas either conditionally approved (closed during high rain events) or prohibited (closed year-round) to shellfish growing. Only a small section in the north of Samish Bay...

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State of Our Watersheds: Shoreline Armoring Diminishes Nearshore Fish Habitat

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe has been keeping a close eye on shoreline armoring in the Port Angeles area, as increased armoring leads to decreasing habitat for nearshore fish. Shoreline armoring is one of many indicators the tribe regards when it comes to the health of salmon habitat, as reported recently in the 2016 State of Our Watersheds report. While the tribe has removed 2,700 feet of hardened shoreline within its Area of Interest, and is on track to remove another 1,750 feet in 2017, Clallam County has installed 1,933 feet of new armoring, 5,337 feet of replacement armoring, and...

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State of Our Watersheds: Former mining roads threaten treaty resources

Former mining roads in the upper South Fork Sauk River watershed continue to pose a threat to tribal treaty resources, according to the State of Our Watersheds Report. In 2009 the U.S. Forest Service and Washington Department of Ecology were awarded $11 million dollars as part of an ASARCO bankruptcy agreement, to fund the cleanup of the Monte Cristo Mining Area. The mine is close to the South Fork Sauk River, and legacy sediments pose downstream risks to human and ecological health from exposure to high levels of hazardous substances, particularly arsenic. Of concern in the South Fork Sauk...

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  • Northwest Treaty Tribes is a service of Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

  • Northwest Treaty Tribes Magazine for Winter 2016 Available Now

  • Billy Frank Jr Memorial Edition of the NWIFC Magazine Available Here

  • Treaty Rights at Risk

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