Search Results for: state of our watersheds

How Important Is Water?

OLYMPIA (August 2, 2005) ─ Think about it. Nothing is more important than water. You drink it every day. You bathe your children in it. Water quality is the foundation of salmon recovery efforts. Yet, nothing is so neglected. The state’s water quality standards should be updated to fit the needs of society and the environment—at least annually. They’re just too important to disregard. But it has been a decade and a half since the standards have been comprehensively updated, and that is a tragedy in the making. Diminished water quality is more than a nuisance; it’s a killer. Worldwide, millions of people and untold numbers of fish and wildlife die from water-borne diseases and impure water every year. Whether you’re talking viruses, bacteria, complex chemicals or heavy metals, we have many of the killer poisons in our own fresh and salt water back yards. And, sure enough, Pacific Northwest fish, wildlife and people do die as a result. This state is thought of by many as pristine, almost a last bastion of wilderness. People love it. The irony is that they love it to death. Wake up, people! Every river is over-allocated with state-issued water permits, and the ground water is being sucked up without mercy, whether it’s legal or not. All of this relates directly to water quality challenges that come hand-in-hand with water quantity problems. At...

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It Takes More Than Words

OLYMPIA (May 20, 2005) — Governor Gregoire says the state and the tribes have far to go in their government-to-government relationship. We couldn’t agree more. She recently followed the examples of her predecessors in officially endorsing the Centennial Accord, a 1989 state/tribal commitment to work together, as governments, to find mutual solutions to the many challenges we share. The tribes appreciate her words of support because the Accord provides good guidance toward worthwhile achievement. Still, she would be the first to admit words alone can ring hollow, however inspiring they may be. It will be action, and promises kept, that will measure the success of her administration. When tribal chairs joined former Governor Booth Gardner in signing the Accord in the state’s centennial year, concurrent achievements put the Northwest in the international limelight and inspired cooperation between Indian and non-Indian nations and states near and far. It was follow up action and promises realized-not the act of signing-that brought luster to the Gardner legacy. Booth’s successors have not cast as large a shadow. When he worked with us to develop the Accord, he understood that we are the “”fishing tribes.”” He knew that is a reputation we have earned, in the eyes of tribes all across the country, through thousands of years of stewardship. He knew working with us means putting the salmon where it belongs -at the forefront...

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Federal Update: Budget

BUDGET “HIGHLIGHTS” The House Appropriations Committee has approved an FY 2006 $26.1 billion Interior spending bill, and it’s on the way to the House floor. Among legislators who say they will oppose the bill is Rep. David Obey, Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee, who says the funding level is woefully low for tribal programs ranging from natural resource management to education. The measure would provide 2.2 percent less than programs under its jurisdiction received in FY 2005. The Appropriations Committee had released subcommittee discretionary allocations which Chairman Jerry Lewis, R-CA, said would result in spending cuts to 3 of the House’s 11 appropriations bills from current levels – Energy-Water, Interior-Environment, and Labor-HHS-Education, and a spending freeze for agriculture. There is continued commitment to move all 11 bills through the House by the July 4 recess. The programs/tax cuts are not specified, but the instructions to the authorizing panels foreshadow policy decisions. Thus, battles over cuts to specific programs may continue, as authorizing panels work to meet the standards set by the resolution. The blueprint, which provides for $2.6 trillion in FY 2006, binds the hands of appropriators by setting a discretionary spending cap of $843 billion. The bill is to be considered by the full House May 18. Agency funding in the bill includes the following: BLM: $1.8 billion, $4 million below the Administration’s request and $62 million...

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Tribe Tracks Historic Chum Run In Puyallup Tributaries

PUYALLUP (April 4, 2005) – The Puyallup Tribe counted the highest returns of chum salmon ever recorded on several tributaries of the Puyallup River and at the tribe’s hatchery. “More chum salmon made it onto the spawning grounds this year, because of good harvest management by the Puyallup Tribe and our state co-managers,” said Joe Anderson, fisheries manager for the Puyallup Tribe. Since records have been kept, there have never been more chum salmon counted on South Prairie and Fennel creeks, and at the tribe’s hatchery on Diru Creek. “While there were great returns of chum in some areas, it should be noted that those returns were to creeks that still have good habitat for salmon,” said Russ Ladley, resource protection manager for the Puyallup Tribe. “There used to be hundreds of thousands of chum returning to the Puyallup River system. Today, because of loss and degradation of habitat, chum only have a handful of places to which to return.” The high return of chum is in contrast to recent years of historically low steelhead returns to the Puyallup River watershed. “Not every species of salmon is returning to the Puyallup River in strong numbers,” said Ladley. “We shouldn’t look at the strong chum numbers and assume that we’ve recovered salmon.” Combined with well managed fisheries, good ocean conditions led to higher survival rates that brought about high returns...

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Salmon Are Killed By More Than Just Fishing

OLYMPIA (April 5, 2005) – Did you take a shower this morning? Eat a bowl of cereal? Drive to work? If you did any of those things, you killed wild salmon. You see, millions of other folks did the same thing. Together, these and other everyday activities take a toll on salmon and the habitat they need to survive. No one is telling you to stop showering, eating, driving to work or any of the other things you do each day. So why do some people keep saying that the tribes should stop fishing? Because of declining wild salmon runs – including the listing of three western Washington salmon stocks as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act – the tribal and state co-managers have changed the way we approach fisheries management. We know that our fisheries can harm wild salmon stocks. That’s why we focus our extremely limited harvest on strong, healthy runs of mostly hatchery salmon. The result has been a drastic reduction in our fisheries, up to 80 percent in some cases, as well as some outright closures. This is important, so I’m going to say it again: fishing alone does not kill salmon. When you’re driving on a highway, you’re driving on the backs of salmon. The highway is paved with salmon carcasses. Sadly, most salmon are killed before they hatch from eggs. They die...

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

  • Northwest Treaty Tribes Magazine for Spring 2017 Available Now

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

  • Treaty Rights at Risk

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