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Federal Update for May 2008

APPROPRIATIONS The blame game is raging between Bush and Congress as various budget deadlines are essentially ignored. Bush and Congress are accusing each other regularly of failing to listen to proposals and fixes for everything from failing to respond adequately to the energy crisis to the slumping economy. There’s a cut of about $1.8 in the Pacific Salmon Treaty appropriation, similar to last year, and the budget still fails to include Timber-Fish-Wildlife/Forests and Fish funding. House/Senate budget talks continue and budget leaders hope to reach agreement on a fiscal 2009 budget resolution soon. There are no consequences for having failed to meet the April 15 deadline. But most everyone would rather avoid having to resort to a “deeming resolution” to set a limit — something the two chambers have done in the past when Congress was unable to agree on a final budget. Under the Budget Act, the House may consider spending bills on the floor starting May 15, even if a final budget hasn’t been adopted. If lawmakers do not reach a budget agreement and must “deem” discretionary spending limits for the year, don’t be surprised if each chamber handles it differently. Under the 1974 Budget Act, the annual budget resolution sets an overall level of discretionary appropriations for the year which appropriators then split up among the 12 individual bills. These allocations help facilitate the appropriations process...

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Lamprey study part of Elwha River restoration

The lamprey, an eel-like fish with leech-like habits, has a role that is important to the marine environment. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe fisheries staff will be exploring that role next year with a lamprey study on the North Olympic Peninsula. The tribe recently received a $74,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for the study. The project will look at lamprey’s distribution, migration patterns, genetics and habitat preferences in the lower Elwha River and watersheds along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. “Lamprey were once as abundant as salmon in the Elwha River but they suffered the same environmental pressures during the past 100 years,” said Larry Ward, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe’s fisheries biologist. “The lamprey is a traditional food for the tribe. Its role in marine ecosystem is valuable.” While lamprey is an important food for salmon, they are also preferred by sealions and seals. This helps reduce predator pressure of marine mammals on salmon, Ward said. Because they are filter feeders in the juvenile stage, lampreys help preserve water quality for other species. To help complete the two-year project, the tribe will collaborate with USFWS, the Siletz Tribe in Oregon, U.S. Geological Survey, students from Peninsula College and local groups, such as StreamKeepers and the North Olympic Salmon Coalition. This study is also part of the overall management plan for the restoration...

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Opinions from over the weekend on culvert case

Both the Seattle Times and PI ran editorials praising the culvert case decision from last week. From the Seattle Times: A federal judge articulated and reinforced a long-standing deal with Northwest tribes. Sign a treaty that cedes millions of acres, and the right to take fish from healthy runs will be protected. Forever. … Frank said the decision was not about turning back the clock and closing freeways, but finding the political will “to bring the salmon back and have a home when they get there.” A healthy salmon run is a barometer of the environmental health and stamina of Puget Sound and its watersheds. Work to clean up the Sound is getting under way in earnest. Unplugging culverts adds to the to-do list. Seattle PI: Salmon: State doesn’t get...

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Leg-Com News For the week of March 12, 2007

Leg-Com News BILL REQ. #: H-2983.3/07 3rd draft Tribes: Here’s your “Leg-Com News” for this week. Please note that it includes the Legislative Hot Sheet and the Priority Bills List for this week as well. Also attached, incidentally, is a brand new oil-related bill coming out of the Governor’s Office—legislative deadlines can be exempted. (March 14 is the deadline for bills to be out of their originating house). This particular bill would strengthen the state’s oil spill prevention and response program, by following the legislative recommendations of the Ocean Policy Work Group. All comments welcome. Leg-Com News CONFERENCE CALLS Be sure to call in at 3 p.m. on Fridays to participate in the weekly legislative conference calls. Dial 1-206-553-1454. TRIBAL/LEGISLATIVE LUNCH This year’s Tribal/Legislative Lunch, intended to help enhance understanding between the legislature and tribal governments, will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21 (the first day of spring). This year the topic is “The ABC’s of Tribal Water Law.” Emcees will be Reps. John McCoy, D-Tulalip and Sam Hunt, D-Olympia (the chair of the House State Government and Tribal Affairs Committee) and speakers will include Tulalip Tribes’ Terry Williams, NWIFC’s John Hollowed and Professor Robert Anderson of the University of Washington. There will be a Q and A period and lunch will be provided. The location this year is the Washington Room, in the...

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LEG-COM NEWS For The Week of March 5, 2007

ANNOUNCEMENTS: The Tribal/Legislative Lunch will be Noon-1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21 (the first day of spring) in the Washington Room of the Joel Pritchard Building on the State Capitol Campus in Olympia. The topic this year is “The ABC’s of Tribal Water Law.” Presenters will include Prof. Robert Anderson, Terry Williams, John Hollowed and Billy Frank, Jr., with Rep. John McCoy as emcee. Please call (360) 438-1180 to reserve your place. Also, please remember to call in on Fridays at 3 p.m. ( 206-553-1454) for the weekly legislative overviews and “rap” sessions. HALFWAY MARK We have reached the halfway point of session and there are two significant deadlines that will impact the progress of legislation. Bills need to be out of fiscal committees today (Monday, March 5) or they’re likely dead for the session. The first deadline, February 28, was the deadline for bills to be out of their original policy committees. Any non-budget bill that is still in the policy committee at this point will likely not be considered for the remainder of the session. By March 14, bills have to be out of their original houses and April 13 is the last day to consider bills from opposite houses. The session is scheduled to adjourn on April 22. PRIORITY BILLS LIST With today being the fiscal committee deadline, updating of the Priority Bills List will be...

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    • Northwest Treaty Tribes is a service of Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
    • Northwest Treaty Tribes Magazine for Winter 2017/2018 Available Now
    • Billy Frank Jr Memorial Edition of the NWIFC Magazine Available Here
    • Treaty Rights at Risk

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