PBS Newshour features the issue of Climate Change for NW Coast Tribes & Interview with Billy Frank, Jr.

Newshour featured an interview with Billy Frank Jr., and a discussion of the issues raised by the Climate Change meeting in Washington D.C. that was sponsored by our coastal tribes, raising awareness of the issues we all face as the earth warms due to our use of fossil fuels.


Land Based Aquaculture Experiment Unfolding in BC – Globe and Mail

While our County Commissioners continue a stand off with the State Department of Ecology over permitting (or not) fish farms in the county shoreline master program, there is a Canadian “First Nation” experiment happening to see if fish can be farmed economically on land, as our commissioners are requesting. The Namgis Tribe will be funding this, and I would assume our State should take a hard look at whether this works or not.


Restoration Grants Coordinator Job for Nooksack Tribe

Job Title: Restoration Grants Coordinator

Department: Natural Resources

Reports To: Habitat Program Manager

Type: Full Time

Position Opens: 2-22-12 Position Closes: 3-7-12


This position is responsible for managing the diverse array of grants that support the Tribe’s watershed restoration program. Job duties include: (1) grant proposal writing; (2) grant management, including budget oversight, project management and reporting; (3) preparation of permit applications and working with permitting agencies to secure permits, and (4) preparing and overseeing contracts. This position will work in partnership with the Department’s Watershed Restoration Coordinators to ensure successful and timely implementation of restoration projects.


See job description link below.

For the full job description, including education and experience requirements, please visit http://nooksackindiantribe.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Restoration-Grant-Coordinator1.pdf

To apply: Obtain an employment application at http://nooksackindiantribe.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Application-for-Employment.pdf. Mail application, and resume to 5016 Deming Road, Deming, WA 98244 or fax to 360-592- 2125. Application materials must be received in Human Resources no later than 5:00 pm on the closing date to be considered for this position.

Billie Frank Jr. on State Wildlife Fund

Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission chair Billy Frank Jr. argues that Governor Gregoire’s proposal for a one-time tranfer of 1.5 million from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s wildlife fund to protect salmon production at several hatcheries makes sense because hatcheries provide salmon for tribal, commercial and sport fisheries.

Salmon are for everyone


What’s good for Orca is good for fishermen – Billy Frank

A great opinion piece by Billy Frank Jr. the chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. He makes some excellent points. Read the whole piece, it’s pretty short.

Tribes and orcas have a lot in common. Together, we have always depended on the salmon for food.

The last 100 years have been hard on the tribes, the orcas and the salmon. Habitat loss and damage has pushed some salmon populations to the edge of extinction, threatening the orcas, tribal cultures and our treaty rights.

But instead of looking at the main causes for a weak local population of orcas, the federal government is asking us yet again to reconsider how we fish. We just spent several years working with our salmon co-managers to develop a five-year plan to manage our Puget Sound chinook fisheries in light of the recovery needs for fish listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Now, a half-step away from final approval, the federal government is asking us to go back to the drawing board and quickly produce a new two-year harvest plan that addresses how our fisheries might affect orca populations.

The rest of the story is at

Being Frank: Harvest Held to a Higher Standard – From the NW Indian Fisheries Commission

Interesting editorial…worth clicking through to read more on the Tribe’s perspective….

Posted: 02 Nov 2010 11:18 AM PDT

It wasn’t long ago that all salmon returning to western Washington were lumped together and managed as a whole. Only after the treaty tribes became co-managers in the 1970s did salmon management begin on a river-by-river basis using hard, accurate data.

Every single year since then we’ve been refining our fisheries management approach. Our goal is to return all salmon stocks to sustainable harvest levels because we believe that is the true measuring stick for salmon recovery.

I wonder what it would be like if habitat protection were managed to the same standard?

The state co-managers joined some tribes, such as Muckleshoot, Nisqually and Puyallup, in closing coho fisheries this fall because returns were too low to support harvest.

No one suggested that we also tear out the river’s dikes or fix the other habitat problems that are the root cause of the low runs. We stop fishing, but habitat loss and damage goes on every hour of every day.

Why are fishermen always the first – and often only – people asked to sacrifice for the resource? Why must fishermen feel the pain for everyone else?

Ten years after salmon stocks in western Washington were first listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, we still have no good way to assess how much habitat we have, how much we’re losing and how much we need. We must work harder to fill the gaping holes in what we know about habitat productivity.

We have developed a tool to track the limiting factors to salmon recovery, identify how they can be addressed and determine actions needed to move forward with habitat restoration and protection. This kind of work, at the watershed level, has been promised for years by governments, agencies and others involved in salmon recovery, but it is the treaty tribes who are taking on the job. We’re finishing analyses of the Skokomish and Snohomish watersheds right now, and will complete analyses for every watershed in western Washington over the next year.

For 30 years we have been refining salmon fisheries management to achieve salmon recovery, but it isn’t working. What we need to do is to change how we manage the landscape that these fish depend on.

The only way we’re going to turn the corner and really restore salmon is to put the same focus on habitat protection and restoration that has been placed on harvest management. Salmon recovery begins and ends with good habitat. Without a good home to return to, no amount of fisheries restrictions will restore this precious resource.

Billy Frank Jr. is the chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.

See the NW Indian Fisheries Commission



Life on the Edge: Micah McCarty and the People of the Cape – KPLU

8/25 KPLU-FM
Life on the Edge: Micah McCarty and the People of the Cape
Liam Moriarty

At the western edge of the Salish Sea sits Cape Flattery, where the Strait of Juan de Fuca meets the Pacific Ocean. Nearby is Neah Bay, the traditional home of the Makah Indian tribe, who call themselves the People of the Cape. This week in our series “Reflections on the Water,” KPLU environment reporter Liam Moriarty goes to Neah Bay to speak with tribal council member Mikah McCarty.

More at

Special Showing of “Poisoned Waters” Puget Sound version on PBS tonight

A special airing this Sunday, December 20th. at 9PM on KCTS.

A special version of the PBS show “Frontline: Puget Sound’s Poisoned Waters” program will air this Sunday, 12/20, at 6:30 pm on KCTS, channel
9 in Seattle. This re-edited version features new material specific to Puget Sound.

The airing will include a special 15 minute segment on the battle by native American tribes for salmon habitat restoration that was not
included in the national Frontline broadcast as well as a studio dialogue with Bill Ruckelshaus and Hedrick Smith with Enrique Cerna, the KCTS

Sequim film maker wins honorable mention for Totem Pole short video

Congratulations to Cathy Prefrement of Sequim, who has just won an honorable mention from Videomaker Magazine for her short film (4 minutes) Totem Poles. The film documents Dale Faulstich  who has created over 44 totem poles over the last 25 years, primarily for the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe.  Yes, those are Dale’s poles you see out front of the tribal center and casino. Dale is captured making “Salmon Bringer”, with the narrative of how the salmon were brought to the People. It’s a story worth hearing to remind us of the relationship of the salmon to all of us.

Cathy wins a nice professional software editing package from Videomaker. Take a few minutes to view her film at:


Another successful soft armoring of a beach

A thorny issue that drives the ‘anti SMP’ crowds these days, especially down in Kitsap County, has been the issue of those of us in the shoreline protection world being against “hard armoring” of the shores.  Here’s a positive bit of news on another success conversion to ‘soft’ armoring of the beach. It can be done folks. Contact People For Puget Sound or your county shoreline groups to find out how you could do it to your beach, if needed.

10/8 Skagit Valley Herald “Soft-armor” project should help restore shoreline by Marta Murvosh ANACORTES — To save a beach, the Samish Indian Nation raced against time to raise money to use 1,982 tons of sand, pea gravel and cobblestone-sized rocks to stabilize a section of the shoreline along Weaverling Spit on Fidalgo Bay. If the restoration project wasn’t funded by this fall, tribal scientists feared the beach would be devoured by winter storms, said Christine Woodward, Samish director of natural resources. Most of the work was completed Monday, and Woodward and her staff saw green and silver surf smelt in the bay nearby. The smelt spawn, which are the prey of salmon, haven’t been able to spawn on that area of the beach for a number of years, she said. Woodward also saw otters playing in gravel. More at http://www.goskagit.com/home/article/soft_armor_project_should_help_restore_shoreline/

Shellfish ruling surprises farmers – AP

8/22  -PHUONG LE; The Associated Press  —A landmark deal struck between Puget Sound Indian tribes and commercial growers two years ago was meant to end years of rancor over shellfish harvesting rights.
But some growers were surprised to learn this summer that some of their tidelands might not qualify under the settlement, potentially opening them up to tribal harvest.
In 2007, 17 Puget Sound tribes agreed to give up treaty rights to harvest shellfish from commercial shellfish beds, as long as the beds had been actively farmed before Aug. 28, 1995. In return, the tribe got $33 million in state and federal money to buy and lease tidelands for their own use. Commercial growers submitted documents insisting 864 parcels should be exempt from the settlements, but in papers filed with a federal court in Seattle in June, the tribes objected to half of those.

More at

More Mystery Bay news..

The PDN continues it’s coverage of the Mystery Bay shellfish controversy. While I appreciate the tribes stance, and also tend to agree that there are probably too many boats and buoys in there, I haven’t read of any science to say that the boats are actually the problem. Likely the source of the problem will be shown to be something else, like failing septic systems, warming waters, changing water chemistry,etc. Most boaters don’t dump overboard, especially while tied up. Also, the type of folks tying up out there, which tend to be ‘old timers’ in the area, usually know better.

6/16 Peninsula Daily News -Inner Mystery Bay to stay open to commercial shellfishing, state official says-By Jeff Chew
Peninsula Daily News

NORDLAND — A state Department of Health official assured his audience that the inner waters of Mystery Bay would remain open to commercial shellfish harvests, but the outer bay would likely be closed later this summer.

“Our plan is to have no classification of the inner bay,” said Bob Woolrich, growing area program manager for the office of shellfish and water protection.

Woolrich made the remarks to about 100 people Monday night in a meeting that brought together state, county and tribal agencies.

The state has been considering reclassifying the Mystery Bay commercial shellfish growing area as prohibited or conditional, which could have led to closure of the inner bay.

There’s more to the story at

Mystery Bay shellfish population in crisis, says Tribes – PDN

Peninsula Daily News is reporting on a letter by the Tribes to DNR, and the County, on the pathetic condition of their shellfish beds in Mystery Bay. Seems as if the expansion of mooring buoys is the most likely culprit, though obviously it’s a simple target that seems to have no science behind the idea. Could it be other issues, like failing septic, or warming of the Sound? Read the story at the PDN…


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