Tribal Wildlife Grants Awarded to Five Federally Recognized Tribes in California


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Southwest Region announced today that conservation projects from five Native American tribes in California are among 25 projects nationwide selected to receive funding this year through the Service’s Tribal Wildlife Grant program.  The Hoopa Valley Tribe, Pala Band of Mission Indians, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians and the Klamath Tribes will receive a share of $937,136 awarded to tribes in California for projects that will benefit fish and wildlife on tribal lands.

Tribal Wildlife Grants provide a competitive funding opportunity for federally recognized Tribal governments to develop and implement programs for the benefit of wildlife and their habitat, including species of Native American cultural or traditional importance and species that are not hunted or fished. Grant recipients are selected through a nationally competitive process. This year, the Service awarded more than $4.9 million in Tribal Wildlife Grants to Tribes.

Grant awards and project descriptions are as follows:

The Hoopa Valley Tribe will received $199,992 for a project to improve passage for Pacific lamprey, an important resource to the Tribe. The Klamath and Trinity River Basins have experienced dramatic declines in Pacific lamprey populations and passage constraints have been identified as the primary threat to lamprey. The project includes: a) implementing low-cost lamprey passage at seven barriers on the Trinity River; b) conducting field tests using locally caught adult lampreys at actual passage impediments in the Trinity drainage; c) constructing a small regional testing facility on the Hoopa Reservation; d) critical assessment of lamprey passage potential at principal culverts and other impediments in the Trinity Basin; e) field and lab testing of retrofits to existing impediments for adaptive management; and f) educational outreach to tribal membership, local stakeholders and managers.

Pala Band of Mission Indians will receive $189,645 to fund completion of a Tribal Habitat Conservation Plan (THCP) that will help to protect natural resources and habitats for several threatened or endangered species as well as species of cultural importance to the tribe. Some of the species included in the THCP include bobcat and coyote (the symbols of the tribe) and threatened or endangered species such as arroyo toad, coastal California gnatcatcher, and least Bell’s vireo.

Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians will receive $158,352 to restoring and enhance riparian habitat on Chumash Tribal Lands using strategies in the Chumash Wildlands Management Plan (CWMP). The Tribe will address the widespread invasive plant species that have degraded both riparian and upland habitats on the reservation. An extensive restoration plan will also be developed and implemented to re-establish habitat areas overgrown with invasive species using native plants with traditional, cultural, and medicinal uses. Native plant seeds will be collected and propagated by Tribal members and used to create cultural gathering areas on the reservation.

Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians will receive $189,200 to restore and enhance roughly 3,000 acres of coastal range vegetation and to benefit Tule elk habitat along the Cortina Ridge in the northern Sacramento Valley. This project will benefit wildlife species that formerly and currently inhabit the property; specifically targeting the improvement of habitat conditions to attract Tule elk to expand upon and re-inhabit the property. A management plan will be developed as part of this project to ensure that realistic and attainable goals are strategized and, in tum, achieved to ensure the long-term protection and management of the property. This effort will benefit the Cache Creek I Bear Valley Tule Elk Herd, whose population numbers have been limited by fair to marginal habitat conditions.

The Klamath Tribes will receive $200,000 to fund a project that implements landscape scale habitat restoration to benefit mule deer and other culturally important species. The project calls for restoration actions on approximately 2,600 acres of federal lands and 2,000 acres of private lands in an effort to improve browsing and cover habitat for mule deer, important to sustaining subsistence hunting needs of the Klamath Tribes. The project will also help restore community vitality, economic self-sufficiency and cultural identity through further development of a Tribal ecosystem restoration workforce and an accompanying Tribal youth employment and education program.

For more information on the Tribal Wildlife Grant program in California, Nevada and Klamath Basin in Oregon, contact Damion Ciotti (530-889-2327) or [email protected] .

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