Shoshone-Bannock Tribes to
by Dave Wilkins
Deal would make $61 million available over 10 years
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of southeastern Idaho intend to join other Northwest tribes in an agreement with federal agencies to improve habitat for salmon and steelhead runs.
The proposed pact announced Sept. 18 would make $61 million available over 10 years to aid Snake River spring/summer chinook, Snake River steelhead in the Salmon River Basin and Snake River sockeye and native yellow cutthroat in the Upper Snake River.
The funds will help the Shoshone-Bannock tribes contribute to the recovery of listed and non-listed species by restoring habitat, managing land for wildlife and native fish and developing and operating hatchery additions, Tribal Chairman Alonzo A. Coby said.
The tribes rely on salmon "to provide sustenance and to preserve our unique traditional cultural practices," Coby said in a press release.
"This proposed agreement will assist the tribes with providing co-management opportunities for fish and wildlife populations and their habitat," he said.
The proposed agreement builds on the historic Columbia Basin Fish Accords announced earlier this year, said Steve Wright, administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration.
Wright said the latest proposal would bring tribes, federal agencies and states together to be even more effective at fish recovery in the region.
In May, the BPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation signed a 10-year agreement with the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.
Separate agreements were signed with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation and the states of Idaho and Montana.
The collective agreements include a slate of actions in habitat, hatchery and research, monitoring and evaluation that will improve the prospects for recovery of listed salmon and steelhead, federal officials said.
Details about the agreements and the types of projects involved are available at www.salmonrecovery.gov.
The tribes were the first to petition the National Marine Fisheries Service to list Snake River sockeye salmon as endangered. Snake River sockeye salmon were officially listed as endangered in November 1991 under the Endangered Species Act.
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