The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is awarding more than $5.9 million to federally recognized Native American and Alaska Native tribes to benefit fish and wildlife resources and their habitats. The Tribal Wildlife Grant Program helps meet federal trust responsibilities and achieve tribal sovereignty by expanding tribes’ natural resource capacity. This year’s funding will support 33 tribes in conservation projects in 16 states, benefiting a wide range of wildlife and habitat, including species of cultural or traditional importance to indigenous communities.
“Our success in achieving shared conservation goals depends on our relationships, knowledge sharing and co-administration with federally recognized tribes,” he said. Service Director Martha Williams. “By respecting and supporting tribal interests and needs, we can enhance and improve fish, wildlife, and natural and cultural resources for the benefit of all, a core pillar of the America the Beautiful initiative.”
The Biden-Harris administration’s America the Beautiful initiative is a locally-led voluntary conservation and restoration effort that aims to address natural and climate crises, improve equitable access to the outdoors, and strengthen the economy.
This effort appeals to local, state and federal leaders on tribal sovereignty and supports the priorities of tribal nations in making decisions related to sustainable land management and the conservation of natural, cultural and historic resources.
The Service recognizes the need for strong and healthy communication and relationships with governments and tribal communities so that we can work together to enhance and enhance our conservation mission. Since its inception in 2003, including this year’s grants, the Competitive Tribal Wildlife Grant Program has awarded more than $111.6 million to Native American and Alaskan tribes, supporting 626 conservation projects.
Grants have enabled tribes to develop greater management capacity, enhance and enhance relationships with state conservation partners, address cultural and environmental priorities, and help train the next generation of conservationists by engaging tribal students interested in the fishing, wildlife and related fields of study. Some grants have been awarded to support recovery efforts for federally listed threatened and endangered species.
Some examples of projects approved this year are:
Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska, Inside Alaska (Develop a Restoration Plan and Pilot Study for Blue Mussel Habitat in Unalaska Bay: A Natural Resource Conservation Plan) – $198,716a develop a plan to restore blue mussel habitat in Unalaska Bay to increase food security, reduce paralytic shellfish poisoning, and improve water quality and aquatic ecosystem health.
Round Valley Indian Tribes, within California (Anadromous fishing sonar monitoring on the Middle Fork of the Eel River by the Round Valley Indian Tribes) – $197,101 to establish a fishery monitoring station on the Middle Fork Eel River, building fishery recovery capacity.
Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, within Maine (Aquatic Habitat Restoration Program: Phase VI – Continued Restoration in Water) – $116,698 up to enhance opportunities for subsistence fishing by improving fish habitat along the Meduxnekeag River and increase awareness of watershed restoration. This grant is based on previous funding for the project
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, within Michigan and Indiana (Surveys of Lepidoptera and Flower Diversity in Tall Grass Prairie Habitats on Tribal Lands) – $199,000 to conduct vegetative and butterfly surveys on 750 acres of restored tallgrass prairie, focusing on federally listed and culturally important butterfly species.
Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, within North Carolina (Evaluating the success of non-invasive methods for managing and restoring Cherokee natural resources) – $200,000 to collect information on the abundance, distribution and habitat use of protected and culturally significant
Learn more about invasive species, reporting on the management and restoration of wildlife and aquatic resources.
Choctaw Nation, within Oklahoma (Choctaw Nation Wildlife Conservation Management Plan) – $200,000 to develop a management plan to manage white-tailed deer and support consultation with federal, state, local, and tribal communities.
Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, within Oregon (Tribal Management and Conservation Plan Development Project) – $198,423 to provide a framework for managing tribal forest lands that incorporate science-based management principles and traditional ecological knowledge in the management of sensitive fish and wildlife species.
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, within South Dakota (Cheyenne River Sioux Black-footed Ferret Recovery Project) – $196,546 to enhance an ongoing black-footed ferret recovery project leading to a self-sustaining permanent population on the Cheyenne River Reservation.
Grants are offered exclusively to federally recognized Native American and Alaska Native tribal governments and are made possible under the Related Agency Awards Act of 2002 through the State and Tribal Living Grants Program wild For more information about the grant program and the application process, visit: https://www.fws.gov/service/tribal-wildlife-grants.
For additional information on the service’s Native American programs, visit: https://www.fws.gov/program/native-american.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and improve fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continued benefit of the American people.