The mission of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Fish & Wildlife Department is to protect, restore, and enhance fish and wildlife related resources in accordance with the Tribes’ unique interests and vested rights in such resources and their habitats, including the inherent, aboriginal and treaty protected rights of Tribal members to fair process and the priority rights to harvest pursuant to the Fort Bridger Treaty of July 3, 1868.
Article IV of the Fort Bridger Treaty states, “…they will make said reservations their permanent home, and they will make no permanent settlement elsewhere; but they shall have the right to hunt on the unoccupied land of the United States so long as game may be found thereon, and so long as peace subsists among the whites and Indians…”
For the tribes, this treaty language provides its management authority on and off the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. The Fort Hall Business Council provides direction in the form of policy, which provides tribal managers with guidance in the development of natural and cultural resource goals and objectives.
The Department receives funding from the Bonneville Power Administration, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, NOAA Fisheries, Lower Snake River Compensation Program, tribal general fund and from revenue received from non-member permit programs for waterfowl, pheasant and fishing.
The department employs 16 biologists, 8 administration staff and up to 18 permanent technicians (with an additional 10 seasonal) to design, plan and implement fish and wildlife habitat and population projects and programs to meet tribal goals and objectives.
Each of these distinct projects/programs are designed to protect, preserve and enhance the rights and resources reserved by the Fort Bridger Treaty for each tribal member. The Department is responsible for several critical aspects of natural resource management including: developing management planning documents, coordinating with federal agencies, managing the exercise of treaty rights and protecting the opportunity to continue traditional cultural practices in perpetuity.
SNAKE RIVER POLICY:· The policy of the tribes for management of the Snake River Basin resources states:·"The Tribes will pursue, promote, and where necessary, initiate efforts to restore the Snake River system and affected unoccupied lands to a natural condition.· This includes the restoration of component resources to conditions that most closely represent the ecological features associated with a natural riverine ecosystem. In addition, the Tribes will work to ensure the protection, preservation, and where appropriate-the enhancement of Rights reserved by the Tribes under the Fort Bridger Treaty of 1868 and any inherent aboriginal rights."
The Snake River Policy is utilized to identify additional land management impacts within the Snake River Basin and will similarly identify alternative management strategies and apply mitigation measures consistent with this policy.
ESA MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT: The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and the federal action agencies developed a memorandum of agreement that will provide funds for implementation of 13 new or expanded projects that will benefit Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed salmon and steelhead, resident fish and wildlife. The projects will be implemented within the Salmon and Upper Snake River Sub-basins. The agreement includes a major conservation hatchery and satellite facility that expands existing chinook salmon and steelhead supplementation projects by developing local broodstocks and increasing juvenile production in the upper Salmon River.
The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ focus is to protect, restore and enhance ecosystem processes that contribute to healthy, sustainable natural resources in the Snake River Basin. The MOA was developed to provide long-term funding commitments that will ultimately contribute to recovery of ESA listed species. In addition, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes will continue to implement resident fish and wildlife projects consistent with the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program.
This MOA addresses factors that limit anadromous fish, resident fish and wildlife through expansion of habitat enhancement, wildlife mitigation, artificial propagation, and research, monitoring, and evaluation conducted by the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.
Anadromous fish (Salmon and Steelhead) resident fish, and wildlife programs slated for implementation include:
Anadromous Fish Program
Salmon River Habitat Enhancement Project
Idaho Supplementation Studies Project
Snake River Sockeye Salmon Habitat and Limnological Monitoring Project
Crystal Springs Fish Hatchery Planning, Operations, and Maintenance Project
Crystal Springs Fish hatchery Program
Yankee Fork Salmon River Satellite Facility
Panther Creek Satellite Facility
Umbrella Planning Projects
ESA Habitat Restoration/Rehabilitation Project
Yankee Fork Floodplain Restoration
Salmon River Basin Nutrient Enhancement Project
Yankee Fork Chinook Salmon Supplementation Project
Chinook Salmon Egg Incubation Project
Summer Steelhead Egg Incubation Project
Panther Creek Chinook Salmon Supplementation Project
Yankee Fork Steelhead Smolt Project
Chinook Salmon Harvest Management Project
Bear Valley Creek Chinook Salmon Abundance Monitoring Project
Resident Fish and Wildlife Projects
Crystal Spring Hatchery: Planning, Operations, and Maintenance
Habitat Improvement/Enhancement – Fort Hall, Idaho
Southern Idaho Wildlife Mitigation
This tribal-federal partnership will complement the regional Snake River Salmon and Steelhead Recovery Plan, Subbasin Plans, and the Endangered Species Act requirements for Snake River salmon and steelhead associated with the operation of the federal Columbia River Power System.· The Shoshone-Bannock look forward to the implementation of the agreement toward the conservation, restoration, and sustainability of Snake River salmon, steelhead, resident fish and wildlife.
CRYSTAL SPRINGS HATCHERY
The Crystal Springs Program took an important step recently toward implementing an anadromous and resident fish hatchery to benefit all tribal members by drafting and completing a hatchery master plan to design and evaluate production options.
The Environmental Program works to ensure the tribes' off-reservation treaty rights under the 1868 Fort Bridger Treaty are protected, preserved and enhanced. The tribal staff meets with various federal agencies to review and respond to federal agency proposed actions and policies to ensure that federal trustees are effectively implementing their trust responsibility.
The tribal staff also works to establish cooperative resource management with related agencies and engage those agencies in cooperative relationships, direct professional and productive planning and resource management on technical and policy levels, and to meet or exceed applicable procedural obligations and standards established for the use management of reservation lands and resources.
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