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Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation & Climate Change ATNI Tribal Leaders Summit on Climate Change Portland, Oregon March 10, 2015.

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Presentation on theme: "Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation & Climate Change ATNI Tribal Leaders Summit on Climate Change Portland, Oregon March 10, 2015."— Presentation transcript:

1 Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation & Climate Change ATNI Tribal Leaders Summit on Climate Change Portland, Oregon March 10, 2015

2 Upper Snake River Tribes (USRT) Membership  Burns Paiute Tribe Burns, Oregon  Paiute-Shoshone Tribe Ft McDermitt, Oregon/Nevada  Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Fort Hall, Idaho  Shoshone-Paiute Tribes Duck Valley, Idaho/Nevada

3 USRT Charter Restore the Snake River Basin to a natural condition and facilitate tribal unity to protect and nurture all compacting tribes rights, languages, cultures, and traditions

4 USRT Charter Objectives Provide technical assistance and coordination of: 1) Fish and Wildlife 2) Land, Water, and Air 3) Cultural Resources 4) Federal Trust Responsibility USRT office in Boise, Idaho provides a focused location for member tribes; increasing and improving communication to coordinate activities USRT Commission Meeting – Fort Hall, Idaho, November 2013

5 USRT Commission  USRT Commission is composed of two Council members from each of USRT’s four tribes  USRT Commission meetings are held monthly either in Boise, by conference call/webinar, or on member tribes’ reservations  Current Commission: o Charlotte Rodrique, Chair of Burns Paiute Tribe o Eric Hawley, Council Members of Burns Paiute Tribe o Tildon Smart, Chair of Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe o Eddie Smart, Council Member of Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe o Nathan Small, Chair of Shoshone-Bannock Tribes o Lee Juan Tyler, Vice Chair of Shoshone-Bannock Tribes o Buster Gibson, Vice Chair of Shoshone-Paiute Tribes o James Blossom, Council Member of Shoshone-Paiute Tribes

6 2015 USRT Commission-Directed Priorities  Fish Passage in Blocked areas  Bonneville Power Administration Fish &Wildlife Program Coordination  Columbia River Treaty Review  Climate Change Planning  Hells Canyon Coordination  Water Quality Improvement Issues  Education and Outreach  ESA Listings and Recovery

7 USRT Staff  Heather Ray - Executive Director o Boise office  Scott Hauser– Environmental Program Director o Boise office  Bob Austin – Fish & Wildlife Program Director o Portland office USRT delegation in Washington, DC, Dec. 2013 Petroglyph at Fort McDermitt

8 USRT - Current Issues  Fish Passage  Bonneville Power Administration Fish & Wildlife Program Implementation  Columbia River Treaty Review  Hells Canyon Complex Relicensing  Idaho Fish Consumption Process  Northwest Power & Conservation Council  Outreach and Education  State Issues  Climate Change Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area

9 USRT – Climate Change  USRT Environmental Program Director (EPD) hired in 2012  Funded under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Indian General Assistance Program (GAP)  GAP work plans for USRT’s EPD include a climate change component Lake Billy Shaw – Shoshone Paiute Reservation

10 USRT – Climate Change USRT’s original climate change GAP work plan called for: Review, assessment, and synthesis of current data and data gaps surrounding the effects of climate change on USRT member tribes Collection and synthesis of information identified in data gaps Identification of needs and actions Prioritization of actions and identification of projects Funding and implementation of projects Assessment and evaluation of project results

11 USRT – Climate Change USRT’s EPD has obtained climate change training through: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Workshop Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals Climate Change Adaptation Planning Climate Change Science for Effective Resource Management and Public Policy in the Western United States

12 USRT – Climate Change Curriculum Project  Originated the project in early 2013 (still in process)  High School Curriculum on Changing Environment  Goal to emphasize heritage and cultural strengths/resiliency - history that can offer lessons and teachings for the future  Incorporate knowledge of how ancestors of the USRT member tribes adapted to changing environment of Snake River Basin over great periods of time/through many generations

13 USRT – Climate Change Curriculum Project Multimedia/interactive teaching modules with examples of how ancestors of USRT tribal communities were likely affected by climate change in specific historical periods, to the extent this can be known and in a form that can be kept confidentially by the user/tribe

14 USRT – Proposed Vulnerability Assessment  USRT crafted a proposal for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) climate change funding announcement in 2014  Proposal calls for conducting a climate change vulnerability assessment within the entire Upper Snake River Basin  The vulnerability assessment will be a broad, regional- scale assessment covering 81,167 square miles (51,946,880 acres)  USRT estimates, with technical assistance, it will take eight months to complete the vulnerability assessment

15 Boise

16  Project area ecotypes/habitats include but are not limited to Great Basin sagebrush steppe, forest communities, riparian zones, and the culturally significant Camas Prairie  Rivers of focus will include the Upper Snake, Bruneau, Malheur, Owyhee, Portneuf, and Salmon  Terrestrial species of focus will be big game, small mammals, and upland birds  Aquatic species of focus will include both anadromous and resident fish, as well as freshwater mussels and other species  Tribal enterprises of interest include but are not limited to agriculture/aquaculture, ranching, recreation programs, and fish and wildlife enhancement programs and harvest management USRT – Proposed Vulnerability Assessment

17  Vulnerability to climate change has three specific components: sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity  USRT’s vulnerability assessment will be structured so that resources within the study area, particularly those of cultural significance, are assessed for their sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity to the effects of climate change now and into the future  Ecotypes/habitats and aquatic/terrestrial species sensitivity, for example, is based on physiology, habitat requirements, life history, dispersal ability, population growth rates, location, ecological climate effects, and disturbance regime effects  Upon completion of a climate change vulnerability assessment, USRT will be poised to craft an adaptation plan that will be implemented within the four tribes’ cultural, environmental, fish and wildlife, natural resource, and tribal enterprise programs USRT – Proposed Vulnerability Assessment

18 USRT – Potential Climate Change Threats  Timing shifts in water  Water temperature and availability  Loss/reduction of culturally-significant plants and animals  Proliferation of invasive species  Increase in fire frequency/intensity  Loss of revenue from tribal enterprises  Negation of restoration/reintroduction projects

19 USRT – Proposed Vulnerability Assessment  BIA has delayed awarding the climate change grant funding (new grant announced February, 2015)  USRT has proposed to EPA to do similar work under FY 2016 GAP Supplemental funding  USRT will continuously seek climate change funding sources/opportunities Shoshone-Bannock Encampment near Pocatello, Idaho

20 USRT/Member Tribes Climate Change Capacities  Currently, USRT is a small organization with limited resources  Capacity & resources among USRT’s four member tribes are disparate  There is general awareness of climate change and impending impacts within the tribal councils, less so, however, among the membership  Regardless the level of awareness, climate change is of low priority among USRT’s member tribe given other immediate priorities and concerns

21 USRT – Consortia/Tribal Climate Change Needs  Financial Resources  General/high-level funding opportunities  Technical Expertise  Education & Community Outreach  Time Urgency o Loss of tribal elders & traditional cultural practices  Relevancy to Tribal Members  Baseline Information & Inventories o Many tribes data poor or have data by analysis poor  Training to Identify Study Needs for Recognizing Climate Change Impacts

22 Questions? Thank You

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