Department of Natural Resources Update – 10/22

Department of Natural Resources October 2022 Update

Preservation Program updates- October 2022
Some of these projects have been completed, a few will continue be monitored though November
• Cayuse cove monitoring
• Monitoring Avista grid hardening, pole replacement on reservation
• Monitoring State Fish hatchery on little Spokane River
• Monitoring Avista pipe line in Airway Heights
• Old Burn Timber sale clearance
• Helping with Elder wood cutting with DNR
• Project Specific Programmatic agreement for Lake Roosevelt

October 2022 Collections Efforts and Accomplishments
Collections staff have continued efforts to monitor storage climate conditions, especially in light of the potential fluctuations that can occur during seasonal shifts. The data logger readings for temperature and relative humidity % are reviewed daily to ensure there are no significant fluctuations, and data reports continue to be collected at the end of each month for monthly and yearly comparisons of our storage conditions. Insect monitors were also replaced at the start of October to assess any potential changes in the types or quantities of pests that occur during seasonal shifts.
The Collections staff also assisted in the cleaning and conservation of a feather headdress at the Walt Goodman Historical Museum in Chewelah, WA, providing training and information to the staff there on the proper care for the headdress. Techniques, materials, and conservation supplies were shared during the site visit at the Chewelah Museum as a means to both conduct the cleaning of the headdress which had evidence of past pest damage as well as considerable dirt, dust, and debris, as well as bolster the preservation efforts and knowledge of the staff caring for the headdress and other similar artifacts. During our site visit, further discussion also took place on the continued development of the Native American Education exhibit. Additional educational outreach has been scheduled for November with local regional schools, including presentations that will be given to 7th and 8th grade students and Deer Park Middle School and 4th and 5th grade students at Mark Walker School District. These presentations will focus on the history and culture of the Spokane Tribe, cultural resources, and collections care for the Spokane’s cultural heritage.

October Accomplishments
Forestry programs include Accounting, Forest Development, Fire Management, Fuels Management, GIS, Timber Sales, and Presales.
Forestry’s Mission Statement is to maintain long-term forest health and growth for a sustainable timber harvest, while preserving and enhancing old growth, native plants, wildlife habitat, water resources, air quality, cultural resources, and visual aesthetics. With that, highlights by Forestry programs include:
Presales: CFI Re-measurement almost complete, expect field data collection to be completed in 1 month. Crew marking in Guard Cabin.
Timber Sales- Currently working in Frost Pocket, Fire Break, Elk Drop and 2021 Allotment Sale.
Accounting- Completed biweekly sale invoicing and data transferring. Issues ticket books throughout the month along with firewood cutting permits.
GIS- April Kaiser has started employment for the tribe as the GIS Manager. She is currently transitioning into the position, and has scheduled the first steering committee meeting for November 8th, 2022. The buffalo drive for DNR now has a weekly differential back up from GISD001 to FMGD001 every Sunday. Software updates have been completed on the GIS office computers. The ESRI license agreement form was updated and completed for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. ESRI licenses were ordered and received for concurrent use for ArcGIS Pro 3.0 in DNR. There will be a major push to switch from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro over the next several weeks. Reorganization of data and 2022 updates for DNR’s geodatabase layers are underway.
Fuels- Completed Prescribed Fire treatments on 1,581 acres. Assisted with Elders wood gathering.
Forest Development- Completed BIA annual reporting. Assisted with Elders wood gathering.
Fire Management- Staff transitioned over to the Fuels program and assisted with prescribed fire. Management staff reviewing training needs and seeking training opportunities for staff.

Water & Fish Program October Report
• final watering/fertilizer on Bradford project and removal of hoses and pumps
• Mine site visit
• Fish removal on Blue Creek bank stabilization
• Wood for elders (1 week) all staff
• Assisting in FWINN sampling Lake Roosevelt
• JSAP sow and budget to BPA
• Retrieved and downloaded temperature data loggers on all sites minus 1
• Stream flows
• Posted climate change surveys around Reservation
• Plant trees on Lane Mountain
• Mtgs, Climate change plan, water resources plan, utilities lagoon sampling, lead entity, Dawn Mill ACL and attorneys and staff, Spokane River Forum,
• Sampled community water systems
• Review California Creek weed abatement
• ID Team leads for homesite, timber sales and emergency authorization for timber removal
• Review of Avista’s temperature attainment plan and internal coordination

Anadromous Program Monthly Report October 2022
• In October the Anadromous Program was over their waders in policy and technical work. Participating in several policy processes including the Columbia Basin Collaborative, Blocked Areas Anadromous Fish Working Group, and the Columbia River Treaty; staff continue to push fish passage and reintroduction of salmon to the Tribe’s waters as being a benefit to the entire Basin. For the purposes of information sharing and receiving a comprehensive technical review of the UCUT Phase 2 Implementation Plan, Program staff alongside our UCUT counterparts took representatives of the Independent Scientific Advisory Board on a tour of the region, putting our reintroduction plan into context for the reviewers. Most excitingly, staff performed several redd surveys on the Spokane River – documenting the successful spawning of Chinook salmon released during this summer’s multi-tribal joint release. Spoiler alert! More than 23 redds were found in the limited section of river that was surveyed!

Fisheries Program Monthly Report October 2022
• The month of October was punctuated by a push to wrap up the majority of field season before winter weather sets in. Staff completed White Sturgeon Stock Assessment surveys, conducted Northern Pike suppression surveys, along with sampling for Young-of-Year fish and Water quality monitoring. We assisted the Lake Roosevelt Net Pen Volunteers with deployment of the net pens and transferred approximately 400 thousand rainbow trout from the hatchery to the pens. The program also completed the annual Fall Walleye Index Netting survey, along with CTCR and WDFW and began preparation for the fall Northern Pike survey in the first week of November. Additionally, policy staff continued pushing the Tribe’s message of mitigation and reintroduction of Salmon through participation in many regional and national processes; Columbia Basin Collaborative, Blocked Areas Anadromous Fish Working Group, Columbia River Treaty, Fish Passage Advisory Group, the Federal Columbia River Power System Technical Management Team, and others.

Air Quality Program October Report
• Wood Gathering planning and event for Tribal Elders and those in need.
• Ford Escape mileage services – Corwin Ford
• Biennial Tribal/EPA meeting work group/planning (Meeting set for November 8-10)
• Northwest AIRQUEST – Air Modeling, forecasting for the month
• NTAA CALLS (Mobile Sources, Indoor Air Quality, Monthly NTAA Call, Alaska Tribal Air Work, NTAA/EPA Air Policy, Quarterly EJ Discussion)
• Spokane Tribe Climate Resilience Planning – for Climate Resilience Grant update calls

Range October 2022 Report
During October 2022, the Range Program worked on Thistle eradication in areas off of Drum Rd. In total, 16 acres were treated across the area, which will ultimately have benefits to livestock and wildlife habitat. Two small scale native grass seeding trials were completed in the Cayuse burn area. This area is heavily infested with noxious weeds, though it is often too steep or rocky to utilize traditional equipment for planting. Seed was broadcasted into the area and will be periodically monitored for success. Revegetating areas with high weed pressure will benefit livestock and wildlife, and will help reduce herbicide use on the reservation. A spring mapping and condition survey was started to update existing location and condition data on springs, troughs, and other water sources and improvements across the reservation. The program also reinforced and improved a corral near the Andersen Ranch.

Wildlife Program October Report
In October the Wildlife Program has been actively trapping black bears as part of a new research project that will be looking at diet, home range, and population dynamics. This involves identifying bear areas and setting large live traps baited with food. Once trapped, bears are tranquilized and equipped with GPS collars that allow Wildlife Staff to track them for up to 3 years. Wildlife Biologists attended a Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) sample collection training. This information will be used to train other Wildlife Staff to collect Retropharyngeal Lymph Nodes from deer and elk as part of a new surveillance program for CWD. The Program is hoping to obtain as many samples as possible to send in for laboratory testing as CWD continues to be found closer to Washington borders. Wildlife Biologists continue to monitor animals equipped with GPS collars and monitor predators with trail camera data.

Wildlife Mitigation
During the month of October, the program finished up our fall cover crop planting. We planted a wheat/canola mix as well as triticale/ pea mix. Our staff has been working on fence maintenance. The program has planted 300 aspen trees on mitigation properties to enhance previous planted aspen stands.

Timber, Fish & Wildlife
The timber, fish, and wildlife program continued work to monitor timber harvest activities on private and state lands within the Tribe’s Usual & Accustomed lands. This included review of 30 Forest Practices Applications and 9 Water Type Modification requests in Stevens, Spokane, and Lincoln counties. This work helped to achieve adequate Natural Resource protections and compliance with state regulations. Additionally, the program continued its collaboration with the Washington Forest Practices Adaptive Management Program through participation in the Scientific Advisory Group Eastside (SAGE), the Instream Scientific Advisory Group (ISAG), the Cooperative Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research (CMER), and the Washington State Forest Practices Board. Participation included representation in meetings as well as review of Adaptive Management Program documents, including the Eastside Timber Habitat Evaluation Project (ETHEP) Draft Study Design