QIN TRIBAL PERSPECTIVE GHMP

QIN TRIBAL PERSPECTIVE GHMP

Hi all,

The information below is from QIN President Fawn Sharp published in a Tulalip Tribal news letter and reflects the QIN comments on the new WDF&W Commission policy for Grays Harbor.  ( & the tributaries )  Many will reject the positions put forth by President Sharp  but one should temper that rejection with  a understanding that history drives perception for most folks tribal or non tribal.  That said in the last 15 years ( or more ) co management in Grays Harbor has went from co management to dual management with both the QIN and WDF&W pretty much managing their portion of the harvest pretty much independent of each other.  

President Sharp: " Rather than confronting the major threat to natural fish production in the Grays Harbor Basin, destruction and degradation of habitats, the Commission has chosen to focus on harvest by a small segment of the fishing community."  Two things come to mind here. First it was a major revolt by citizens that resulted in the new Commission policies not just a idle thought by the Commission. It was a diverse and substantial number of citizens not a small group of self serving individuals.  Secondly the inland communities in the Chehalis Basin have shouldered the vast majority of  the burden of habitat reform and believe the purpose to be to get fish back to the streams for healthy runs.  The QIN relationship with the Chehalis Basin salmonid stocks is primarily harvest.  If you have more fish due to restoration you have more for harvest BUT that does not necessarily mean more spawning salmon in the streams that the fish spawn. In fact the escapement goal was recently reduced for Grays Harbor .

President Sharp: “As co-managers, the Quinault Nation and State should be working collaboratively and cooperatively to conserve Grays Harbor salmon. Yet the Commission didn’t even bother to meet with us. The Commission’s plan is a stark reminder of the decades-long battles in the federal courts which found that the so-called ‘conservation’ actions of the State of Washington were in fact ‘wise use’ decisions that unlawfully discriminated against treaty fishing.  It is inconceivable that today, some 40 years after the decision of Judge Boldt in US v Washington, the Commission would still choose to ignore tribal rights and interests,”

I guess this is one view but the following is from the new Grays Harbor Management plan. 2) Meet the terms of U.S. v. Washington and other federal court orders and promote a strong relationship with the Quinault Indian Nation. Spawning escapement goals, fisheries, and artificial production objectives will be developed and jointly agreed with the Quinault Indian Nation. Agreements between the Department and the Quinault Indian Nation related to salmon in the Grays Harbor Basin shall be made available to the public through the agency web site.

So take a look and draw your own conclusions.

Dave

 

TAHOLAH, WA (2/18/14)— “I am extremely disappointed that the State Fish and Wildlife Commission has chosen to unilaterally develop a management policy for Grays Harbor salmon,” said Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Indian Nation. Her comment referred to a recent news release in which the Commission announced its February 8 approval of a new salmon-management policy to conserve wild salmon runs and clarify catch guidelines for sport and commercial fisheries in the bay.

“As co-managers, the Quinault Nation and State should be working collaboratively and cooperatively to conserve Grays Harbor salmon. Yet the Commission didn’t even bother to meet with us. The Commission’s plan is a stark reminder of the decades-long battles in the federal courts which found that the so-called ‘conservation’ actions of the State of Washington were in fact ‘wise use’ decisions that unlawfully discriminated against treaty fishing.  It is inconceivable that today, some 40 years after the decision of Judge Boldt in US v Washington, the Commission would still choose to ignore tribal rights and interests,” said Sharp.

“Quinault Nation has consistently demonstrated leadership in habitat restoration, enhancement and all aspects of good stewardship. The State’s pursuit of fish-killing dams in the Chehalis River and the Commission’s actions reflect continuation of a disturbing pattern.  Rather than confronting the major threat to natural fish production in the Grays Harbor Basin, destruction and degradation of habitats, the Commission has chosen to focus on harvest by a small segment of the fishing community. The State also continues to ignore the orders of federal courts.  Proper management of Grays Harbor fishery resources requires a comprehensive and cohesive approach developed through collaborative processes at state/tribal, regional and even international levels. By acting on its own, the Commission violated the principles of cooperation and trust and even such agreements as the Centennial Accord.  While the Commission’s policy can’t apply to our fisheries, implementation of the Commission’s policy could well set the stage for future conflict and confrontation,” said President Sharp.

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