PNPTC HABITAT PROGRAM
The Point No Point Treaty Council’s Habitat Program is focused on taking care of healthy and functional nearshore and freshwater habitats, facilitating the restoration of degraded areas and undertaking research to identify and understand the organisms that live within these habitats. Treaty Rights and habitat protection and restoration are intimately tied to each other and the Habitat Program biologists work with the regulatory agencies that manage areas within our member Tribes Usual and Accustomed fishing areas and historic hunting areas. Our staff works with the federal, state and local governments in order to support the PNPTC goal of protecting, preserving and restoring natural resources and to further protect the Tribal Treaty Rights that are at risk. Our department focuses on:
|1) RESEARCH||3) REGULATORY REVIEW||5) SSHIAP|
|2) RECOVERY||4) PNPTC GIS||6) MEMBER TRIBES|
The Point No Point Treaty Council has been actively involved with research in different areas of the watersheds that affect our member Tribes.
The PNPTC undertook a four-county wide riparian vegetation land cover project (Kitsap, Clallam, Jefferson, and Mason) that was funded through the US EPA because riparian corridors along marine shorelines, rivers, and floodplains provide important ecological functions for salmonid species and other wildlife, including shade, large woody debris and other organic inputs, and dispersal of food to adjacent water bodies. Additional ecological functions include water storage, flood attenuation, absorption of sediments and contaminants to help protect water quality, and nutrient exchange. The protection and restoration of riverine floodplain habitat is fundamental to the recovery of federally listed salmonid populations in the Puget Sound region. The data viewer for this project can be found here:
A project description can be found downloaded here:
The Point No Point Treaty Area is home to four federally protected salmon/trout species Hood Canal summer chum, Puget Sound chinook, Puget Sound steelhead and Coastal Puget Sound bull trout. All are listed as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act(ESA). The Treaty Council has participated in developing comprehensive recovery plans for Hood Canal summer chum and Puget Sound Chinook. Included in these plans are strategies and actions that address harvest management, habitat protection and restoration, and hatchery management.
Hood Canal summer chum originate entirely within streams of the Point No Point Treaty Area. The tribal and state co-managers (including the Treaty Council) developed a Hood Canal Summer Chum Conservation Initiative that addressed harvest, hatchery and habitat management of the summer chum and released it in April 2000. Subsequently, a Hood Canal summer chum recovery plan was developed by the Hood Canal Coordinating Council, based in part on the Initiative, but also with additional input from the co-managers and from local land management jurisdictions and other interested parties. This recovery plan was approved in 2007 by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as required under the ESA. A larger effort involving all of Puget Sound was undertaken to develop the Puget Sound chinook recovery plan. The Treaty Council and its tribes participated in this planning process as well, specifically addressing the chinook populations within the Point No Point Treaty area. This recovery plan was approved by the NMFS in 2007. Additionally, a complete recovery plan for Puget Sound steelhead is in process. A harvest management plan has been drafted by the Puget Sound tribal and state co-managers and is under review with the NMFS.
The Treaty Council and its member tribes have helped manage the recovery of ESA-listed fish species, not only by participating in salmon recovery planning but by taking other actions as we; eliminate fisheries directed at summer chum and chinook, and adjust fisheries directed at other salmon stocks whose run timing overlaps summer chum and chinook stocks, to avoid incidental harvests; participate in hatchery supplementation program planning to help recover or restore the federally listed populations; revise existing programs for non-listed species to reduce potential impacts on listed fish; participate in land use management processes to protect habitat, such as critical area ordinance and shoreline master program updates; work with all interested groups – from federal entities to local grassroots efforts to develop salmon habitat restoration projects for listed and non-listed species. These efforts run from small culvert replacement projects that open up high-quality spawning habitat for returning salmon, to mapping projects that specify where marine habitat has been lost and how best to recover it.
The Treaty Council participates in reviewing many kinds of regulatory documents. Our staff was involved in reviewing the updated Shoreline Master Programs for Clallam County, Jefferson County, Mason County and Kitsap County.
The PNPTC also participates in the Inter-Agency Review Team, that has a primary purpose for reviewing potential development projects so that they meet no net loss of aquatic resource functions by using a newly developed voluntary mechanism for those projects that require compensatory habitat mitigation for unavoidable impacts authorized by the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251) and/or other federal, state, tribal, or local regulations through an in-lieu fee program. This program is run through the Hood Canal Coordinating Council and can be found here: http://hccc.wa.gov/In+Lieu+Fee+Mitigation+Program/default.aspx
More information about our member tribes can be found here: