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Healing the waters: A holistic Native American Indian approach

from development in the watershed. The monitoring is continuing with renewed interest this year due to drought conditions in Washington. The tribe is implementing recommendations for wetland and watershed protection and best management practices to pro-actively protect the water and its cultural resources (i.e., wetland plants and animals) that the tribe has traditionally used.

A second example is the Port Gamble S'Klallam tribe's review and analysis of a closed, up gradient, off-reservation unlined and leaking landfill. In this case, the toxic plume daylights from the unconfined aquifer on the Port Gamble S'Klallam Indian Reservation as the headwaters of small creeks. The creeks then flow less than one half mile into shellfish beds in Port Gamble Bay. The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe is working with the State of Washington, the landowner, and the landfill operator to remediate the problem.

And a third example is a watershed study to help protect the largest native salmon run in central Puget Sound from land-use and development pressures. A sidelight of this project was documentation of the structural control of the drainages supporting this salmon run. This project is similar to most of the other tribal projects in that it's long-term and strives to be pro-active in nature.

"Tribal activities and technical participation have made definite impact to regional water resource programs," Fuller said. "The Suquamish and Port Gamble S'Klallam tribes have provided leadership roles on local, county, and State water resources studies, water resource planning committees, and technical advisory committees."

One of the most effective models Fuller will mention is the Coordinated Tribal Water Quality Program. Under the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, this program has been effective in stretching limited financial resources and facilitating inter-tribal technical communication.

"We will provide the professional community with a
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Contact: Ann Cairns
acairns@geosociety.org
303-447-2020 x1156
Geological Society of America
27-Jun-2001


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