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Health and Environmental Effects Research

WED Branch Organizes Discussion with Tribal Leader

As a follow up to the recent Tribal Interactions Training taken by EPA staff, the NHEERL Western Ecology Division (WED) Pacific Coastal Ecology Branch organized a discussion with a representative of the Department of Natural Resources of the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians, Stan van de Wetering, Aquatics Program Leader for the Tribe. He provided a historical perspective on the Tribe prior to describing Tribal natural resource management activities and concerns. The Siletz Tribe manages 3,000 acres of timberland in the Siletz River drainage and is actively involved in aquatic habitat restoration for support of salmonids in a number of freshwater and estuarine areas. The Tribe also is interested in the restoration of the native oyster to harvestable levels in Oregon estuaries. The Tribe receives funding from EPA under both the Clean Water Act Section 106 and Section 319 funding programs. Principal environmental issues for the Tribe include stream temperature, suspended sediments, and herbicide/pesticide issues, and the Tribe currently is involved in the mid-coast regional effort to develop total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for temperature, sediments, and bacteria. The Tribe is looking at best management practices to maintain environmental quality and has some long-term aquatic monitoring ongoing in tributaries of the Siletz River. Some areas of potential interaction with EPA were identified, including an interest in any down-scaled temperature data from climate modeling that could assist with TMDL development. There was interest in exploring the possibility for training opportunities from EPA for Tribal high school students, who act as field assistants to the Aquatics Program. Assistance with sampling survey design and data analysis, both strengths of WED, also was discussed as an area for cooperation.

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