China Ban On West Coast Shellfish Hits Tribal Divers

Lydia Sigo, a geoduck diver and member of the Suquamish Tribe, is out of work right now because of China's ban on shellfish imports. She says her mortgage is due. "I can't keep going on like this very long." | credit: Ashley Ahearn

Lydia Sigo, a geoduck diver and member of the Suquamish Tribe, is out of work right now because of China’s ban on shellfish imports. She says her mortgage is due. “I can’t keep going on like this very long.” | credit: Ashley Ahearn

Ashley Ahearn, Earth Fix

Update Dec. 24, 9:00 a.m.: NOAA’s Seafood Inspection Program has issued a report to Chinese officials with its findings regarding the tainted geoducks from Alaska and Washington. In the letter, U.S. authorities note the actions that have been taken in response, ensure that geoduck clams and mollusks for export from Area 67 meet safety requirement and request lifting of China’s ban on shellfish imports.

Ninety percent of the geoduck harvested in Washington are sold to China and Hong Kong. It’s an indicator of how much the Northwest shellfish industry relies on exports to China.

In early December, the Chinese government instituted a ban on all shellfish imports from a large swathe of the West Coast after finding two bad clams. One from Alaska had high levels of the biotoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning. The other came from Puget Sound and tested high for inorganic arsenic. Washington does not test for arsenic in shellfish.

The crushing economic impacts of China’s move are hitting tribal fisherman in Puget Sound hard for the holidays.

At the Suquamish Tribe’s reservation on Puget Sound, Suquamish geoduck diver Lydia Sigo stands on a dock that would usually be crowded with boats bringing in their catches of geoduck. The clams can fetch up to $150 per pound in China. But today it’s quiet. There are no boats on the water — none of the 25 Suquamish tribal divers are working right now.

“That’s 25 families that really need to buy their kids Christmas presents or pay their mortgage, pay their rent,” Sigo says. “For me, I can’t keep going on like this for very long.”

The tribe is losing $20,000 each day that the ban is in place, but the impacts of the ban are being felt well beyond the reservation.

John Jones
John Jones, a geoduck diver with the Suquamish Tribe, is out of work right now
because of the Chinese ban on shellfish imports. (Photo: Ashley Ahearn)

“My brothers are from Port Gamble and they’re out of work,” says John Jones, another Suquamish diver. “They shut down diving everywhere, not just for us but for the state. It impacts a whole lot of people, not just this community but all communities throughout Puget Sound, Alaska, Oregon.”

The shellfish industry in Washington is worth $270 million annually, and China is the biggest market for exports.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 4.23.23 PM
Waters from which China no longer permits the
import of clams, oysters and other bivalves.

This is the broadest shellfish ban China has ever put in place, but it’s not the first time China has banned a major import from the U.S. Beef imports from the U.S. have been banned for the past ten years. More recently, China rejected about half a million tons of U.S. corn because it contained a genetically modified strain.

Chinese officials have been slow to reveal details of their shellfish testing methods. That’s prompted some to raise concerns about political motivations behind the shellfish ban.

“It is possible that it could be retaliation for something,” says Tabitha Mallory, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program. “That has happened in the past.”

In 2010 China banned salmon imports from Norway, just after the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the political activist Liu Xiaobo.

Mallory says it’s unclear what kind of larger political statement China could be making with the shellfish ban.

“I think it’s good to consider all the possible motivations for this,” Mallory says. “But I don’t think that we should write off the possibility that it is a legitimate accusation.”

Native Presence Added to Commission on White House Fellowships

 Rion Joaquin Ramirez, left, was named by President Barack Obama to the President's Commission on White House Fellowships on July 12.

Rion Joaquin Ramirez, left, was named by President Barack Obama to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships on July 12.

By Richard Walker, Indian Country Today Media Network

Rion Joaquin Ramirez is general counsel for the Suquamish Tribe’s Port Madison Enterprises, which has expanded the tribe’s economic diversity and made it one of the largest employers in Kitsap County, west of Seattle.

Ramirez is soon to take on another significant responsibility: Helping select men and women who work for a year as full-time, paid assistant to senior White House staff, the vice president, Cabinet secretaries and other top-ranking government officials.

Ramirez, Pascua Yaqui/Turtle Mountain Chippewa, was named by President Obama to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships July 12. He was not available for comment; technically, the president has only announced his intent to appoint Ramirez to the commission, so Ramirez can’t speak to the media until the appointment is official, which should be within two weeks, according to the White House Communications Office.

There are 27 commission members. Other current members include Keith Harper, Cherokee, who represented the plaintiff class of 500,000 individual Indians in Cobell v. Salazar and is Obama’s nominee for representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council; retired four-star Gen. Wesley Clark; Peabody and Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist John Hockenberry; eBay founder Pierre Omidyar; former U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes of Maryland; and Brown University president Ruth J. Simmons.

Ramirez is the second presidential appointee associated with the Suquamish Tribe this year. In May, Obama appointed Suquamish Tribe Chairman Leonard Forsman to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

The president appoints members of hundreds of federal agencies and commissions, but each has considerable influence over its area of focus. For example, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation manages the federal historic preservation review process and promotes historic preservation as a means of promoting job creation, economic recovery, energy independence, sustainability, and resource stewardship. In March, it endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, saying it was “an opportunity to promote better stewardship and protection of Native American historic properties and sacred sites and in doing so … ensure the survival of indigenous cultures.”

Speaking as chairman of the Suquamish Tribe, Forsman said Ramirez has helped formulate Indian policy on the federal level and helped develop the legal infrastructure needed for tribes to expand their economies. “He’s been a part of our growth for quite a long time,” Forsman said. “He’s interested in the community, in the social aspects of the tribe, and he’s very familiar with families here and from other tribes.”

Ramirez is the son of Larry Ramirez, an American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame inductee who pitched for Cal State Northridge’s 1970 NCAA Division II national championship team and was the first Native American to pitch a winning complete game in the College World Series.

The younger Ramirez earned a B.A. from the University of Washington and a J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law. He was an associate at Dorsey & Whitney LLP and Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, P.C., and served as counsel for the University of Washington’s Child Advocacy Clinic. He joined Port Madison Enterprises in 2004.

He is a past president of the Northwest Indian Bar Association and a former appellate court justice for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, where he is enrolled.

In 2012, Ramirez was a member of the Obama for America National Finance Committee and co-chairman of the Obama Native Outreach Group. He raised between $200,000 and $500,000 for Obama’s reelection campaign.

President Lyndon B. Johnson established the White House Fellows Program in October 1964, declaring that “a genuinely free society cannot be a spectator society.” His intent was to draw individuals of exceptionally high promise to Washington for one year of personal involvement in the process of government “and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs.” Fellows are expected to employ post-fellowship what they learned by “continuing to work as private citizens on their public agendas.”

Johnson hoped Fellows would contribute to the nation as future leaders. Indeed, most if not all have: Past Fellows include Tom Johnson, who later became publisher of the Los Angeles Times and chairman of CNN; Robert C. McFarlane, who served as national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan; Colin Powell, who became an Army general, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and U.S. Secretary of State; Timothy E. Wirth, who became U.S. senator from Colorado and an Under Secretary of State; and numerous authors, elected officials, journalists, military leaders, and assistant Cabinet secretaries.

The current class includes civic leaders, doctors, lawyers, military officers, public policy specialists, and a journalist.

According to the commission website, commissioners met in Washington, D.C. the first week of June and interviewed 30 White House Fellowship finalists. Commissioners will recommend 11-19 for appointment; fellows are paid at GS level 14, step 3 – currently $90,343 – and benefits, and cannot receive any other compensation during their Fellowship.

 

Read more at https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/07/17/native-presence-added-commission-white-house-fellowships-150445

The Same-Sex Marriage Movement: Everywhere Even Tribal Communities

Courtesy Jack Jackson's OfficeArizona State Senator Jack Jackson, Jr.: “With the ruling yesterday, it’s just a matter of time before Arizona and the other states allow it.”


Courtesy Jack Jackson’s Office
Arizona State Senator Jack Jackson, Jr.: “With the ruling yesterday, it’s just a matter of time before Arizona and the other states allow it.”

Annie Minard, Indian Country Today Media Network

Arizona State Senator Jack Jackson, Jr. says both the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling and its effective Proposition 8 block this week have a “special effect” on he and his husband, David Bailey. (Related story: Supreme Court Removes Hurdles to Same-Sex Marriage)

But we still have a ways to go before marriage equality is real.

Jackson and Bailey were married in California in the fall of 2008, a month before voters enacted Prop 8, making gay marriage illegal in that state.

But they live in Arizona, and Jackson points out that the DOMA ruling only applies in the 13 states that allow gay marriage. Arizona isn’t one of them. So he and his husband remain ineligible for the same federal benefits – including tax-filing status – that are available to other married couples.

“Arizona has in our constitution that marriage is only between a man and a woman,” he said. “For folks like us who are married in another state, the next step would be to see how you challenge that.”

Jackson did introduce legislation early this year that would have changed the marriage provision of the constitution, but it languished in a conservative state legislature.

“I understand there’s another effort happening here in Arizona to get it back on the ballot in 2014,” he said on Thursday. “With the ruling yesterday, it’s just a matter of time before Arizona and the other states allow it.”

The Supreme Court’s decision came in the case of United States v. Windsor. In 2009, Edith Windsor was denied access to the spousal exemption of the federal estate tax because her spouse was a woman, resulting in her having to pay $363,053. Windsor challenged Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a Clinton-era law defining “marriage” and “spouse” as being between members of “opposite sex.” On Wednesday, the Supreme Court held that limiting the definition to between a man and woman, “interfere[s] with the equal dignity of same sex marriages.”

In a separate ruling, also on Wednesday, the Court declined to hear a challenge to lower court rulings that overturned Proposition 8, a 2008 voter-approved measure that made gay marriage illegal in California. The court’s decision allows the lower court ruling to stand, which reinstates gay marriage in that state.

In addition to 13 states so far, gay marriage is legal in the Coquille Tribe (Oregon) since 2008, the Suquamish tribe (Washington) since 2011 and the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (Michigan), Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians (Michigan), and Santa Ysabel Tribe (California) since 2013. (Related story: Two-Spirit Community Applauds DOMA Strikedown and Dismissal of Prop 8)

Jackson’s tribe, the Navajo Nation, has a legal provision defining marriage as between a man and a woman. But as acceptance increases, “I think the tribal governments will also honor the will of the people,” he said. “There was actually an LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual] conference on Navajo [Nation] a couple months ago. People were talking about how do we overturn what is on the law books for the Navajo Nation. There is a movement, not only here in Arizona but on tribal nations.”

Related story: Santa Ysabel Tribe First in California to Support Same-Sex Marriage

 

Read more at https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/06/28/same-sex-marriage-movement-everywhere-even-tribal-communities-150185

Teens making films ‘on the fly’ out in Indian Country

 

Credit Josh Marshall / Josh Marshall PhotographyRaven Two Feathers of Seattle directs a short documentary about the Suquamish Indian tribe as part of the 2013 SuperFly Filmmaking Workshop.

Credit Josh Marshall / Josh Marshall Photography
Raven Two Feathers of Seattle directs a short documentary about the Suquamish Indian tribe as part of the 2013 SuperFly Filmmaking Workshop.

By Florangela Davila

KPLU 88.5 June 7, 2013

 

Each year, 50 teens  from all over the country fly into Seattle to participate in a fast-and-furious film challenge. They have to produce short films in 36 hours, or “on the fly.” Which is why the program is called “SuperFly.”

Most of the participants are Native Americans, creating Native-themed films out on location on an Indian reservation.

Seattle filmmaker Tracy Rector and her Longhouse Media company launched the workshop 8 years ago.

“Growing up in Seattle as a mixed race woman who’s indigenous, I was very aware that there were not representations of people like me. And I often felt very isolated,” she said.

The all-expenses paid workshop, held in partnership with the Seattle International Film Festival, brings together a multi-cultural group of youths. And in an effort to demystify Indian Country, the workshops are held on a different Indian reservation each year.

This year, the Suquamish Tribe out on the Kitsap Peninsula hosted the teens and introduced them to their history and culture through songs, dances, teachings, and a feast of traditional foods. They also inspired the subjects for five short documentaries and one animated film. In previous years, the teens have worked off of original narrative scripts authored by a Native writer.

On the beach on a recent day, Raven Two Feathers and Evodie Ngoy helmed the camera to tell the story of Suquamish tribal member Peg Deam.

Deam stirred up controversy a few years ago when she took a canoe from the Suquamish museum and paddled it out on the water. She says it was her way of reclaiming and revitalizing her culture.

Raven, 16, is Cherokee, Seneca, Cayuga, Comanche, and a New Mexico transplant who now attends Ballard High. She said the workshop taught her more about the diversity of tribes in the Pacific Northwest.

She added she could relate to the subject of her documentary: “I feel like you need to take risks cause originally I was super shy as a kid and I had this one teacher that pushed me to get out of my comfort zone.”

When she stood out on the beach, directing, Raven was anything but shy. She shared directing duties with Evodie, a 15-year-old from Baltimore originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“It feels awesome. I don’t know how else to express it. I’m mean, too pumped. Too pumped. Too much joy,” she said about the filmmaking experience.

The teens are divided into teams. They work with professional mentors and professional equipment. They’re fueled by the adrenaline of an intense deadline and the passion of what they’ve already figured out they love to do.

“I heard a great thing from a director once that you don’t say, ‘I want to become a filmmaker.’ You say, ‘I am a filmmaker!’ So I guess you could say I am a filmmaker!” said Raven.

“You are! Did you see what you did today?” said Evodie to Raven.

The SuperFly films, which get screened as part of the Seattle International Film Festival, will also get submitted to other festivals. They’ll also wind up in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Five Year Expansion Starts at Suquamish Clearwater Casino

Indian Country Today Media Network

Monday, June 3 will mark the ceremonial blessing and groundbreaking of Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort to kick-off the first phase in a five-year major expansion plan that will ultimately include a convention center,  100 new hotel rooms, a fifth  restaurant, and extensive remodeling of the Clearwater Casino. The groundbreaking will initiate construction of a six-level, 690-space parking garage, with a projected completion date of January 21, 2014.

Clearwater Casino CEO Russell Steele and General Manager Rich Purser will start the event at 9 a.m. Suquamish Tribal Council Members, Port Madison Enterprises Board Members, project architect Rice Fergus Miller and KORSMO Construction, the contracted builder and others are anticipated to attend.

“We are pleased to launch this first phase in a highly anticipated Master Plan that will draw businesses and organizations from around the Puget Sound to North Kitsap for conventions and corporate retreats,” says Steele, “and create another 180 jobs at the casino resort over the next 4 years. The casino will remain open for business as usual during construction, with guest parking moved to the existing parking garage.”

In addition to the new garage, Phase 1 will add 10,000 square feet of new meeting space and a 4,500 square foot pre-function area to the casino, additional office space, a new walkway between the resort and the casino, a fine dining restaurant, and the Longhouse Buffet will be remodeled. The projected completion date for Phase 1 is November 2014.

Phase II, set to begin in October 2014, will encompass the construction of a 100-room, five-story hotel adjoining the casino. All rooms will have water views and will be structured to accommodate a potential additional three stories in the future. Phase 11 is projected to be complete by end of March 2015.

Extensive remodeling resulting in a 5,700 square foot expansion of the casino will take place in Phase 111. A new 350-seat lounge, a specialty restaurant and a new bar in the center of the casino floor are part of an updated look that is projected to be completed by November 2016.

Phase IV, the final stage in the 5-year Master Plan, will be construction of the Convention Center. The project will add 15,000 square feet of meeting and entertainment space to the casino with moveable walls, along with 11, 500 square feet of pre-function space and 8,500 feet of support space. Completion is anticipated at a later date.

For more information on the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort expansion project, please contact Lisa Rodriguez, lisarodriguez@clearwatercasino.com, 360.598.8731.

Read more at https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/05/31/five-year-expansion-starts-suquamish-clearwater-casino-149634

3 Washington Native Leaders, Quinault Adviser Named to Key Positions

Maia Bellon/Courtesy Washington State Department of Ecology, Leonard Forsman/Photo by Molly Neely-WalkerMaia Bellon, left, Mescalero Apache, was appointed director of the state Department of Ecology by Gov. Jay Inslee; Leonard Forsman, Suquamish Tribe chairman was appointed by President Barack Obama to the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.Read more at https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/05/29/3-washington-native-leaders-quinault-adviser-named-key-positions-149581

Maia Bellon/Courtesy Washington State Department of Ecology, Leonard Forsman/Photo by Molly Neely-Walker
Maia Bellon, left, Mescalero Apache, was appointed director of the state Department of Ecology by Gov. Jay Inslee; Leonard Forsman, Suquamish Tribe chairman was appointed by President Barack Obama to the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
Read more at https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/05/29/3-washington-native-leaders-quinault-adviser-named-key-positions-149581

Richard Walker, Indian Country Today Media Network

Two Native Americans in Washington state and an environmental adviser to Quinault Nation’s president were named in May to key positions influencing the arts, the environment and historical protection. Earlier, an environmental lawyer who is Mescalero Apache was named director of the state’s Department of Ecology.

Suquamish Tribe Chairman Leonard Forsman was appointed by President Barack Obama to the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Forsman said he will continue to serve as Suquamish chairman; the advisory council meets quarterly and members are not paid.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)is an independent federal agency that promotes “the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of our nation’s historic resources,” and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy.

According to the agency’s website, “The goal of the National Historic Preservation Act, which established the ACHP in 1966, is to have federal agencies act as responsible stewards of our nation’s resources when their actions affect historic properties. The ACHP is the only entity with the legal responsibility to encourage federal agencies to factor historic preservation into federal project requirements.”

Forsman has been chairman of the Suquamish Tribe since 2005. He earned a bachelor of arts in anthropology from the University of Washington and a master of arts in historic preservation from Goucher College.

Forsman was director of the Suquamish Museum from 1984 to 1990, and has served on the museum Board of Directors since 2010. He was a research archaeologist for Larson Anthropological/Archaeological Services in Seattle from 1992 to 2003. He has served on the Tribal Leaders Congress on Education since 2005, the Suquamish Tribal Cultural Cooperative Committee since 2006, the Washington State Historical Society board since 2007, and was vice president of the Washington Indian Gaming Association in 2010. He also served on the state Committee on Geographic Names.

Forsman said, “I want to build on the advisory council’s efforts to recognize and protect those cultural resources that are important to tribes — the cultural landscape and sacred places that have been neglected — and provide tribes more resources to protect those places to the best of our ability.”

Maia D. Bellon, Mescalero Apache, was appointed director of the state Department of Ecology by Gov. Jay Inslee. Several Olympia insiders say Bellon may be the first Native American appointed to a cabinet-level position by a governor of Washington.

Upon taking office, she helped resolve a dispute that threatened a cleanup plan for an old mill site on Port Gamble Bay, one of seven bays identified as cleanup priorities under the Puget Sound Initiative.

Ecology wants two old docks with creosoted pilings removed as part of the cleanup; the mill site owner, Pope Resources, wanted to keep the docks in place until it had approval for a new dock, which it considers critical to its plans to further develop its upland community of Port Gamble.

The final agreement puts the docks’ removal later in the cleanup timeline. Pope has no guarantee it will get a new dock, but it may be able to use removal of the old docks as mitigation when it applies for a new-dock permit; in other words, Pope could say the environmental impacts from the new dock would be offset by the removal of the old docks.

Bellon’s handling of the negotiations won praise. “In her first weeks in office, [she] brought a focused effort on reaching an equitable resolution to this complex cleanup project,” Pope president and CEO David Nunes said.

Bellon is the daughter of Richard Bellon, executive director of the Chehalis Tribe; and Rio Lara-Bellon, a writer and educator. She graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1991 and Arizona State University Law School in 1994.

In the ensuing years, she served as an environmental attorney with Ecology and the state Attorney General’s office. In 2011, she became manager of Ecology’s water resources program, responsible for management of the state’s water resources, the allocation of water, and protection of water rights, instream flows and environmental functions.

In that role, she shepherded an agreement ensuring sufficient stream flows for salmon without jeopardizing local water-use rights in the Dungeness River basin. Among its many provisions, the agreement established necessary stream flows for salmon habitat, and set up a “water bank” through which land owners can buy, sell or lease water-use credits, or water rights.

Bellon said she works to help all sides see the other’s perspective and keep everyone focused on shared goals. “I strive to serve as a bridge,” Bellon said. “When people are in the same room, when they’re engaged closely, they find they share many of the same values. That’s where we need to start.”

Tracy Rector, Seminole/Choctaw, was appointed by Seattle’s mayor and City Council to the Seattle Arts Commission.

Rector is executive director of Longhouse Media, which works to break down negative stereotypes of Native people in the media, and help Native youth develop the skills necessary to tell their own stories through digital media. She produced the award-winning film, “March Point” (2008), a coming-of-age story about three Swinomish teens who make a documentary about the impact of two oil refineries on their community.

Rector’s film work has been featured at the Cannes Film Festival, ImagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival, the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian, and on PBS’s Independent Lens. She has a master’s in education from Antioch University.

Gary Morishima, natural resources adviser to Quinault Nation President Fawn Sharp, is a new member of the U.S. Geological Survey Climate Change and Natural Resources Science Committee, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Native American Policy Team. He was appointed by U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

In her announcement, Jewell said the climate change committee will work to “develop sound science that will help inform policymakers, land managers and the public in making important resource management decisions.”

Morishima said in an announcement released by the Quinault Nation, “Because Tribal communities are place-based and critically dependent on natural resources, they are among the most vulnerable to climate impacts and among the most experienced in adapting to changing conditions. Tribal perspectives need to be an integral part of the committee’s dialogue. Awareness and respect for both tribal wisdom and western science will be crucial to our collective ability to understand, confront and overcome the scientific, economic and political challenges that lie ahead.”

Morishima said of his appointment to U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Native American Policy team, “It’s a big responsibility and an exciting opportunity to strengthen working partnerships to care for the land and people.”

Morishima has an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a Ph.D. in quantitative science and environmental management from the University of Washington. He has served the Quinault Nation since 1974 in forestry, fisheries and natural resources management. He has testified before Congress on natural resource management, trust reform, and Indian policy. He is one of the founders of the Intertribal Timber Council.

“I am very proud of the many achievements and contributions Dr. Morishima has made in his 40 years of service to the Quinault Nation and to Indian country,” Quinault’s president said in the announcement. “I have full confidence that he will do an exceptional job and that his efforts will make a substantial difference in meeting the challenges being addressed by these two important committees.”

 

Read more at https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/05/29/3-washington-native-leaders-quinault-adviser-named-key-positions-149581

Suquamish Tribe donates fry for release in Carkeek Park

Source: Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

In its 10th year of a successful partnership, the Suquamish Tribe has donated 50,000 chum salmon fry to the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project, supporting the effort to teach the public about salmon and why it’s important to keep streams clean.

“A few years ago, we released 70,000 fry and 164 came back last year, which is a good return for us,” said Bill Hagen, the volunteer coordinator for the community group.

Ben Carkeek Park Transfer April 2013 web

Suquamish natural resources technician Ben Purser takes a dip net of chum salmon fry from the tribe’s Grovers Creek hatchery near Indianola. The fry were transferred to Carkeek Park’s Piper Creek in Seattle. More photos of the transfer can be found on NWIFC’s Flickr page. 

 

“We appreciate volunteers all over Puget Sound who are excited about the salmon life cycle and teaching others about it,” said Jay Zischke, the tribe’s marine fish program manager. “These types of programs are key to helping stress the importance of clean water, for both fish and people.”

The fish were donated in March and kept in a large swimming pool at the end of a trail on Piper’s Creek until released in April. Volunteers, from retirees to entire families, feed the fish three times a day until they are released.

The creek and trail are popular with school groups learning environmental science and the salmon-watching public, especially in the fall.

About 700 people came up this trail last year, Hagen said, so it gets a lot of traffic and is a good place for both kids and adults to learn about salmon.

“This is enjoyable for everyone who comes up here and if it weren’t for the tribe, we wouldn’t have it,” Hagen said.