The Wetlands Conservancy and Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians Join Forces to Conserve Central Coast Wetlands

During the past 20 years the Confederated Tribe of the Siletz Indians (CTSI) has carried out aquatic research, assessments and restoration across the Siletz and Yaquina Basins. This work has resulted in the Tribe identifying the need to achieve many aspects of cultural preservation through habitat enhancements and conservation actions. Examples of cultural preservation include the ability to access basketry materials as well as traditional foods (camas) found in wetlands. Camas was a once a regular food staple, which consequently disappeared from tribal diets as ownership and land management changed. Camas is a now being brought back for ceremonial uses and as traditional food that can alter poor diets and diseases such as diabetes. Wetlands historically used by tribal members for digging camas, spruce roots and gathering basketry materials have been tiled, ditched an drained. Most of these wetlands are not located on tribal land and thus access has been limited or non-existent. All of these factors have threatened the Tribes ability to preserve its culture specific to wetland resources. In 2016, The Tribe identified The Wetlands Conservancy as a likely partner to conserve important wetlands.  In May 2017, The Tribe and The Wetlands Conservancy signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) forming a partnership focused on land conservation, enhancement, restoration, and Tribal cultural preservation. The MOA recognizes the partnerships common goals and priorities; the need for coordination, and the need to seek aggregate funding to accomplish common goals and priorities. With funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, The Tribe and TWC will produce a Lower Siletz and Yaquina Wetlands Prioritization Strategy to guide future conservation actions. Incorporating Tribal goals and knowledge to identify opportunities to conserve habitats will be a top priority.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *