Nez Perce Tribe Fish and Wildlife Commission
The vision is to protect and enhance the natural resources of the Nez Perce Tribe, as guaranteed through the Treaty of 1855, and to ensure that the cultural heritage of our people will guide the oversight in the management of our natural resources for future generations.
To develop principles, tribal code, and policies, promoting a comprehensive and cultural approach to conservation, enhancement and management of our natural resources.
To establish the Commission as meaningful participants at the policy level.
To provide excellent quality salmon to Nez Perce Tribal membership for ceremonial and subsistence purposes.
DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES
Nez Perce Tribe Fish and Wildlife Commission was officially formed and members sworn into office on September 30, 1998. By-Laws for the Nez Perce Tribe Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Nez Perce Tribal Code establishes duties and powers of the Commission and provides that it is an advisory board to the NPTEC (which retains the ultimate authority to address these issues). Those duties of the Commission include the following: providing for the conservation, enhancement and management of the tribes' fish and wildlife resources and treaty rights; promulgating annual and seasonal fishing and hunting regulations; describing the manner and methods of taking fish and wildlife; the dissemination of information to the tribal public and the NPTEC; and providing ceremonial and subsistence salmon needs of the tribe.
Management of our natural resources and the strategic development of guidelines and policies for the Nez Perce Tribe involve many areas and levels of expertise. The Commission pursued aggressive avenues and efforts to work out logistics, under the Nez Perce Treaty of 1855 and U.S. vs. Oregon, and Idaho Department of Fish and Game, ensuring tribal ceremonial and subsistence fisheries in usual and accustomed fishing sites.
In order to - completely and consistently - protect the Nez Perce Nation, representatives expressing our ideals and goals are needed in many arenas. This task calls for monetary support to attend necessary meetings and/or visit specific projects within our areas of jurisdiction. In addition to funding, it must be emphasized that our roles and participation needs to be enhanced if we are to truly represent the needs of the people at the policy-level. Currently, the activities of the commission are relegated to largely to an advisory capacity. True policy involvement and effect upon decision making has been hampered. This situation is due in part because of the lack of real consideration given to the Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Tribal membership when it comes to considering natural resource issues.
NPTFWC holds two regular meetings per month to accommodate broad involvement of Tribal members. Commission delegation and interactive agencies include the following: CRITFC Fish Management and Science Committee. The Commission does not vote on the establishment of Zone 6 seasons, but do not manage it. Compact and U.S. v Oregon negotiations; Oregon Dept. of Fish and Game; Idaho Department of Fish and Games; Washington Fish and Game; and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Other aspects include the following tribal departments: Wildlife; Natural Resources; ERWM, Wildlife Department (at times); and Administration, Conservation Enforcement, Production and Harvest divisions of the Fisheries Department.
One issue of continual discussion and evaluation is the tribal management of our resources and what impact it will have in the way of real jurisdiction.
It is imperative that all levels of tribal government look to retaining and increasing the tribal jurisdiction for the benefit of the Nez Perce Tribe.
Lapwai 208-843-7320 PHONE 208-843-7381 FAX
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