Spokane Tribe in Collaboration to Help Protect Wildlife HabitatPosted: Updated:
WELLPINIT, Wash. - The Spokane Tribe of Indians is pleased to announce that the recent purchase of wildlife habitat land from Forest Capital Partners, a private forest landowner, will bring the Tribe closer to its goal of owning 100 percent of its Reservation land. The Bonneville Power Administration is providing funding for the acquisition as part of its wildlife mitigation efforts.
The Tribe's 3926-acre acquisition is on the Spokane Indian Reservation and includes nearly 2000 acres of critical big game winter range habitat.
"The Tribe is thankful for the work of our staff and corresponding BPA wildlife mitigation funding for this major land acquisition," said Spokane Tribal Chairman, Richard Sherwood. "We appreciate Forest Capital's willingness to work with the tribe in meeting our goals of not only protecting our wildlife habitat, but also the sovereignty of the Spokane Tribe of Indians."
"It makes sense that this property should be restored to Tribal ownership," said Kevin Boling, Western Director of Land Transactions for Forest Capital Partners. "Our company believes we have a responsibility to support the communities where we live and work. In this case we were able to fulfill that objective by recognizing the important values for the Spokane Tribe, including the protection of wildlife habitat."
The Spokane Tribe's ancestral homelands originally encompassed nearly 3-million acres. Today the Tribe lives upon nearly 154,000 acres on the Spokane Indian Reservation.
"The Spokane Tribe is proud to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Forest Capital Partners and BPA to finalize an important and successful natural resource acquisition for the benefit of wildlife and their habitats," said BJ Kieffer, Wildlife Manager for the Tribe.
"Our ancestors have always taught us to be good stewards of the land, its waterways, and all aspects of the environment. This important land purchase will help the Tribe to continue on its path of protecting and enhancing its wildlife habitat," said Rudy Peone, Director of Spokane Tribe's Department Natural Resources.
"This collaborative project fits perfectly with BPA's commitment to restore or protect critical habitat that helps preserve the Pacific Northwest as the special place that it is," said Greg Delwiche, vice president of Environment, Fish and Wildlife at BPA. "So far, BPA has protected more than 300,000 acres across the Northwest through the agency's mitigation efforts."
All parties involved agree that this partnership is an excellent example of federal, tribal and private partners working collaboratively to protect important natural resources.