Mail: qdnr@quinault.org   Phone: 1-360-276-8211 x7001

Quinault Environmental Protection

Lake Quinault Ownership Affirmed

federal court STANDS BY 2019 RULING THAT AFFIRMED LAKE Quinault IS OWNED BY THE QUINAULT NATION Taholah, WA – The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals on January 10, 2020 affirmed the U.S. Court of Federal Claims dismissal of a lawsuit that sought to revoke the ownership of Lake Quinault from the Quinault Indian Nation. The July 24, 2019 dismissal by the Court of Federal Claims affirmed two prior court decisions rejecting the claim that the Quinault Nation has no jurisdiction over the lake. “The court’s decision should mark the end of this misguided challenge to the Nation’s ownership of...

QIN Declares Drought Emergency on Reservation

Quinault Nation leaders have declared a drought emergency for the Quinault Indian Reservation as snow pack in the Olympic mountains has dwindled to zero percent of normal while total precipitation this year over the western Olympic Peninsula is the third lowest since 1895. The U.S. Drought Monitor on June 11 upgraded the drought classification for the Olympic Peninsula from “moderate” to “severe.” Drought conditions are expected to bring water shortages and restrictions as well as increased wildfire risk and hazards posing a threat to people, fish and wildlife. “The coming summer is likely to bring one of the worst...

Quinaults Can Regulate Water Quality

The Quinault Indian Nation can now regulate water quality on bodies of water within the reservation under a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency action that provides the tribe with the same authority under the Clean Water Act as the state of Washington. The EPA last week approved a Quinault request to assume responsibilities of the Clean Water Act’s Water Quality Standards and Certification programs. “Specifically, this approval will enable the QIN to establish the regulatory and scientific foundation for protecting water quality by setting water quality goals and standards for the surface water bodies within the reservation,” the EPA...

Quinault Officials Skeptical of Chehalis River Dam

A month-long “scoping” period began Friday as state and federal regulators develop a framework for what will be examined in a pair of environmental impact statements on a proposal to build a dam to control flooding in the Chehalis River basin. Note: For more complete and recent information on the proposed dam please click HERE. The scoping process is to get public comment on the breadth of the environmental review. The Quinault Indian Nation immediately submitted a series of questions and concerns about the proposed Chehalis River dam, including how much it would cost, who will pay for it...

Marine Debris Tribal Initiatives

Marine debris, an increasingly important topic, has been in the news recently. Most recently we have learned about the increasing size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch1 and research findings that state the dangers that microplastics are having on some of the filter-feeding marine megafauna2. From time to time we hear encouraging stories where communities are working towards solutions at the local, national, and international level. Tribes along the coast are really seeing these effects and doing something about it. Cleaning up the mess that ends up on coastal Tribal lands is a huge effort. The Coquille Tribe has...

Climate Change Tightens Grip on West Coast

Trump’s climate policies have led to criticism from California, Washington and Oregon, but change hasn’t been easier closer to home for those states. California’s exposure to climate change has been laid bare with warnings that San Francisco faces a far worse threat from rising seas than previously thought, while the agricultural heart of the state will increasingly struggle to support crops such as peaches, walnuts and apricots as temperatures climb. The findings, from two new scientific studies, come as California’s neighboring west coast states Oregon and Washington have both faltered in their legislative attempts to address climate policies and deliver a...

Oil Spill Response Plan Approved

Emergency oil spill response preparations for a major oil train spill took a big step forward this week. The Washington Department of Ecology has approved the state’s first oil spill response plan for the largest freight railroad company in the state, BNSF Railway Company. BNSF owns 1,332 miles of track in the state and delivers oil to refineries at Cherry Point and Ferndale, truck racks in Seattle and Spokane, and terminals in Anacortes and Pasco. With the approved oil spill response plan, BNSF meets Ecology’s more protective requirements. Oil Spill Response Should Be Rapid, Aggressive and Well Coordinated “This...

Forest Restoration: Getting the Prescription Right

Forest health, like human health, involves a complex set of variables. Just like medical doctors, there are many types of forest health specialists. Working together, silviculturists, fire specialists, hydrologists, biologists and timber specialists create comprehensive forest treatment and management plans. Forests face multiple health threats including disease, drought, fire and insect infestation. The way we manage our forests has short and long term impacts on a forest’s ability to respond to and resist these disturbances. This is similar to our own bodies: If we adopt healthy behaviors like getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating a balanced diet, we are...

State Bans Atlantic Salmon Farming After 2025

The net-pen salmon farming of Atlantic salmon would be phased out in Washington waters by 2025, when existing leases run out, under legislation passed with bipartisan backing Thursday in the state Senate. The legislation comes as reaction to a net collapse last August at a salmon farm off Cypress Island, where between 243,000 and 263,000 non-native Atlantic salmon were accidentally released.  The fish have turned up as far away as the Harrison River in British Columbia. Powerful Bipartisan Vote of Salmon Farming  After what sponsor Sen. Kevin Ranker, R-Orcas, described as a “powerful bipartisan vote” of 35-12, the legislation...

Poacher Gets Busted With 1,088 Sea Urchins

Sea urchins, those spiny creatures beach goers carefully avoid stepping on, are a hot commodity. Sometimes too hot. A sea urchin poacher was caught Jan. 7 when he pulled into Tacoma’s Breakwater Marina just east of Point Defiance Park. Officer Jake Greshock with the state Fish and Wildlife Department’s Central Sound Marine Detachment was watching the commercial diver from shore as he harvested green sea urchins north of the Tacoma Narrows bridges. When Greshock checked the diver’s 1,500 pounds of sea urchins at the marina he found several under the minimum 2 1/4-inch size limit. He called in three other officers and Sgt....