Morishima appointed to national committees

Morishima appointed to national committees

Taholah, WA -- Gary Morishima, Natural Resources Technical Advisor to President Fawn Sharp, was recently appointed to two national committees, the Department of Interior/U.S. Geological Survey Climate Change and Natural Resources Science Committee and the Fish and Wildlife Service Native American Policy Team. 

In making the appointment to the DOI/USGS Committee, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said the newly created federal advisory committee would provide guidance about the Interior Department’s climate change adaptation science initiatives, about the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and the DOI Climate Change Centers managed by USGS.

“Responding to climate change and its effects on our natural and cultural resources is an important priority for the nation,” said Jewell. “This committee embodies our commitment to working closely with our partners to strengthen our efforts to develop sound science that will help inform policymakers, land managers and the public in making important resource management decisions.”

Twenty-five committee members were selected from more than 100 nominations received by the Interior Department. Members represent Interior and other federal agencies; tribal, state, and local governments; nongovernmental organizations; academic institutions; and the private sector. The committee members will serve two-three year terms, providing guidance about the operations of the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and the eight regional Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers.

“The national center and the eight new regional centers are the hub and spokes of an important Obama Administration initiative to help land managers and others adapt to climate change. Science centers are working hand in glove with landscape conservation cooperatives and delivering information on climate change impacts on water, wildlife and other natural resources to local resource managers,” said Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes. “The Climate Change Advisory Committee will play an important role in the department’s climate adaptation strategy by providing advice on critical issues such as science priorities, relations with key partners, ensuring scientific excellence and coordinating with other climate adaptation initiatives.”

 “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,” said Morishima.

The FWS Policy Team is to develop recommendations to revise both the FWS Native American Policy and an Implementation Plan. The policy was issued in April of 1994 pursuant to a Memorandum for Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies on Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Governments from President Clinton which set forth principles to build more effective working relationships.  The first meeting of the Team will occur in mid-July as it begins its process of developing a policy that reflects the increasing involvement of Tribal governments in management of our nation’s natural resources and the continuing commitments to support self-determination, trust responsibility, government-to-government relations, and meaningful tribal consultation.    For the first time, representatives from tribal governments will be work hand-in-hand with FWS leadership to improve both the policy and its implementation. 

 “I look forward to working with tribal colleagues and leadership of the USFWS to improve and implement the Service’s Native American Policy.  It’s a big responsibility and an exciting opportunity to strengthen working partnerships to care for the land and people,” said Morishima.

 “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,” said QIN President Fawn Sharp. “These appointments are very appropriate. 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,” she said.

Morishima is widely acknowledged for his expertise in natural resource management, policy analysis, computer simulation modeling and mathematical statistics and has served the Quinault Nation since 1974 in matters pertaining to forestry, fisheries, climate change, and inter-jurisdictional natural resources management. He has been active in many legislative and judicial processes, appearing as an expert witness in court proceedings and testifying before Congress on matters relating to natural resource management, trust reform, and Indian policy. He has worked on numerous landmark issues, including self-determination and self-governance, was one of the founders of the Intertribal Timber Council and has served on numerous regional, national and international fisheries and forestry councils, science boards, and in many other capacities. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Science & Environmental Management from the University of Washington.

 “Dr. Morishima is one of great minds of our time,” said Sharp. “His contribution has truly been immense. I have always felt very fortunate that he works for the Quinault Nation. I look forward to working with him in the years to come.”