The Yakutat Tlingit Tribe was awarded a grant amounting to $572,000 by the Department of Interior, United States Fish and Wildlife Services, Office of Subsistence Management (OSM) through the 2020 Partners of Fisheries Monitoring Program (Partners Program). The duration of the grant is four (4) years and the amount of funding per year is $143,000 for a total four-year grant funding amount of $572,000.
Through this program, the Office of Subsistence Management seeks to strengthen Alaska Native and rural involvement in Federal subsistence management. The partners Program is a competitive grant that is directed at providing funding for biologists, social scientists and outreach/ educator positions in Alaska Native and rural non-profit organizations with the intent of increasing the organizations ability to participate in Federal subsistence management.
YTT Executive Director Nathan Moulton thanks his team for working tirelessly to bring this proposal into fruition – YTT Environmental Director Jennifer Hanlon and U.S Forest Service Fish Biologist Nate Catterson who took charge of program developing and strategizing, as well as YTT Executive Assistant Cynthia Petersen for closely working with Nathan on financial budgets and organizing and formatting the submission. The Yakutat Tlingit Tribe received the good news on March 9th, 2019 from the Office of Subsistence Management, stating that the Tribe’s proposal has been approved for funding.
Securing this grant allows the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe to fund their latest project, entitled “Developing Tribal Capacity for Subsistence Fisheries Monitoring and Management in the Yakutat Area”, which will create a full-time fisheries biologist position and one seasonal University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) intern at the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe. The said project was developed in response to local tribal concerns over declining local salmon stocks in the Yakutat Area. The Situk River typically fulfills the community’s subsistence needs but it has experienced salmon stock declines in recent years. YTT needs to develop the capacity to collect scientifically sound data that assess the health of subsistence resources and can be used to inform management decisions which impact our tribal members’ ability to meet subsistence needs. The overall goal is to build YTT’s fisheries management capacity so that the Tribe can take an informed and active role in management and conservation of salmon stocks in the Situk River and Yakutat area.
Read YTT Executive Director Nathan Moulton’s official statement below:
Having a fisheries program located with the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe has always been a desire for Tribal Leadership. Once this Notice of Funding was announced I began developing and organizing a team to tackle the submission of our application. Due to the late notice of receiving the announcement we almost let this slip through the cracks. At the last minute, literally 7 calendar days, before the application was due, we came together and started to put pen to paper and began creating a program that was designed first as a partnership building opportunity with the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Interior, United States Fish and Wildlife Services, Office of Subsistence Management (OSM) and secondly but of similar importance was to develop baseline data to help us understand the health of our ecosystem and dwindling fish stocks.
The Grant application had four components.
1. Further develop our partnership with US Forest Service, the Department of Interior, United States Fish and Wildlife Services, Office of Subsistence Management (OSM), and other Federal subsistence partners
2. Fund a full-time Fish Biologist working for four years
3. Develop baseline data to assess current conditions, to strategize improving current conditions, and create a data base to help with future funding opportunities
4. Bring University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Native Science and Engineering (ANSEP) student to Yakutat to gain real world experience working on complex environmental issues.
This was truly a team effort. Jennifer ‘Comrade Tlingit’ Hanlon, YTT Environmental Director, and Nate Catterson, Fish Biologist, U.S. Forest Service, did the heavy lifting as far as developing the program and strategizing how this partnership could focus on altruism and mutual benefit. I, Nathan Moulton, YTT Executive Director, and Cynthia Petersen, YTT Executive Assistant, worked on financial budgets and organizing and formatting the submission. I couldn’t be happier with the team work and team effort that was put into this opportunity and it truly is a first for SE Alaska as no other Tribe in SE has received this funding. There was a total of fourteen applicants and of the fourteen only seven were selected for funding.
The duration of the grant is 4 years and amount of funding per year is $143,000 for a total four-year grant funding amount of $572,000. It will employ a full-time fish biologist and a summer intern for each of the four years. 6 months of each year YTT’s Fish Biologist will work on the Forest Service’s RIVER RANGER program and will patrol the Situk River performing monitoring of Sport Fishermen, checking catch limits, size limit violations, and river stakeholder and user group engagement and education.
I am excited to see where this opportunity takes us and see a very bright future for Yakutat Tlingit Tribe and the whole Yakutat Community in general. I feel so blessed to be a part of this community and will continue to pour my heart and soul into creating a better future for us all.
Yakutat Tlingit Tribe