The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC) is a support service organization for 20 treaty Indian tribes in western Washington. Headquartered in Olympia, the NWIFC employs approximately 65 people with satellite offices in Mount Vernon and Forks. The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission ( NWIFC ) was created following the U.S. v. Washington ruling (Boldt Decision) that re-affirmed the tribes’ treaty-reserved fishing rights and established them as natural resources co-managers with the State of Washington. The commission is composed of representatives from each member tribe who elect a chair, vice chair and treasurer. Commissioners provide direction to the NWIFC executive director, who in turn implements that direction. The role of the NWIFC is to assist member tribes in their role as natural resources co-managers. The commission provides direct services to tribes in areas such as biometrics, fish health and salmon management to achieve an economy of scale that makes more efficient use of limited federal funding. The NWIFC also provides a forum for tribes to address shared natural resources management issues and enables the tribes to speak with a unified voice in Washington, D.C.
In 2012, the Lower Elwha Kallam Tribe worked with the Department of Natural Resources to restore the old "A-Frame" log dump site on Ediz Hook in Port Angeles. Contaminated fill, wood waste and trash was removed and replaced with clean sand and grave, large woody debris and native dune grasses to help stabilize the beach. It is also a healthier place for forage fish, such as sand lance and smelt, to survive.
The Nisqually Tribe is taking a look at the results of a recent habitat restoration project on Ohop Creek, a tributary to the Nisqually River. The tribe is tagging juvenille coho salmon to see how much time they spend in the newly restored habitat.
The treaty tribes in western Washington have released a new report that finds salmon habitat continues to decline despite more than 10 years of salmon recovery. For more information on the State of Our Watersheds Report, go to: http://nwifc.org/sow/
Lummi Nation leaders and tribal members gathered on Sept. 21, 2012 to address the importance of protecting the natural and cultural heritage of Cherry Point (Xwe'chi'eXen). North of Bellingham, Wash., Cherry Point is the proposed site of a coal export facility, which would be the largest in North America if built. Xwe'chi'eXen was a Lummi tribal village for more than 175 generations. Traditionally, it was a shellfish, herring and salmon fishery area, as well as a reef-net site. Xwe'chi'eXen al...