Plenary Speaker: Joseph Pavel, Skokomish Tribe

I’ve been living, working, recreating in this watershed since I was about 8 years old. I think we’ve all observed – it’s a pretty dynamic system. There’s a lot going on in there. Upper watershed with hydroelectric projects, forest practices, agricultural development. We’ve learned a lot about this system but we also have a lot of unknowns. I think it represents a very unique opportunity with the challenges we’re faced. Aside from scope and scale, we can develop a true understanding of a very effective plan of recovering and restoring and managing our resources in that watershed. A lot of agencies and different interests here and I’ve come to know there is a lot information and a lot of people doing a lot of things. At some point we all need to come together here and try and be effective and efficient, who is doing what – and that’s why i’ve encouraged our partners to do this kind of get together. I’m happy to see folks here to lend a shoulder to this effort.

Our partnership with City of Tacoma is an evolving relationship – from when we, the Skokomish Tribe, wasn’t even acknowledged to when we were e nuisance to when they realized there was a tribe out here to now where we are partners and working together in common effort for the watershed. It’s a good thing to have these people as partners in the watershed.

Within all our activity within the watershed, we’re trying to be efficient. for the longest time we’ve had a unknowns … with the hydroelectric project taking place in the upper watershed, we have a known now. We’re iin the midst of Corps General Investigation study, and a lot of work has been done there.

We have the foundation of working together… a critical mass of interest in the watershed throughout cushion fish and habitat meetings. we have in our watershed a Skokomish watershed action team – an adhoc interest group of all interests in the watershed, and we have constant dialogue with our resources agencies. i think the Skokomish Tribe has embraced a model that says we don’t need to be doing it all. we know there are others doing things and are available and willing and we embrace bringing these partners together.