Plenary Speakers: Skokomish Tribe, Tacoma Power
Joseph Pavel – Skokomish Tribe Natural Resources Director
We work with all these different agencies, political and technical folks to accomplish our goals of restoring, recovering and maintaining our resources.
There’s a lot going on, there’s a lot of information out there. I think this a sharing experiencing, what information is available and using that information.
I know we’re seeing results, in our estuary, our upper watershed, we’re able to measure those results – for fish, for wildlife and aquatic habitats.
The Skokomish People are successors to the historic people who occupied 13 village sites throughout Hood Canal. This is our homeland and this is the lifeblood of our people right now – to be able to have those resources, fish, wildlife, plant, medicines to sustain our mind body spirit culture and economy.
Keith Underwood – Tacoma Power
Tacoma wasn’t always a great environmental partner in the past. It’s nice to be able to finally be able to partner with the tribe after 70 plus years of fighting, now working in the same room together, side-by-side.
Tacoma has gone through a lot of growth the past few years. We’re a new partner to you folks as a lot of you have been working together for years before we came on the scene.
My first meeting with the tribe was with Dave Herrera at the Skokomish Tribe. I’m a very large supporter of this tribe. I was a fish biologist for the Spokane Tribe. I was working with a bunch of disassociated groups for a project to clean up Lake Roosevelt and with a united front we were able to obtain funding and confront a company in Canada that was sending pollutants in to a lake. So now they’re upholding this company to maintain Superfund regulations.
Here in the Skokomish, we’ve had limited flows coming out for years, we have sediment issues, and now have a great deal of work and different view points to find the solutions to these problems.
It’s not just me though – the science guys and gals – it’s going to take public buy into get this work done. This is in a smaller context in this watershed compared to Spokane but the work is the same.