Currently, the Program is in the process of developing additional habitat and species plans which will be used to help guide future management efforts throughout the Community. By continuing to develop these documents, the Program continues to increase its capacity to more effectively manage and protect the valuable natural resources of the Community. The GRIC Tribal Rangers currently patrol all of the remote areas throughout the community and regularly inspect game cameras that are used to monitor and track certain types of wildlife. The Rangers also provide support and security for the nestwatch contractors during the breeding season. The Rangers are often the “eyes” and “ears” of the Program and other Community entities for remote parts of the Community.
PEE POSH WETLANDS CONSERVATION EASEMENT
The Community currently has in place a conservation easement which was formally recognized and established on August 23, 2010 by the Community Council. The existing easement provides protection of one of the most important wildlife areas on the Community, the Pee Posh Wetlands (PPW). The Program is currently working closely on establishing a second conservation easement to protect additional habitat that also exists on the Community. These areas provide important habitat for a wide variety of animals that are considered culturally significant to the Community.
ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 is a federal law that provides for conservation of threatened and endangered species (plants and animals) throughout the Untied States. The Act:
authorizes the determination and listing of species as endangered and threatened;
prohibits unauthorized taking, possession, sale, and transport of endangered species;
provides authority to acquire land for the conservation of listed species, using land and water conservation funds;
authorizes establishment of cooperative agreements and grants-in-aid to States that establish and maintain active and adequate programs for endangered and threatened wildlife and plants;
authorizes the assessment of civil and criminal penalties for violating the Act or regulations; and
authorizes the payment of rewards to anyone furnishing information leading to arrest and conviction for any violation of the Act or any regulation issued there under.
The Program works closely with the USFWS on various issues related to the ESA and it’s implication on Community lands. Secretarial Order 3206 clarifies the responsibilities (including treaty obligations to tribes) of Department of Interior agencies (BIA, USFWS, etc.) have to tribal nations when enacting components of the ESA.