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Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians

On December 16, 2022, the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission adopted a cooperative management agreement and associated rules to advance the government-to-government relationship between the State of Oregon and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians (CCBUTI).

The voluntary cooperative partnership means ODFW and CCBUTI will collaborate, share resources and work as partners to develop and implement plans to protect, restore, and enhance fish and wildlife populations and their habitat within a five-county area of southwest Oregon.

The agreement also sets up a framework under which tribal members will participate in subsistence and ceremonial harvest of fish and wildlife resources that is licensed and managed by their tribal government in partnership with ODFW and the Oregon State Police. Subsistence and ceremonial harvest will occur in a portion of the CCBUTI federal service area that includes all of Douglas, Lane, Jackson, Josephine and Coos counties.

“We continue to practice our traditional lifeways of hunting, fishing and gathering,” said Kelly Coates, CCBUTI Natural Resources Manager. “We teach future generations about how to be stewards of the lands and resources.”

“We are committed to the preservation of natural resources as part of our cultural identity and protecting these resources for future generations, just as our ancestors did,” said Gary Jackson, Vice Chair of CCBUTI.



Highlights from the 2023 ODFW and Tribal Partnership Annual Report

  • In December 2022, ODFW and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians (CCBUTI) signed a Memorandum of Agreement to establish a cooperative partnership to collaborate, share resources, and work as partners to develop and implement plans to protect, restore, and enhance fish and wildlife populations and their habitat. The MOA also established a framework for CCBUTI members to participate in subsistence and ceremonial harvest of fish and wildlife resources, to be licensed and managed by tribal government in partnership with ODFW. 
  • ODFW coordinated with CCBUTI on a cultural and natural resources presentation from the CCBUTI to ODFW Fish and Wildlife Team (FWT).
  • ODFW and CCBUTI began consultation regarding the future of Rock Creek Hatchery.  Multiple meetings and site visits took place over the past year and ODFW plans to continue working closely with the Tribe as we move through the rebuild process.  
  • ODFW and CCBUTI staff continue to work collaboratively to address low returns of Spring Chinook in the South Umpqua River. CCBUTI has offered support to conduct monitoring and research efforts both through use of staff as well as through grant opportunities.
  • ODFW provided 88 hatchery spring Chinook (1,327 pounds) from Cole Rivers Hatchery, 23 hatchery coho salmon (230 pounds) from the Galesville Fishway and 22 hatchery winter steelhead (176 pounds) from the Canyonville Fishway to the CCBUTI for tribal subsistence and ceremonial purposes.
  • The CCBUTI continues to be an instrumental partner in the development and support of the Umpqua Basin Partnership in developing a Focus Investment Partnership using an OWEB Capacity building grant. ODFW and CCBUTI has been an active team member in the Umpqua Basin Partnership, which includes other state, federal and local non-profits including four local watershed councils. This partnership was created in the Umpqua basin by using OWEB funds to ultimately create a FIP. This effort has been going on over the past five years and the goal has been to create a local level Umpqua Management Plan used to leverage funds to create and prioritize future restoration projects in the future. CCBUTI has supplied staff time, their Governmental Office for meetings, and GIS expertise.
  • CCBUTI is a partner in the South Umpqua River Coho Recovery Team and has attended all four prior meetings and has provided monitoring information, GIS mapping information and staff expertise.  The team will continue to meet quarterly in 2024 with the goal of improving coho habitat and coho population numbers on the entire South Umpqua River basin.
  • CCBUTI will help provide information and access to the W.F. Cow Creek Beaver Implementation Area which was chosen by ODFW to concentrate surveys and resources for beaver recovery efforts.
  • ODFW continued their partnership with the CCBUTI on the South Umpqua River winter steelhead acclimation program. ODFW worked with CCBUTI to acclimate and release winter steelhead into the South Umpqua River on CCBUTI lands at the Seven Feathers Casino. Personnel from the Casino maintenance and grounds department check on the fish, monitor fish health, and feed them as needed.
  • CCBUTI and ODFW continue to work together in implementing an acclimation timing study to further inform potential future development of an acclimation facility on CCBUTI property.
  • Although not a signatory to the North Umpqua Hydroelectric Project Settlement Agreement, the CCBUTI continues to provide input to various North Umpqua Working Groups on the Upper North Umpqua Hydro Project. CCBUTI also provided input on the Prospect 3 Hydro Project, which was recently relicensed.
  • ODFW participated with the CCBUTI on the local watershed council along with other government and private individuals.
  • CCBUTI participated with various federal agencies in the annual coordination meeting organized by ODFW Rogue Fish District.
  • The CCBUTI assisted Umpqua Fish staff with the installation of the lamprey ramp at Winchester Dam.
  • ODFW worked with CCBUTI and other partners to conduct an emergency rescue salvage effort during Winchester Dam construction during August 2023.
  • A fisheries biologist from the CCBUTI participates on the Oregon Hatchery Research Center’s Board.  The OHRC Board meets quarterly to review and recommend research to be conducted at the OHRC and provides science-based management recommendations to ODFW.

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