Tribal Wildlife Management and Conservation in the Southwest I

ROOM: Room 215 – San Miguel
The southwest is home to the highest density of remaining tribal nations in the United States, with the Pueblo tribes composing a large share of local Native representation. The tribes and pueblos within the region have an abundant resource base and vast landscapes that sustain their members’ cultural, economic and environmental needs since time immemorial. Additionally, some of the largest reservations within the U.S. lie in the Southwest, covering a diverse array of ecosystems.. Symposium participants will be introduced to tribal wildlife and natural resource management policies with an emphasis on the cultural, spiritual, economic and environmental values of various tribal resources. Examples of collaboration between tribal and federal wildlife agencies will also be presented, touching on the importance of working together in an ever-changing climate. Within tribal communities exists a relationship that is adapted to the underlying ecology of the region. Native American communities are incorporating their traditional knowledge into natural resource planning and management, with the goal of combining the efforts from both western and native cultures to co-manage natural resources to restore and maintain ecological balance. This symposium will epitomize the theme of the conference, “a crossroad of cultures”, by adding a blend of indigenous wildlife conservation practices that have existed for centuries, and which have adapted over time.

1:10PM Welcome and Introduction to Wildlife Management on Tribal Lands in the Southwest
  John E. Antonio, Sr
The majority of Indian Tribes with large land holdings in the Southwestern United States have active wildlife management programs with management jurisdiction under each respective Tribe. Collectively, this Tribal land base exceeds 32.5 million acres. Although cultures, traditions, and socio-economic conditions vary, wildlife management goals are similar. Wildlife management programs include big and small game, waterfowl, upland gamebirds, predators, endangered species and raptors. Conservation enforcement is also an integral part of Tribal wildlife management programs. Sport hunting opportunities for both Tribal and non-Tribal members are available on most Tribal lands. Through the years, southwestern Tribes have implemented state-of-the- art wildlife management programs to ensure these precious wildlife resources will be available for present and future generations.
1:30PM Natural Resources Youth Practicum
  Norman Jojola
The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society (NAFWS) is a non-profit organization that was started 33 years ago as a grass-roots initiative by a group of Native American natural resource professionals to facilitate and coordinate the management of tribal natural resources. The overall purpose was to provide an organization that could coordinate intertribal communication concerning fish and wildlife management matters and to educate Native Americans in the management of their tribal fish and wildlife resources. The Southwest Region (NM, AZ, UT, NV, CO and southern CA) of the NAFWS initiated the Natural Resources Youth Practicum 20 years ago to promote the field of natural resources management to the Native American youth within the Southwest Region. This is accomplished through an intensive 4 ½ day Practicum that provides 10th – 12th grade high school students a hands-on opportunity to experience what resource management is about. As natural resource managers, we believe that our Native American youth are our greatest natural resource and as natural resources stewards we must manage, protect and educate our youth.
1:50PM Water for Wildlife in an Arid Landscape
  Timothy Smith
Timothy Smith has been with the Pueblo since 1999, working in various aspects of the environment. Through the years of historical climate data and Traditional Knowledge of areas within the Arid Southwest many of the communities have felt the grasp of climate change. The new slogan of today is “water is life”; but, the historical information of the people has been about water, earth, air and their connectivity. Finding news to implement or just updating historical ways to bring water resources to areas that are lacking in access and availability. The Pueblo of Sandia hosted The Rain Harvesting Workshop; with funding from United States Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Wildlife small grants program. During the two workshops; six structures were constructed, basic plumbing and fixtures, placement of the gutters, and putting six (6) 1200gal tanks to harvest the water. The placement of the catchments were selected and placed using the small mammal radius, this radius is how far a small animal will travel to water, this consideration also applies to the bigger animals the shorter distances to water increases population dynamics and diversity. Since the rain harvesters have been in place there has been an increase in wildlife production, increase in wildlife usage, and population increase from birds, rats, cat, bear, and deer.
2:10PM Wildlife Conservation on the Pueblo of Santa Ana, Sandoval County, New Mexico
  Glenn Harper
The Pueblo of Santa Ana (Pueblo) is a federally-recognized Indian Tribe located in north central New Mexico. Like many other tribes in the Southwest, the Pueblo has a strong connection to the natural world that is deeply-rooted in the use of traditionally important wildlife species. The persistence of the Pueblo’s traditional lifestyle and culture hinges on wildlife availability and, for that reason, ensuring viable wildlife populations is a top priority. Therefore, the Pueblo embarked upon a multi-year process aimed at increasing and protecting wildlife populations for current and future generations. The Pueblo exercised its legitimate right to self governance by establishing rules and standards relating to conservation, regulation, control, and management of wildlife on its lands. The Pueblo developed strong partnerships with federal, state, and nonprofit organizations to initiate landscape-scale habitat enhancement and restoration projects, adopted a Wildlife Conservation Code and Regulations to protect wildlife and habitats, established a Conservation Enforcement Division to enforce codes and regulations, and initiated projects to better understand the population dynamics and habitat preferences of wildlife on its land. While the Pueblo’s actions have likely contributed to notable increases in the numbers of traditionally important wildlife on the Pueblo, success will be measured by the Pueblo’s ability to maintain viable long-term populations and quality habitats while being faced with the expected challenges of climate change, changes in land use, increased urbanization, and different jurisdictional wildlife management philosophies.
2:30PM Tracking big game migration and highway crossings on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation
  Aran S. Johnson
The Southern Ute Reservation acts as winter range for large herds of mule deer and elk. These animals migrate on and off of the reservation seasonally and are subject to a variety of challenges as they move across the landscape. One of the greatest challenges is US Highway 160, which must be crossed twice per year; US Highway 160 is one of the worst roadways in Colorado for animal vehicle collisions (AVCs). The Tribe has been researching big game migration for nearly 15 years and has begun working with the Colorado Department of Transportation to plan wildlife crossing structures on a section of US Highway 160 that runs through the Reservation. Combining migration and AVC data sets have allowed us to focus in on an area where dedicated crossing structures will have the most impact.
2:50PM Refreshment Break
3:20PM The Reintroduction of a Culturally and Economically Important Species
  Taos Wildlife Biologist Taos Wildlife Biologist
3:40PM Philosophies of Science and the Conceptualization of Traditional Ecological Knowledge through an Indigenous Lens in Wildlife Research
  Seafha Ramos
Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) has been a growing subject area in wildlife management and conservation efforts, yet there is no universal understanding of what TEK is and whether it is science. Further, although TEK initiatives are meant to include Indigenous knowledge in the management of various ecosystems, there is a dearth of literature that expresses TEK as conceptualized by Indigenous communities. I explored philosophies such as Western science, Indigenous science, and TEK, with a focus on wildlife conservation, to examine overlaps and gaps in concepts. To investigate TEK through an Indigenous lens, I conducted interviews with culturally affiliated community members of the Yurok Tribe of California. I found that although many Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and communities regard TEK as science, the assertion that TEK is science seems to be contentious in the literature. Additionally, Indigenous conceptualizations of TEK, such as that of Yurok, can provide a foundation for culturally sensitive approaches in wildlife research. Differences in understandings of TEK have the potential to lead to unbalanced partnerships with Indigenous communities. Therefore, dialogue regarding what TEK is, as well as whether and how it can be used to create a framework for culturally sensitive wildlife research can be beneficial for those who embark on TEK collaborations.
4:00PM Conservation through Empowerment
  Russ Benford
Wildlife conservation practices are deep-rooted in indigenous communities; formal conservation and management programs are becoming increasingly common. A nascent program in the Gila River Indian Community in Central Arizona, facilitated by recent funding and recovery of water rights, revitalizes the Community’s historic connection with agriculture and natural ecosystems. Restoration of wetlands and xeric woodlands drives recovery efforts for species of ecological and cultural concern. These include federally-protected species such as the yellow-billed cuckoo and Sonoran bald eagle, and species of local and regional concern such as the Desert bighorn sheep, Bendire’s and LeConte’s thrashers, common chuckwalla, and Gila topminnow. Restoration also invigorates Community involvement, traditional knowledge, and scientifically-based approaches to wildlife and habitat management. Success of these approaches is attributed to their emphasis on sovereignty, partnership, incentivization, and internal sustainability.
4:20PM Panel Discussion

Organizers: Gizelle Hurtado, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM; Sarah Rinkevich, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Tucson, AZ; Serra Hoagland, U.S. Forest Service, Flagstaff, AZ; Chase Voirin, University of Arizona, Rio Rancho, NM; Joe Jojola, Bureau of Indian
Supported by: TWS Native Peoples Wildlife Management Working Group, Native American Fish & TWS Wildlife Society Southwestern Region

Location: Albuquerque Convention Center Date: September 24, 2017 Time: 1:10 pm - 5:00 pm