Quileute Tribe,Clallam Conservation District receive award

Clallam Conservation District and the Quileute Tribe were recently honored by the Washington Association of Conservation Districts (WACD) with the 2020 Conservation District Tribal Partnership Award. The Tribal Partnership Award is presented to a Conservation District and a Native American tribe each year for demonstrating a relationship that offers an example of regional conservation of natural resources for the betterment of all.

Nicole Rasmussen, water quality biologist for the Quileute Tribe, and Joe Holtrop, executive director for Clallam Conservation District, accepted the award on behalf of their organizations during the WACD annual meeting, held virtually in early December.

The award was presented for their partnership on the “Hermison Road Project and elsewhere to restore critical riparian habitat.” The Hermison Road project involves restoration of a 180-foot wide, nearly seven-acre riparian forest buffer along the Quillayute River.

Quileute Tribal land will be enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), which will provide financial assistance for the project. Nearly 3,500 native trees and shrubs will be planted to provide habitat and shade in a river system that supports some of Washington’s strongest remaining runs of Chinook, Coho, steelhead, and other salmonids.

This is one of many examples of Clallam Conservation District and the Quileute Tribe’s working relationship in recent years to pursue projects that complement each other’s strengths in natural resources management, conservation, and ecological restoration. Their partnership has led to completed, as well as prospective, projects that neither entity could likely have accomplished independent of the contributions of the other. This partnership presents promising momentum to take on the vast amount of restoration needs and opportunities in western Clallam County.

This is the second WACD Tribal Partnership Award that Clallam Conservation District has received. In 2015, the district and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe were recipients of the award.