ODFW and Cow Creek Adopt Co-Management Agreement

The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) are set to begin a new partnership that will benefit both Tribal members and the environment in Douglas, Lane, Jackson, Josephine and Coos counties.

The voluntary co-management agreement, adopted at an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commissioners meeting in Portland in December, does two important things:

  • Solidifies and strengthens an existing relationship between ODFW and the Cow Creek Tribal Government in which resources, plans, research and conservation efforts to protect and enhance fish and wildlife will be coordinated and shared
  • Creates a framework for Tribal members to obtain certain licenses for subsistence and ceremonial fish harvests within the five listed counties

“Department staff see this as a really incredible opportunity to expand the pace and scale of habitat restoration that we all know is so critically needed in Southwest Oregon,” said Davia Palmeri, Conservation Policy Coordinator for the ODFW Director’s Office.

Below is a news release about the co-management agreement from ODFW:

Also today, the 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 Director of Natural Resources. “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.

Discussion of a similar agreement with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians originally scheduled to be considered today was delayed to a future meeting.

Check back for more on this important development in the coming weeks.