NOAA 2004-R117
Contact: Susan Buchanan

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Project will support runs of fish in Klamath Watershed

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded the Karuk Tribe a $46,000 grant for habitat conservation. The project is funded by the Community-based Restoration Program within NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries). NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Karuk tribal and other community members will participate in a road decommissioning project along Irving Creek in the Six Rivers National Forest. The road decommissioning project will stabilize over 10,000 cubic yards of fill material over several miles of currently unstable and highly erosive road. This project will greatly improve sedimentation and other water quality concerns in Irving Creek, which is a tributary of the Klamath River and supports runs of steelhead trout, Chinook salmon and federally-listed threatened coho salmon.

Road decommissioning projects are vital in forested areas that have high road densities because these roads may be prone to failure and have increased erosion rates and landslide potential. Such protective measures are even more critical in regions that have degraded habitat, naturally high erosion rates, and a presence of threatened species. These factors make this a high priority project.

“NOAA and the Bush Administration are pleased to partner with the Karuk Tribe on improving habitat in the Klamath River Watershed, an area that is important on a national level for its bio-diversity,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “This grant, coupled with tribal support and community action, helps us work toward necessary habitat restoration in this watershed.”

The project involves the use of proven decommissioning methods to remove unstable fill at stream crossings and to reestablish the natural hill-slope drainage pattern along the entire road.

“The Karuk people are a ‘Fix-the-World’ people. This is reflected in our ceremonies and everyday life. This project is an affirmation of this,” said Leaf Hillman, vice chairman-Karuk Tribe of California. “By restoring our watersheds and reducing the multiple threats to our salmonid fisheries we are fulfilling an obligation passed down to us from past generations. We wish to thank the Community-based Restoration Program for this opportunity to work together in the restoration of our Ancestral Territory.”

The Community-based Restoration Program (CRP), a financial and technical assistance program within the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation, promotes strong partnerships at the national, regional and local level, to fund grassroots, community-based activities. The NOAA-funded projects provide strong on-the-ground habitat restoration, offer educational and social benefits for people and their communities, and provide long-term ecological benefits to fishery resources. More information about the CRP can be found at:

Each year, NOAA awards approximately $900 million in grants to members of the academic, scientific and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 33 years.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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