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The Upper Columbia United Tribes (UCUT). Formed in 1983 to provide a common voice for our region through the collaborative efforts of the Upper Columbia River Tribes. Formed to ensure a healthy future for the traditional lands of our ancestors and for the benefit of all people.

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The upper columbia united tribes ucut
The Upper Columbia United Tribes (UCUT)

  • Formed in 1983 to provide a common voice for our region through the collaborative efforts of the Upper Columbia River Tribes.

  • Formed to ensure a healthy future for the traditional lands of our ancestors and for the benefit of all people.

  • Proactive, collaborative and science-based approach to promoting culture, fish, water, wildlife, and diverse habitat.

Ucut member tribes

  • Coeur d’Alene Tribe: “The Discovered People” or “Those Who Are Found Here”

    • Current enrolled membership: 2,188

    • Reservation: (Idaho): 334,500 acres

  • Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation:

    • Current enrolled membership: 9,353

    • Reservation (Washington): 1.4 million acres

  • Kalispel Tribe of Indians: The "River/Lake Paddlers" or "Camas People"

    • Current enrolled membership: 409

    • Reservation (Washington): 4,700 acres Pend Oreille County and off-Reservation land in Airway Heights

  • Kootenai Tribe of Idaho: "The Kootenay who remained"

    • Current enrolled membership: 145

    • Reservation (Idaho): 2,200 acres

  • Spokane Tribe of Indians: "Children of the Sun"

    • Current enrolled membership: 2,621

    • Reservation (Washington): 156,000 acres

Mission statement
Mission Statement

To unite Upper Columbia River Tribes for the protection, preservation, and enhancement of Treaty/Executive Order Rights, Sovereignty, Culture, Fish, Water, Wildlife, Habitat and other interests and issues of common concern in our respective territories through a structured process of cooperation and coordination for the benefit of all people.

Ucut governance
UCUT Governance

  • One Commissioner and one alternate/delegate from each tribe, with a strategy/technical committee.

  • UCUT employs five total staff.

  • Organizational structure is de-centralized, using a regional approach for natural resource issues, emphasizing coordination and collaboration across a large geographic area.

  • Efficiencies and effectiveness are ensured by complementing and supplementing existing natural resources expertise of Member Tribes.

Ucut collaborative projects
UCUT Collaborative Projects

UCUT Fish & Wildlife Coordination Project:

  • Inter-governmental contract with BPA to inform, coordinate participation in, and facilitate consensus-based decision-making.

  • Participation in forums related to the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program.

  • Communicates UCUT positions to regional decision-makers.

  • Develops collaborative relationships with regional partners.

Ucut collaborative projects1
UCUT Collaborative Projects

UCUT / BPA Memorandum of Understanding:

  • 35% of the annual power production from the Columbia River federal hydropower system comes from the Upper Columbia River.

  • Yet, the Upper Columbia eco-region only receives 13% of the Columbia Basin funding for fish, wildlife, and habitat mitigation.

  • A primary intent of the MOU is to increase the proportion of mitigated habitat in the U.S. portion of the Upper Columbia River basin.

  • Through the MOU, the BPA recognizes its trust responsibility to use the management capability and regulatory authority of the UCUT to carry out fish, wildlife, and habitat protection and mitigation.

Ucut collaborative projects2
UCUT Collaborative Projects

UCUT Wildlife Monitoring and Evaluation Program (UWMEP):

  • Uses protocols developed from the Albeni Falls M&E Plan in collaboration with Eastern Washington University faculty and the expertise of the UCUT.

  • Monitors habitat structure, vegetation composition and population responses of vertebrates.

  • Compares reference sites (DFC) to responses from management actions at mitigation sites.

  • Potential use as a model for Wildlife M&E for the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program, using a regional approach.

Ucut collaborative projects3
UCUT Collaborative Projects

Timber, Fish, and Wildlife Agreement and the Forests and Fish Report Habitat Conservation Plan and Adaptive Management Program:

  • Participate in research and monitoring efforts under the consensus-based framework of the 1987 Timber, Fish, and Wildlife Agreement and the 1999 Forests and Fish Report, including contracts that address forest health issues in Eastern Washington.

  • Emphasis on technical information and science-based recommendations to adjust guidance of forest practices in Washington State in order to best protect the natural and cultural resources of the UCUT, while maintaining a viable timber industry.

  • Cooperator with the Family Forest Fish Passage Program.

Ucut collaborative projects4
UCUT Collaborative Projects

Drumheller Springs Urban Natural Park:

  • 12 acre natural area in the City of Spokane to which the UCUT have strong cultural and historic ties.

  • Adopted by the UCUT which provides in-kind labor and materials to maintain, clean, and improve park infrastructure.

  • Provided for the benefit and use of all people.

Ucut collaboration
UCUT Collaboration

  • Coordination of the Columbia River Treaty with other Sovereigns.

    • Impacts from the Treaty are more severe to the UCUT than any other U.S. tribes.

    • Blockage of anadromous fish.

    • Reliance on upper Columbia River water by downstream users.

  • Assistance with funding for Lake Roosevelt management and other federal appropriations.

  • The UCUT are the First Affected by operations of the FCRPS and the Last and least to be Mitigated for those impacts.