Watershed Program

Protect and enhance the waters, soils, and watershed conditions of the Colville Indian Reservation through water and soil monitoring, watershed and wetland assessment, pollution control work, and watershed restoration projects;  promote soil and water health through Integrated Resource Management; protect people and property through the Tribal Safety of Dams program for Twin Lakes and Owhi Lake dams.

The Watershed Programs group works to minimize impacts to soil and water from management of other resources such as forest, range, and roads. Watershed, wetland and soil conditions are assessed, and soil and water guidelines are developed which are shared with other resource managers through 3P and in the Integrated Resource Management Plan. Four Tribal resource protection codes are administered, providing standards for resource protection:  Forest Practices, Hydraulic Projects, and Mining Practices, and Water Quality Standards.

Watershed restoration and water quality improvement projects are designed and carried out. Recent work has focused on reducing watershed impacts from roads such as erosion, streamside degradation, and blocked fish passage. Also, fencing has been improved to manage livestock, and streamside areas cleared for farming have been replanted with trees and shrubs. The Safety of Dams program for Owhi Lake and Twin Lakes Dams involves dam operation, maintenance, scheduled inspections and reviews, and emergency action planning following BIA dam safety guidelines.

Collaboration and Funding
Achieving the Tribe’s Holistic Goal and objectives for soil and water requires significant collaboration with other resource managers, permitting agencies, and landowners. The Watershed Programs group engages with others during project planning and permitting, and during planning and design of our restoration projects. Funding for Watershed Programs comes from the US Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Tribe. ETD has been able to use the Tribe’s funding as match to secure additional funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, WA Department of Ecology, and National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.

ETD Watershed Program
The Watershed Program works with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), WA State, and other CCT programs to protect water resources on the Reservation through monitoring, integrated management, restoration, and enforcing Tribal Codes. In addition to working with CCT Fish & Wildlife to improve fish habitat, the ETD Watershed Program works to assure non-fish bearing surface water is high quality for cultural uses, water supply, wildlife habitat and agricultural use.