The Spokane Tribe of Indians Wildlife Mitigation Program is responsible for managing 8,407 acres purchased by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) as well as 3,308 acres purchased by Avista. The Spokane Tribe of Indians Wildlife Project Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)
states that STOI will permanently protect wildlife habitat on those Wildlife Mitigation Areas (WMA) to assist BPA in fulfilling BPA’s obligations to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife affected by the development and operation of the Grand Coulee project.
The Program was initiated in 1998 as a funding source for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of 1,863 acres of wildlife mitigation land previously acquired for the tribe by the BPA. Ongoing projects include fencing (removal, construction, and repair), noxious weed control (mechanical, chemical and biological), trespass livestock removal, access road maintenance, controlled burning, managing 115 acres of cover crops, and site clean-up. Enhancement and habitat improvement projects for native grass establishment, native tree & shrub establishment, tree thinning, riparian/stream channel restoration, and water development were implemented as well. The continuation of monitoring and evaluation through surveys of big game, small
mammals, birds, ruffed grouse, and Sharp-tailed grouse is ongoing.
A specific wildlife mitigation area management plan was drafted and finalized in 2012. In addition to routine duties mentioned above, the Program has taken on and completed other important tasks such as irrigation system upgrades, pond construction and enhancement, and GIS mapping work to better store, analyze, and communicate critical information concerning Program activities. The Program has also expanded its land management efforts in recent years by pursuing restoration projects funded by sources outside of the BPA. These funds have allowed the Program to restore areas affected by the Carpenter and Cayuse Mountain Fires of 2015 and 2016. Projects have addressed reforestation, riparian habitat loss, weed control, native grass restoration and water facility enhancements on degraded lands.