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Tribal Climate Change Profile: Nooksack Indian Tribe July 2014 Nooksack Indian Tribe: Rivers and Glaciers — Keeping salmon and the ecosystem healthy in light of climate change and distressed ecosystems

Tribal Profiles
Year Published
NGO, Tribal Entity

In response to concerns about the Nooksack River and the glaciers that drain into it, the Nooksack Indian Tribe is undertaking efforts to address climate change and its impacts on Nooksack Usual and Accustomed lands and its people. Specifically, the Tribe is exploring climate impacts facing their lands as a way to address the continued health of salmon: riparian ecosystem health, stream and river temperatures, sediment loading in the watershed, and impacts of climate change on glaciers and the hydrology of the Nooksack River. Salmon in the Nooksack River are already severely stressed by a variety of factors including wide scale-watershed alteration by forest practices, channelization of the river, pollution and human-induced habitat loss. Climate impacts, therefore, have the potential to cause major additional harm to salmonid populations in the Nooksack River. Mitigating the impacts of climate change is therefore an integral part of ensuring that the Nooksack watershed is able to continue supporting salmon at harvestable levels. This profile draws on the work of the Nooksack Indian Tribe to address climate change impacts on the hydrology of the Nooksack River and salmon survival and recovery.