Habitat Restoration

While all of the Tribe’s projects focus on restoring various components of the Kootenai River ecosystem, the Tribe has two projects that focus specifically on restoring physical Kootenai River habitat. The of largest of these is being implemented in three phases starting upstream in the Kootenai River Braided Reach and working generally downstream through the Meander Reaches. The project is designed to address some of the many human impacts that have occurred in the Kootenai watershed. Project actions are being designed to avoid negative impacts to the local community, while fostering positive local benefits. The program will include measures to improve instream habitat (e.g., depth, velocity and habitat complexity), address bank erosion and land loss, sediment loading, and to reconnect and reestablish floodplain habitats.

See also:

Broadscale Habitat Restoration

Phase1
While all of the Tribe’s projects focus on restoring various components of the Kootenai River ecosystem, the Tribe has two projects that focus specifically on restoring physical Kootenai River habitat. The of largest of these is being implemented in three phases starting upstream in the Kootenai River Braided Reach and working generally downstream through the Meander Reaches. The project is designed to address some of the many human impacts that have occurred in the Kootenai watershed. Project actions are being designed to avoid negative impacts to the local community, while fostering positive local benefits. The program will include measures to improve instream habitat (e.g., depth, velocity and habitat complexity), address bank erosion and land loss, sediment loading, and to reconnect and reestablish floodplain habitats.

Need

Historical diking, agricultural conversation, infrastructure development, and construction and operations of Libby Dam have altered river morphology, upland and riparian vegetation, and aquatic habitat in ways that limit the capacity of many native fish populations, including the iconic Kootenai River white sturgeon (endangered), to survive in the Kootenai River.

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AN INTEGRATED, COLLABORATIVE APPROACH


The Integrated Program is grounded in a core set of guiding principles:

  • Science-based–  Science-based decision making and management;
  • default_title–  Respect for and integration of Tribal cultural values and local social and economic values;
  • default_title–  Collaborative implementation in cooperation with co-managers and stakeholders including transboundary coordination;
  • default_title–  Incorporation of multi-disciplinary input and review;
  • default_title–  Understanding that when dealing with dynamic ecosystems, uncertainty is inevitable, therefore learning through structured adaptive management processes is critical.
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