Idaho News

Rising temperatures threaten Upper Snake River fish, berries, tribal foundation says

The Shoshone-Paiute Sweet Sage Drum Group performs during the Idaho Territorial Sesquicentennial Commemoration in March 2013 at the Idaho Capitol.
The Shoshone-Paiute Sweet Sage Drum Group performs during the Idaho Territorial Sesquicentennial Commemoration in March 2013 at the Idaho Capitol. jjaszewski@idahostatesman.com

A nonprofit that works to support four Indian tribes in the Snake River Basin says rising temperatures will affect natural resources important to the tribes.

The Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation says temperatures in the Upper Snake River Watershed are expected to rise 6 degrees or more by the 2050s. One common concern among the tribes is the effect that will have on traditional food sources like choke-cherries and Chinook salmon, said Scott Hauser, the Boise foundation’s executive director.

“We’re expecting salmon and steelhead to be extremely vulnerable to climate change,” Hauser said in an interview for the next edition of the Idaho Statesman’s Business Insider magazine, to be published Dec. 21.

The Upper Snake River Tribes Foundation represents four tribes within 250 miles of Boise :

▪ The Burns Paiute tribe, whose reservation is about 190 miles west of Boise in eastern Oregon.

▪  The Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone tribe, whose reservation is about 190 miles southwest of Boise in Oregon and Nevada.

▪  The Shoshone-Bannock of the Fort Hall Reservation, about 230 miles east of Boise in southeastern Idaho.

▪ The Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation, about 150 miles south of Boise along the Idaho and Nevada border.

The foundation was created in 2008 to foster tribal unit and protect the tribal rights and culture related to the Upper Snake River watershed. With a staff of four, the foundation receives most of its funds from the Bonneville Power Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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