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News from the Pacific Northwest

Billy Frank to help lead Puget Sound cleanup

SEATTLE - Billy Frank Jr., Nis-qually, chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, has been appointed by Gov. Christine Gregoire to the Puget Sound Leadership Council, the governing body of the Puget Sound Partnership.

The partnership is a state agency established by Gregoire to improve the environmental health of Puget Sound by 2020. The chairman is Bill Ruckelshaus, former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency director and chairman of the Salmon Recovery Funding Board.

Joining Ruckelshaus and Frank on the leadership council are Diana Gale, University of Washington; Martha Kongsgaard, Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation; A. Daniel O'Neal, Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group; Steven Sakuma, Sakuma Bros. Holding Co.; and Bill Wilkerson, retired executive director of the Washington Forest Protection Association.

The leadership council met for the first time June 29 in Seattle.

The Puget Sound Partnership will collaborate with local watershed groups to develop and implement a plan for improving Puget Sound's environmental health. It will identify and prioritize actions to be taken, identify responsible parties and find funding. The partnership will oversee the work, track progress and report the results publicly.

Environmental challenges include habitat and watershed restoration, mitigating the impacts of coastal development and controlling agricultural and storm water runoff.

New vice president, dean at Northwest Indian College

LUMMI, Wash. - Carole Little Wounded Rave, Lakota, has been appointed vice president of instruction and student services at Northwest Indian College. Rave started July 9.

In addition, Justin Guillory, Nez Perce, has been appointed dean of extended services.

College President Cheryl Crazy Bull, Lakota, made the appointments.

The two-year college recently established an accredited four-year degree in Native Environmental Science, is expanding its main campus at Lummi and will soon begin construction of a satellite campus at the Swinomish Tribal Community. The college also has learning centers at Colville, Muckleshoot, Nez Perce, Suquamish and Tulalip.

''Our big challenge is raising money to support our expanding operations and support more students,'' Crazy Bull said.

The college has 1,100 students, of whom 78 percent are American Indian/Alaska Native; 67 percent are female. Students come from 64 tribal nations. The college's annual budget is $9 million, Crazy Bull said, up from $8 million when she took office in October 2002.

Rave has 30 years of experience in secondary and higher education, Crazy Bull said. Guillory was formerly coordinator of Northwest Indian College's site at Nez Perce. He is working on his doctorate at Washington State University.

Tulalip, Quinault win grants; Salish Kootenai honored

TULALIP, Wash. - The Tulalip Tribes and the Quinault Indian Nation will share $76,000 in U.S. Commerce Department grants to boost their economic development planning efforts.

Tulalip received $36,000; Quinault received $40,000. All told, the department's Economic Development Administration invested $184,000 in Washington state.

Tulalip and Quinault will use the funds to update their comprehensive economic development strategies.

In addition, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes was a finalist for the administration's Excellence in Economic Development Awards. Salish and Kootenai's S&K Electronics Co. in Ronan, Mont., was nominated in the category of Enhancing Regional Competitiveness. The nominations are evaluated on how effectively they enhance regional competitiveness and support long-term development of the regional economy.

S&K Electronics is a leading manufacturer of cable assemblies, wiring harnesses and electronic and electro-mechanical products for industry and government. It is in the fourth year of a five-year contract with Lockheed Martin to produce electronic assemblies for the F16 fighter aircraft.

Preservation plan being developed for pictograph site

YAKIMA, Wash. - The state Parks and Recreation Commission is developing a plan to protect ancient rock paintings at Indian Rock Paintings State Park.

Vandalism led to the closure of the park in April. The commission has had two public hearings to gather public comment on ways to protect the site. Indian Rock Paintings State Park is located five miles northwest of Yakima, on U.S. Highway 12. It offers visitors views of ancient American Indian pictographs and has no facilities.

According to the commission, the site has ''an amazing assembly of polychrome rock art that warrant preservation. Over half of the [art] has been damaged, destroyed or moved from their original sites. If the rock art cannot be safe from vandals, it must be protected, even if it means limiting access to the site.''

Some ideas posed at the public meetings: Ask volunteer groups to monitor the site, seal the art with anti-graffiti coating and limit public access. The Yakima Valley Museum and the William O. Douglas Trail Foundation have said they want to help preserve the site.

The next step: Develop a site management plan for consideration by the state Parks and Recreation Commission for approval and a complete a study of the environmental impacts of the plan. A plan could be implemented by spring 2008.

Information is available at www.parks.wa.gov/plans/Yaki maArea, or contact Brian Hovis at (360) 902-8635 or yakima.sportsman.planning@parks.wa.gov.

Richard Walker is a correspondent reporting from San Juan Island, Wash. Contact him at rmwalker@rockisland.com.

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