News Stories for Mon., Jul. 24, 2017

Work has started to remove a dam in eastern Oregon that blocks salmon, steelhead and lamprey. The effort to remove the Dillon Diversion Dam on the Umatilla River outside of Echo started earlier this month, the East Oregonian reported. The dam is 200 feet long. Bill Duke, district fish biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, said fish ladders on either side of dam don’t always work properly, and the dam was considered a significant problem for native salmon and steelhead. He said the spot is not conducive for rearing juvenile salmon and steelhead. The dam built in 1915 served five landowners as part of the Dillon Irrigation Co. with water rights dating to the 1890s. But the landowners say the dam that’s 16 feet deep clogs with gravel and is difficult to maintain.

A new report once again confirms that American Indians and Alaska Natives are disproportionately impacted by diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14.9 percent of Native men over the age of 18 have been diagnosed with diabetes, the highest among all racial and ethnic groups in the United States. And 15.3 percent of Native women suffer from the condition, again the highest rate in the nation. While rates indeed remain high, management and prevention efforts have made a difference in Indian Country. That’s largely because tribal and urban Indian health providers have tapped into the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI), a federal initiative, to help their communities battle an entirely preventable disease. Despite the successes, the program hangs in limbo. Unless Congress takes action, it is due to expire at the end of September. If that happens, Indian Country would lose out on $150 million in annual SDPI grants, reports.

The tribal spring Chinook fishery on Hood River closed July 16 per Resolution.  Hood River staff estimate approximately 681 spring Chinook were harvested by tribal members, a preliminary estimate.  The river remains open for hatchery steelhead at this time, harvest management says.

Nez Perce Tribe Land Buy Back Program has announced that the deadline for offer packets is August 11th. People can visit and use the Land Buy Back Program link for more information. There will be a Nez Perce Tribe Land Buy Back Program event where people can get more information this Wednesday from 3-9:00 at the school building at Celilo Village.