Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council OKs Reservation hunting seasons, tags

07.16.2015 Dean Rhodes Tribal Council, Culture, Natural Resources

For the first time since the Tribe was restored in November 1983, Tribal Council approved issuing 46 Tribal Reservation hunting tags and set Tribal hunting season dates at its Wednesday, July 15, meeting.

Although the approval was on Tribal Council’s consent agenda, Tribal Council Vice Chair Jack Giffen Jr. acknowledged the importance of the vote in the Tribe’s continuing pursuit in regaining sovereignty over its own lands.

“This stems from a lot of hard work for over 10 years to regain management of our Tribal lands,” Giffen said. “I just say it is a historic day because we’ve been restored more than 31 years and this is the first time in more than 31 years that we’ve been able to issue tags on our own land. I want to thank all of the people that were involved in this, from the Fish and Wildlife Committee, the Timber Committee and the NRD staff. Fantastic job and I’m very proud of each and every one of them.”

In September 2014, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the Tribe’s Fish and Wildlife Management Plan, which delegates authority to the Tribe over natural resources on Reservation and trust lands.

In addition, an administrative rule was developed that provides additional hunting tags to the Tribe outside of state-issued hunting tags already allocated to the membership for the Trask Hunting Unit as part of the consent decree. In 2015, the new tags will be valid on the Reservation only.

In the first year, the Tribe will issue tags for black-tailed deer and Roosevelt elk on Friday, Sept. 11. The seasons will be Sept. 28 through Oct. 2 for Coastal Buck Centerfire Firearm (20 tags) and Nov. 21 through Dec. 1 for Hair Tag Muzzleloader Rifle (10 tags) for black-tailed deer and Nov. 7 through Nov. 13 for Bull First Season (eight tags) and Nov. 18 through Nov. 20 for Spike Second Season (eight tags) for elk.

“The year will be, by necessity, fairly conservative,” said Fish and Wildlife Program Manager Kelly Dirksen at the Tuesday, July 14, Legislative Action Committee meeting. “But our goal, long term, is to maximize the Tribal members’ opportunities under the Wildlife Management Plan.”

Dirksen said Tribal Biologist Lindsay Belonga is currently working on establishing population counts on the Reservation to help Natural Resources determine future takes of wildlife.

The applications for the tags will appear in the Aug. 1 edition of Smoke Signals. Deadline to submit applications is Thursday, Sept. 3.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Appointed Dennis Dinsmore and Kevin Schultz to serve on the Grand Ronde Gaming Commission with three-year terms expiring in June 2018.
  • Authorized staff to submit a plan to the Secretary of the Interior to consolidate funds from General Assistance, Native Employment Works and Job Training programs into a single coordinated three-year plan to provide employment and training service.
  • Approved a grant application to the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps for 2015 to acquire up to $10,000 in funding for the Natural Resources Department Summer Youth Crew.
  • Appointed Tribal Council members Tonya Gleason-Shepek and Toby McClary and re-appointed Giffen and Tribal Council member Ed Pearsall to serve on the Spirit Mountain Gaming Inc. Board of Directors.
  • And approved the enrollment of four infants into the Tribe because they meet the eligibility requirements for enrollment as defined in the Tribal Constitution and Enrollment Ordinance.

Also included in the July 15 Tribal Council packet was an authorization to proceed appointing Tribal Council member Denise Harvey to the Liberty House Board of Directors. Liberty House is a child abuse assessment center located in Salem.

Tribal Council also approved a staff directive that authorizes Chief of Police Al LaChance to work with the Procurement Department to transfer the current police station modular to Spirit Mountain Casino after the new Tribal police station is completed. Another authorization to proceed approved construction plans for the police station.

Tribal Council member Jon A. George joined Land and Culture Department employees Jordan Mercier and Travis Stewart in performing the cultural drumming and singing to open the meeting.

The meeting, in its entirety, can be viewed at the Tribal website,, by clicking on “videos” under the News tab.