Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council approves Fish & Wildlife amendments

08.03.2015 Dean Rhodes Tribal Council, Natural Resources

By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

With the Tribe regaining control of fish and wildlife management on its Reservation and trust lands in September 2014, Tribal ordinances regulating fish and wildlife were in need of updating, which occurred on Wednesday, July 29, when Tribal Council OK’d amendments to the Fish and Wildlife Ordinance.

In addition, Tribal Council also approved amendments to the bylaws of the Fish and Wildlife Committee and Ceremonial Hunting Board.

Tribal Fish and Wildlife Program Manager Kelly Dirksen said at the July 28 Legislative Action Committee meeting that the Tribe’s Fish and Wildlife regulations have not been updated since 1996. He worked with the Tribe’s Legal Department on all of the changes.

“It’s pretty much been a moving target because the Tribe has changed considerably,” Dirksen said. “There’s Tribal law enforcement ... the courts have developed significantly. We wanted to update this for a while but we have had trouble hitting this moving target.”

The Fish and Wildlife Ordinance was updated and revised to provide the Tribe and Tribal Police Department with authority to regulate and enforce rules and regulations associated with the new Tribally-issued hunting tags and seasons.

“We have an ordinance that will work,” Dirksen said, adding that there likely will be updates and amendments coming before Tribal Council in the next couple of years.

The Fish and Wildlife Committee bylaws also were updated and revised to set the committee’s appropriate rules and responsibilities and the Ceremonial Hunting Board bylaws also were updated and revised for the same reasons.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  •        Appointed Guy Schultz to the Ceremonial Hunting Board with a term expiring in March 2017;
  •        Appointed Tresa Mercier to the Culture Committee with a term expiring in March 2017;
  •        Appointed Faye Smith to the Health Committee with a term expiring in March 2017;
  •        Approved a Tribal credit card for Health & Wellness Department’s Accreditation Coordinator Jill Hafliger to use to pay for medical service provider queries, education verifications and board certifications;
  •        Approved a Referenced Funding Agreement with the Bureau of Indian Affairs that allocates $763,838 in funding to the Grand Ronde Tribal Transportation Program for fiscal year 2015;
  •        And approved an 11 Tribes memorandum of agreement to allocate Indian Housing Block Grant funding using Tribal enrollment data.

Included in the July 29 Tribal Council packet was a staff directive directing the Tribal Attorney’s Office to bring proposed amendments to the Personnel Management Ordinance to the Legislative Action Committee for a first reading.

There also were authorizations to proceed that permits staff to take the appropriate steps to establish a Youth Council, appointed Tribal Council member Chris Mercier to the Mid-Willamette Valley Partnership Board, and approved up to $18,000 in improvements to the new arbor at Uyxat Powwow Grounds.

Finally, there was an authorization to proceed that authorized the Tribal Attorney’s Office to draft a resolution and other documents necessary to move forward an amendment to the Tribal Constitution that would remove the requirement that an applicant for membership have a parent who is or was a member of the Tribe at the time of the applicant’s birth and, if living, at the time of application.

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 on the Tribal website,, under the News tab and then click on the Video link.