Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council amends contracts to restore conservation properties with additional federal funding

07.28.2021 Dean Rhodes Tribal Council, Natural resources


By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals staff

It’s not often that Tribal employees come back to Tribal Council, asking it to amend a contract because the funding agency involved has found more money than originally contracted.

But that is what Tribal Fish & Wildlife Program Manager Kelly Dirksen did during the Tuesday, July 20, Legislative Action Committee meeting.

Tribal Council approved the Natural Resources Department entering into the two amended contracts that will restore oak and upland prairie habitat, respectively, on two of the Tribe’s six conservation properties during it Wednesday, July 28, meeting.

The agreements with the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program involve sharing costs in which the Conservation Service contributes funds toward implementation of conservation practices and the Tribe provides any remaining resources necessary to complete the projects.

The first contract will help restore oak habitat on 41 acres of the Rattlesnake Butte conservation property northwest of Junction City in Lane County. The Tribe obtained three separate parcels at Rattlesnake Butte in 2012 and 2015 totaling a combined 269.5 acres.

The work at Rattlesnake Butte would improve the forest stand, treat woody residue, and manage brush and plants for wildlife habitat. The cost-share amount was originally not to exceed $72,000, but the Conservation Service offered the Tribe $34,776 more in grant funding.

The second contract will help restore upland prairie habitat at Noble Oaks, a 667.5-acre conservation property in Polk County obtained by the Tribe in 2019.

The work over 40 acres would include mowing, weed control and conservation cover. The cost-share originally was not to exceed $25,000, but the Tribe will receive an additional $373 to accomplish the work.

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Approved a new agreement with the Oregon Department of Human Services to provide for payments for foster care maintenance, independent living programs for children, adoption assistance for children with special needs and kinship guardianship assistance;
  • Approved issuing a Tribal credit card to Alec Mercier, who was recently named the new manager of the Information Systems Department;
  • Appointed Levi Liebelt to the Powwow Special Event Board with a term expiring in March 2023 and appointed Perri McDaniel to fill a vacant TERO Commission seat with a term expiring in March 2022;
  • Approved the Tribe’s application to the Oregon Department of Justice’s Victims of Crime Act grant program for $225,000. The two-year grant would support a full-time victim’s advocate and some client support services;
  • And approved applying for a $51,000 Low Income Home Water Assistance Program grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. If received, the grant would provide home water assistance to lower income Tribal member households in the seven-county service area that includes Clackamas County and other Native Americans living on the Tribe’s Reservation lands.

Tribal Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy also announced that meetings will return to the 4 p.m. starting time in August with limited in-person attendance and a mask-wearing requirement.

The entire meeting can be viewed by visiting the Tribal government’s website at and clicking on the Government tab and then Videos.