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County-level conservation department, tribe in Wisconsin partner to expand access and delivery on Indian lands

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Tribal Outreach and Partnership Success StoryOneida Tribe and Outagamie County Land Conservation Department in Wisconsin

By Dave Vogel

In Wisconsin, the Oneida Tribe has been an active participant in conservation programs implementing buffers, restoring native prairies, and eliminating fish blockages throughout the Lower Fox River Watershed. Most recently, the Oneida Tribe established a cooperative agreement with the Outagamie County Land Conservation Department to launch a new adaptive-management pilot project to implement conservation practices on tribal lands within the watershed. The project is funded by point sources participating in the Lower Fox River TMDL program and the Outagamie County Land Conservation Department provides the tribe with technical assistance.

In addition to non-point source management practices supported by the TMDL program, the tribe plans to make additional improvements on tribal lands based on their own prioritization of natural resource needs. The tribe provides funding for the Outagamie County Land Conservation Department’s technical staff time allocated towards conservation practices on tribal lands, under a flat (per practice) rate contract. This partnership brings together interests of the Oneida Tribe, the Outagamie County Land Conservation Department, the Wisconsin TMDL program, and the U.S. EPA – all focusing on expanded delivery of conservation practices on Indian lands. This agreement holds potential for taking the next step in a cooperative watershed planning project on Indian lands, as part of a wider watershed planning program.

If you would like more information about this ongoing success story, please contact Greg Baneck with the Outagamie County Land Conservation Department at 920-832-5073 or Greg.Baneck@outagamie.org; or Oneida Tribe representatives Wes Johnson at 920-869-4587 or wjohnson@oneidanation.org or Jon Habeck at 920-869-4560 or jhabeck@oneidanation.org.

If you have a success story of your own that you would like to share, please get in touch with NACD Western Issues Specialist Jeff Burwell at jeff-burwell@nacdnet.org, and consider using this guidance document – Conservation District and Tribal Partnership Success Stories – Recommended Template – for describing success narratives.

The TOP RPG consists of conservation district supervisors from each of the seven NACD regions and representatives of NACD’s national partners NRCS, NASCA, and NCDEA. RPG members hail from Alabama, Arizona, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Washington, and Wisconsin; and from the following tribes: Blackfeet, Cowlitz, Creek, Mescalero Apache, Navajo, and Passamaquoddy Tribes and Nations.

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