June 01, 2019

Salmon Repatriation: One Tribe’s Battle to Maintain Its Culture and Spiritual Connection to Place

Darcie L. Houck

The Winnemem Wintu Tribe (Winnemem or Tribe) has a historic and ongoing connection with the McCloud River watershed. The Tribe’s displacement from the McCloud River resulted from development of the Central Valley Project (CVP) in California. The CVP not only displaced the Winnemem, but also blocked salmon from returning each year to spawn in the waters above the Shasta rim dam. This article details the displacement of the Winnemem, the impact of the Shasta Dam on the salmon, and the reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) set out in the June 4, 2009, Biological Opinion and Conference Opinion on the Long-Term Operation of the CVP (2009 BO), prepared by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), available at www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/Central_Valley/Water%20Operations/

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