Thesis (M.S., Environmental Science) -- University of Idaho, 2016 | People across the United States are being impacted by climate change. One group in particular, Native Americans, are being affected disproportionately as their life is inextricably linked to the environment. As various species are being lost due to the changing climate, and management plans are being created to help preserve and restore the species, it is imperative to incorporate Native American’s traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) in these plans.
Focusing on the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, located in the panhandle of northern Idaho, this research attempts to incorporate TEK in the westslope cutthroat trout management plan. Westslope cutthroat trout populations have been declining for years, and are projected to decline even more as climate change continues.
This research includes comprehensive background on the science and TEK surrounding westslope cutthroat trout along with the already seen and projected climate change impacts. This information is used to create policy suggestions that include focusing on access to ancestral fishing grounds, implementing a top-down approach to management, increasing educational opportunities and encouraging changes at the national level.