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Nushagak River Watershed

Traditional Use Area Conservation Plan

Traditional Use Area Conservation

Traditional use areas are the broad landscapes over which Native people and their ancestors have hunted, fished and gathered. The Nushagak River traditional use area forms the core of the Conservancy’s engagement in southwest Alaska. Native villages and corporations -- owners of large landholdings in the region -- are working with the Conservancy to develop a vision for the long-term conservation of the traditional use area. The effort includes:

  • Synthesize and digitally map existing data on the habitat and distribution of salmon and other key subsistence species
  • Conduct a Traditional Ecological Knowledge Study
  • Analyze threats to salmon and other subsistence species
  • Identify key areas for conservation
  • Build and implement a strategic plan for action

This approach provides the local community with the tools to maintain cultural knowledge and influence local, state and federal decision-making regarding the fish and wildlife resources on which they have relied for thousands of years. 

Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)

TEK refers to the knowledge and insights acquired through extensive observation of an area or a species. TEK may include knowledge passed down in an oral tradition, or shared among users of a resource. The Bristol Bay Native Association and the Curyung Tribal Council have requested the Conservancy undertake a TEK study for the region, with the guidance of the Nushagak-Mulchatna Watershed Council. The goal of the TEK study is to document residents' ecological knowledge of habitats and sites in the region critical to survival of important fish and wildlife populations.

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