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U.S. Geological Survey Activities Related to American Indians and Alaska Natives
Fiscal Year 2002

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Resource and Environmental Activities

Real-Time, Water-Quality and Quantity Data-Collection Network for the Maliseet Indians. The USGS Maine Water Resources District is working closely with the Houlton Band of the Maliseet Indians to develop a real-time data-collection and data-dissemination network on the Meduxnekeag River in northeastern Maine. The Meduxnekeag River is an integral cultural resource for the Maliseet Indians as well as an important source of irrigation water for farmers in the predominantly agricultural watershed. In particular, the Tribe is concerned about the quality of the water and condition of riparian plants that are harvested on the riverbanks. Point and non-point sources of nutrients to the river appear to be contributing to algal blooms that have degraded the quality of the river, adversely affecting the habitat for aquatic and riparian organisms. The USGS is working with the Maliseet Indians to identify funding for the proposed work. Contact: Robert Lent, 207-622-8201,

Support for Passamaquoddy Water Management Plan. The USGS Maine Water Resources District is working with the Passamaquoddy Indians to collect real-time streamflow information critical to the development of a water management plan for Tribal land in southeastern Maine. The watershed includes important blueberry barrens and Atlantic salmon habitat. Careful stewardship of the land requires accurate streamflow information. The USGS operated two streamflow gages in Fiscal Year 2000-01 and is committed to long-term operation of one gage. Contact: Robert Lent, 207-622-8201,

Environmental Database for the Penobscot Nation. As part of the contaminant study of the Penobscot River, the USGS Maine Water Resources District has developed an environmental database for use by the Penobscot Nation's Department of Natural Resources (PIN DNR). The PIN DNR conducts a variety of ongoing biological and water-chemistry studies on Tribal lands and the Penobscot River. The database will provide a systematic method of data storage, enabling the PIN DNR to consolidate their existing data and manage new data as they are collected. The database is capable of storing data on a variety of sample media and constituents. The database's open-ended design allows for future modification and additions as new constituents, agencies, and study areas are included in future studies. The database was presented at the Fifth Annual New England Tribal Environmental Conference, May 21-23, 2002, in Misquamicut, Rhode Island, and has been made publicly available. Several Maine Tribes (Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot) are currently using the database. Contact: Robert Lent, 207-622-8201,

Penobscot Indian Nation. The USGS Conte Andadromous Fish Lab began an adult Atlantic salmon migration project on the Penobscot River in cooperation with the Penobscot Indian Nation (PIN) and the Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission. The PIN has treaty-reserved sustenance fishing rights in a large part of the watershed. Thus, the PIN has great interest in the ongoing efforts to restore Atlantic salmon to the Penobscot River, including improving understanding of the current migration success of adult salmon through the multiple fish ladder system. This project was driven by a document produced by the Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission's Technical Advisory Committee and reflects the PIN's input to that document. The Penobscot's interest in the passage rates, behavior, and performance of other migratory species such as alewives and American shad may influence the future direction of this project. Contact: Alex Haro (USGS), 413-863-3806,; Clem Fay (Penobscot Indian Nation), 207-827-7776,

Tribal Fisheries Restoration and Enhancement. The USGS Great Lakes Science Center's Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Science continued assisting Tribes in restoring and enhancing their fisheries. Tunison staff stocked 455 catchable rainbow trout, reared at the Tunison facility, in waters of the Onondaga Nation. Tunison scientists continued assisting The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe by examining the feasibility of restoring Atlantic salmon in St. Lawrence River tributaries. Salmon restoration activities included stocking 21,500 salmon fry in tributaries of the St. Regis and Little Salmon rivers and assessing survival through the fall. Survival of salmon fry was lower than in previous years, possibly due to drought conditions during summer. Over-winter survival of salmon was also lower than in previous years. The Environmental Division of The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and Tunison Laboratory continue cooperating on a pilot project that focuses on the American eel population in the St. Lawrence River. The project involves field collecting American eels, ecological assessments, and laboratory analysis of eel health and life history of this population. Tunison staff are also working with Mohawk Tribal groups along the St. Lawrence in New York, Ontario, and Quebec concerning river water level studies carried out under the International Joint Commission. Contact: James H. Johnson, 607-753-9391, ext. 30,

South Florida Ecosystem Program, Internal Surface Water Flows. As part of the Everglades Restoration Programs, the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) propose modified water deliveries to The Seminole Tribe of Florida, Big Cypress National Preserve, and other parts of Florida's interior. The proposal is intended to provide net flood protection and water delivery to agricultural lands as well as partial restoration of historic ecosystem conditions within the Seminole lands. A baseline of current data is needed to help determine the effects that proposed water delivery changes will have on Seminole lands. The USGS has installed and is obtaining data from strategically located streamflow gaging sites to help define future surface-water flow requirements and decompartmentalization efforts through the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program. Subsequent studies based on accurate flow calibrations generated by data from these sites may then be used by other agencies for computation of nutrient and other contaminant loadings in the canal system. Data from continuous flow gages, at selected impact points for interior basins, will also compliment the existing eastern flow canal discharge network and allow more accurately timed surface-water releases. USGS biologists are using the hydrological restoration of a wetland that had been drained for cattle pasture to test several hypotheses about the invasion of wetlands by non-native species, including methods that may discourage their use of such wetlands. Contact: Mitch Murray (USGS, water), 305-717-5827,; Bill Loftus (USGS, biology), 305-242-7835; Craig Tepper (Seminole Tribe of Florida), 954-966-6300, ext. 1120,

Mapping Bottom Substrates in the Detour Area of Northern Lake Huron. The USGS Great Lakes Science Center's Lake Superior Biological Station completed a benthic mapping survey of near-shore habitats in the Detour region of Lake Huron for the Chippewa-Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA) in November 2001. Detailed data on depths and bottom substrate composition were provided in GIS (geographic information system) mapping format and will be used by CORA to better understand the relationships between nearshore habitat and spawning and rearing of lake whitefish and other commercially important food fish. An interesting result from the hydrographic survey was the realization that the data could be used to detect and map the distribution of aquatic vegetation and invasive zebra mussels. USGS scientists also generated overlays of CORA's fish sampling data in the final GIS product to facilitate future research by Tribal fishery biologists. This work was part of an ongoing inventory of near-shore aquatic habitats within the 1836 ceded territorial waters of lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan. Previous mapping work for CORA was conducted by the Center in Whitefish Bay of Lake Superior. Since five Tribes in the upper Great Lakes region were given fishing rights within the 1836-ceded territorial waters, CORA has sought to protect these areas for sustainable commercial fisheries. CORA is particularly interested in near-shore habitats that are used for spawning and rearing of lake whitefish. Increasing development of shorelines for vacation homes and resorts potentially will have deleterious effects on the quality of near-shore spawning and rearing habitats. Understanding the relationship between habitat and the success of whitefish spawning and recruitment will provide Tribal natural resource managers with information needed to protect and enhance these areas for economically sustainable fisheries. Contact: Owen Gorman, 715-682-6163,

Juvenile Lake Trout Assessment in Keweenaw Bay. The Great Lakes Science Center's Lake Superior Biological Station continues to cooperate with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in restoring lake trout stocks in Keweenaw Bay. The Community is concerned with low levels of reproduction and abundance of juvenile lake trout in lower Keweenaw Bay; a management plan was developed to restore that stock. The Center uses a research vessel to conduct bottom trawl assessments of fish communities of the lower Keweenaw Bay and adjacent management areas to assist the Community in evaluating the success of the lake trout restoration effort. From annual spring trawl assessments of the bay, the Center provides the following items to the Community's fishery biologists: catch data on stocked and wild lake trout, specimens of stocked lake trout with imbedded coded wire tags, and comparisons of fish community composition in the Bay with that in nearby Lake Superior fishery management units. Contact: Owen Gorman, 715-682-6163,

Source-water Assessments and Protection Plans, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. In 2001, the USGS completed an assessment for the L'Anse, Michigan water supply as part of a 5-year cooperative agreement with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community's (KBIC) Zeba Community lies immediately north of L'Anse and is in the same watershed. In November 2001, the USGS completed a source-water assessment for the Zeba Community water supply. In 2002, based on the results of the Zeba source-water assessment, KBIC asked USGS to complete an assessment of the ground-water supply at the Kawbawgam Road Community near Marquette, and to prepare source-water protection plans for both the Zeba and Kawbawgam Road Community water supplies. A cooperative agreement was implemented in Fiscal Year 2002 to conduct this work, and an assessment of the Kawbawgam Road supply was completed in September 2002. In Fiscal Year 2003, the USGS will prepare source-water protection plans for both supplies. Contact: Mike Sweat, 307-778-2931, ext. 2748,

Ecosystem Reconstruction and Effects of Past Ecosystem Perturbations in Lac Courte Oreilles. The purpose of this study was to reconstruct the Musky Bay ecosystem history and an additional site within Lac Courte Oreilles. The USGS Wisconsin Water Resources District project was completed in Fiscal Year 2001 within lands of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. The project emphasized the possible effects of cranberry farming and shoreline development using the sediment record. Studies focused on the nutrient history (input and burial rates) that reflects management practices and possible watershed degradation. The modeled nutrient history was interpreted in concert with reconstructed algal (mainly diatom) communities preserved in the sediments. Another objective of the project was to search for possible cranberry farming characteristics in the sediment, including sulfur, uranium, and potassium associated with fertilizers, and copper associated with pesticides. Biogenic silica profiles provided complimentary data for algal community reconstructions. The sediment record is likely to preserve trends in nutrient biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem character over the last few hundred years, a timeframe that includes a background period and the period of cranberry farming. The project was completed with publication of a report in Fiscal Year 2002: Fitzpatrick, F.A., Garrison, P.J., Fitzgerald, S.A., and Elder, J.F., 2003, Nutrient, Trace-Element, and Ecological History of Musky Bay, Lac Courte Oreilles, Wisconsin, as Inferred from Sediment Cores: USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4225. Contact: Faith Fitzpatrick, 608-821-3818,

Lake Sturgeon Enhancement in Menominee Waters. The Menominee Reservation Lake Sturgeon Enhancement Committee, composed of personnel from the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the USGS, is coordinating ongoing efforts to re-establish lake sturgeon in waters on the Menominee Reservation. One of these efforts involves evaluating success of stocking juvenile and fingerling lake sturgeon in Reservation impoundments. A USGS fishery biologist at the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center provided training and assistance to Menominee employees in the implantation of sonic transmitters into juvenile lake sturgeon in Legend Lake near Keshna, Wisconsin. These efforts will help resource managers determine habitat requirements of stocked lake sturgeon in Reservation impoundments. In another part of the sturgeon restoration project, the USGS Leetown Science Center is continuing support for research on a spiral fish ladder by assessing the efficiency of this method for the passage of lake sturgeon and riverine fishes. Tests are continuing to evaluate whether the second loop of the spiral of the fish ladder adds to its usefulness. The Tribe is interested in determining whether two ladders are needed to get fish to their waters. The fish ladder project is supported by the Great Lakes Fishery Trust. Contact: Brent Knights (coordination), 608-781-6221,; Boyd Kynard (fish ladder), 413-863-3807,

Ground Water and Water Quality of Lakes and Springs on Lands of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The USGS Minnesota Water District Office is delineating the direction of ground-water flow on lands of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The Grand Portage Band will use the information to help them evaluate recharge areas of the Tribal water resources. Land use may particularly affect recharge areas. Contact: Don Hansen, 763-783-3250,

Moose Population Dynamics, Northeastern Minnesota. The USGS Minnesota Field Station of the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center is conducting moose research with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and the 1854 Authority. The objectives of the study are to determine survival rates of adult moose, causes of mortality, and to improve aerial surveying of the moose population. Twenty-four moose have been captured, fitted with radio-collars, and aerially radio-tracked once per week. From January 2002 to January 2003, four moose died of malnutrition, one was killed by wolves, and another was shot during the hunting season. The five non-hunting mortalities were all females. This information will help the Tribes and the State improve moose management by providing information critical to the long-term welfare of moose in Minnesota. Forty additional moose will be captured in Fiscal Year 2003 to add to the population and replace the study animals that have died. Contact: Michael Nelson, 218-365-4505,

Hydrologic and Lake Level Changes, Long Lost Lake, White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. Long Lost Lake is a 480-acre land-locked lake, within the boundaries of the White Earth Indian Reservation. The lake is approximately 6 miles west of Lake Itasca, the source of the Mississippi River, in northwestern Minnesota. The water level (stage) of Long Lost Lake has risen approximately 20 feet since about 1990. Twelve Tribal residences, several roads, and 50 acres of Tribal lands are submerged, and thirty Tribal members have been displaced from their homes. The USGS Minnesota Water Resources District is working with the Tribe to document historical changes in the stage of Long Lost Lake to determine the cause-and-effect relationships that have resulted in increased lake stage, and to develop a general understanding of the hydrology of lakes that experience rapid and dramatic changes in lake stage. Climatological changes and human modifications within the watershed will be considered as potential contributing factors. This study also will develop the monitoring network needed to understand the hydrologic setting and hydrologic budget of the Long Lost Lake and information about the lake's setting relative to other lakes in the area. The study began in Fiscal Year 2002 and is expected to conclude in Fiscal Year 2005. Contact: Don Hansen, 763-783-3250,

Water Resources Investigation for the Prairie Island Indian Community. The Prairie Island Indian Community asked the USGS Minnesota Water District Office to conduct a bathymetric survey of Sturgeon Lake and to collect bottom sediment samples from the Lake. The Community is concerned about potential water quality effects of dredging of the lake for pleasure boat traffic. These investigations are expected to be completed in Fiscal Year 2005. Contact: Don Hansen, 763-783-3250,

Lake Traverse Reservation Pesticide Management Plan Support. The USGS South Dakota Water Resources District, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, compiled and analyzed data that will be used as part of the scientific basis for a Pesticide Management Plan being developed by the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe for their lands. Numeric and geospatial datasets included: pesticide concentrations in ground- and surface-water, precipitation, soil information, topographic data, geohydrologic features, land cover and use, and pesticide use in the area. Contact: Ryan Thompson, 605-352-4241, ext. 225,

Flandreau Water Supply Assessment. USGS hydrologists with the South Dakota Water Resource District compiled and summarized water-quality data in order to describe a water source for the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs Flandreau Indian School. USGS employees also collected water samples from selected ground- and surface-water sites relevant to an aquifer that is a possible Tribal water source. The samples were analyzed for many compounds including emerging contaminants. The USGS studies found little evidence of widespread water-quality problems in the aquifer, which has been used to supply past and local water needs. In Fiscal Year 2002, the report was completed and published as USGS Open File Report 02-074 by Bryan Schapp entitiled, "Reconnaissance-Level Assessment of Water Quality near Flandreau, South Dakota." Contact: Bryan Schaap, 605-352-4241, ext. 226,

Water-Quality Monitoring of the Missouri River with the Yankton Sioux Tribe. The Missouri River in southeastern South Dakota constitutes the southern boundary of the Yankton Sioux Reservation (YSR) and is a valuable resource to the Yankton Sioux Tribe as well as to the States of South Dakota and Nebraska. Several miles downstream from the western boundary of the YSR, the flow of the Missouri River is impounded by Fort Randall Dam to form Lake Francis Case. Downstream from Fort Randall Dam, the river is free-flowing for several miles until it contacts backwater from Lewis and Clark Lake. Thus, within the YSR boundaries, the Missouri River is both impounded as well as free flowing, which results in a diversity of habitat critical to numerous fish and wildlife species. Beginning in 2002, a water-quality monitoring program for the Missouri River within the YSR was initiated. The program consists of a cooperative effort between Yankton Sioux Tribe and the USGS South Dakota Water Resource District. Water-quality samples are collected six times per year at three different stations. The samples are analyzed for certain field-measured properties, major ions, nutrients, selected trace elements, and suspended sediment. The monitoring program is intended to be a long-term effort. Contact: Steven Sando, 605-352-4241, ext. 230,

Hydrogeology of the Ogallala and Arikaree Aquifers for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. The Ogallala and Arikaree aquifers are important water resources for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and are used extensively for agricultural, municipal, and domestic water supplies. Water-resource tools are needed to evaluate management and environmental issues such as planning for source-water protection, describing potential impacts of contamination, and estimating sustainable aquifer withdrawals. A numerical ground-water flow model of the Ogallala and Arikaree aquifers underlying the Rosebud Reservation has been developed, calibrated, and documented by USGS hydrologists from the South Dakota Water Resources District in cooperation with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. A GIS interface for the model is currently being developed to aid the Tribe in using the model to test the effects of various hydrologic conditions such as drought or increased water use. Contact: Andy Long, 605-355-4560, ext. 237,

Rosebud Total Maximum Daily Load. The USGS South Dakota Water resources District and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe began a water-quality assessment in support of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development for the Little White River in Todd County, South Dakota. Parts of this study include compiling and reviewing historical data, sampling water-quality further define conditions of the Little White River and its tributaries, and analyzing and modeling selected data. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will use the data and analysis to write a TMDL for the Little White River. Technology transfer, a major part of this project, will aid the Tribe with TMDL development for other streams within its lands. Contact: Joyce Williamson, 605-355-4560, ext. 219,

Potentiometric Map for the Arikaree Aquifer Pine Ridge Reservation. The USGS South Dakota Water Resources District, in cooperation with the Oglala Sioux Tribe, is conducting a study to map the potentiometric surface of the Arikaree aquifer. The potentiometric surface is the "hydraulic head," or upper surface, of an unconfined aquifer (in other words, the water table) or, on a confined aquifer it is the upper water surface in a well. The aquifer is present near the surface in approximately 80 percent of the Oglala Reservation and is the single largest source of ground water for the Tribe. The objective of this study is to provide the Oglala Sioux Tribe with a map depicting the potentiometric surface of the Arikaree aquifer and a compilation of well locations and construction information. The map will be used by several Tribal departments and could help identify the best locations for new wells, predict ground-water movement, and assess aquifer vulnerability to contamination. Contact: Allen Heakin, 605-355-4560, ext. 216,

Water Quality on the Lands of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. Water quality is a major concern for the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation because creeks on their lands provide sources of subsistence hunting and fishing for Tribal members. Ground water is used in domestic wells on the reservation and is being considered as a source for water supply as the Tribe develops its economic base. Surface water on Tribal lands has been sampled on a quarterly basis since June 1996 and two reports have been published as a result of this monitoring. In 2002, a ground-water component was added to the study and eleven wells completed on the reservation will be sampled on a yearly basis to assess ground water quality. Tribal personnel assist USGS scientists with the Kansas Water Resources District in collecting and preparing samples for analysis in conjunction with the water quality aspects of this study. As part of the capacity building, Tribal personnel have also attended training courses at the USGS National Training Center in Denver as well as training with USGS personnel on other water quality studies in the Kansas District. The study is scheduled to continue through 2004, with a cumulative interpretative report on the water quality of the Potawatomi lands to be released at the conclusion of the study. Contact: Heather Ross, 785-832-3575,

Historical Channel Change along Soldier Creek, Northeast Kansas. In a cooperative study with the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation, USGS Kansas Water Resources District scientists analyzed information from eight USGS streamflow-gaging stations to assess historical channel change along Soldier Creek, northeast Kansas. At each gaging station, channel change was assessed using channel-bed elevation as the primary indicator. Changes in channel-bed elevation were inferred from changes in the stage associated with the mean annual discharge at each station. Other variables (channel width, channel area, and streamflow velocity) were used as additional indicators of change. Results indicated that the most substantial channel changes occurred downstream from Rocky Ford at the Soldier Creek streamflow-gaging stations located near Topeka and Delia. The available evidence indicated that the channelization of Soldier Creek, completed in 1961, was likely to be the primary cause of the channel changes at these locations. The decreasing base level provided by the Kansas River also may have been a contributing factor. At the Soldier Creek gaging station near Topeka, immediate effects of the channelization included a decrease in channel-bed elevation of about 5 feet and an increase in channel width of about 35 feet. The instability introduced by the channelization caused channel-bed degradation that moved upstream at the rate of about 0.7-1.2 miles per year. At the Soldier Creek gaging station near Delia, located about 12 miles upstream from the upstream end of the channelized section, channel-bed degradation began during the 1970s and resulted in a net decrease in channel-bed elevation of about 5 feet by 1999. The available evidence indicated that Soldier Creek at and upstream from Rocky Ford has not been substantially affected by the upstream-progressing channel-bed degradation as of 2001. In this part of the basin, other causes of channel change, such as land use and floods, may be relatively more important. A report on the study results is being prepared and will be available in Fiscal Year 2003. Contact: Kyle Juracek, 785-832-3527,

Effects of Past Mining on Aquatic Resources Important to Native Americans of Northeast Oklahoma. The Tri-States Mining District, which comprises parts of Jasper and Newton Counties in Missouri, Cherokee County, Kansas, and Ottawa County, Oklahoma, was mined for lead and zinc for more than a century. Although mining has ceased, mine wastes remain distributed throughout the District and there is evidence of surface-water and ground-water contamination throughout the region. The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma and other Native American groups have expressed concern about health risks associated with the consumption of fish and other aquatic organisms from waters in the Tri-States District. Late in 2001, a study was initiated to determine the extent of metal contamination from historical mining on fishes and other aquatic organisms. USGS scientists collected fish and crayfish from selected locations in the Spring and Neosho River systems of northeast Oklahoma. Samples of crayfish are being analyzed for concentrations of lead, cadmium, zinc, and iron to identify important pathways of metal exposure in stream food webs and potential risks to Native American consumers of aquatic organisms. Fish and invertebrates were prepared for human consumption, as they would have been by Native Americans. Blood was obtained from each fish and analyzed for metals and for biochemical responses (biomarkers) indicative of exposure to and effects of lead and other toxic metals. Contact: Michael J. Mac, 573-876-1900,

Trace Metals in Grand Lake of the Cherokees, Northeastern Oklahoma, for the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe. The Seneca-Cayuga Tribe is concerned that trace metals from the Tri-State Mining District may transport contaminated sediments into the northern part of Grand Lake of the Cherokees. Part of the Tri-State Mining District encompasses the EPA's Tar Creek Superfund Site, which covers an area of approximately 40 square miles; this area includes several tributaries of Grand Lake of the Cherokees. In April 2002, USGS Oklahoma Water Resources staff collected surface-water and bed-sediment samples at two locations determined by Seneca-Cayuga Tribe's environmental staff. Both samples were analyzed for concentrations of lead, zinc and cadmium. Elevated concentrations of the analyzed metals were detected in the water and bed-sediment samples. A summary of the data was prepared for the Tribe. Contact: Kyle Davis, 918-254-6651,

Osage-Skiatook Petroleum Environmental Research Project. USGS scientists are leading the Osage-Skiatook Petroleum Environmental Research (OSPER) Project in which research is being conducted to investigate the transport, fate, and biologic effects of produced water and hydrocarbon releases from oil production at two sites on Skiatook Lake, on the Osage Nation. Environmental research began in Fiscal Year 2001 and continued in Fiscal Year 2002 with geologic mapping, drilling of observation wells, geophysical surveys, microbial studies, and geochemical sampling of soils, bedrock, and ground and surface waters. This work focuses on the impacts of produced water and hydrocarbon releases from oil production on soils, ground and surface water and the ecosystems they support. Skiatook Lake serves as flood control, water supply, and a major recreational fishery in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, metropolitan area. Personnel from the Osage Nation Environmental and Resource Department participated in the field investigations. The USGS provided training to Osage Nation personnel on surface-water flow measurement and sampling methods. Collaborating partners include the Osage Nation, U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), University of Tulsa, Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, and USGS research scientists from Oklahoma, Virginia, Colorado, and California. A field conference was held in September 2002 to review the early results of these field investigations. At this conference, an Osage Nation investigator presented results of a survey of surface water conductivity and chloride concentrations in streams entering Skiatook Lake. Conference attendees included personnel and managers from the USGS, the Osage Nation, the DoE, and the USACE. Contact: Jim Otton, 303-236-8020,

Availability of Water in Arkansas River Alluvial Aquifer, Osage Nation. The USGS Oklahoma Water Resources District conducted a coopertive project with the Osage Nation that included using direct-push drilling, lithostratigraphic and hydrologic analysis, and water-quality sampling to evaluate the quantity and quality of water in alluvial and terrace aquifers along the Arkansas River in Osage County. Two Native American student hydrologists are conducting the project under USGS supervision as part of their Masters of Science program requirements for Oklahoma State University. Contact: Marvin M. Abbott, 405-810-4411,

Overview of Water Resources for the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes. The USGS Oklahoma Water Resources District completed a study in cooperation with the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes on the surface and ground water, water use, availability, and quality in northern Caddo County and northwestern Grady County, Oklahoma. The study area covers about 900 square miles and extends from the Canadian River on the north to the Washita River on the south. The report will be published in Fiscal Year 2003. Contact: Marvin M. Abbott, 405-810-4411,

Monitoring of Nitrate and Pesticides for the Chickasaw Nation. The Chickasaw Nation is concerned about potential contamination of groundwater by nitrate and pesticides leaching from cropland and pastures in their Tribal Jurisdictional Area. As part of a water-resource assessment, USGS Oklahoma Water Resources District staff, assisted by Chickasaw Nation Environmental staff, sampled 17 wells in south-central Oklahoma in August 2002 for water properties, nitrate concentration, and 86 commonly-used pesticides, at parts per trillion reporting limits. Only one well had a nitrate concentration exceeding the drinking water standard; 4 wells had detectable concentrations of organophosphate or triazine pesticides. A summary of the study is posted at Contact: Jason Masoner, 405-810-4407,

Ground-Water-Quality Monitoring for the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes. Recent studies by the USGS in cooperation with the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes identified two significant ground-water-quality problems: saline-water contamination and large nitrate concentrations in ground- water. Several studies identified more than 12 square miles of saline-water contamination in the East Poplar oil field. Another study found that nitrate concentrations were greater than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standard (10 mg/l) in ground water from more than 50 percent of wells completed in the Flaxville and underlying aquifers. Additional monitoring was needed to determine if the salt water plumes in the East Poplar oil field have migrated since the last sampling period (1993). Additional sampling was also needed to determine if nitrate concentrations vary seasonally or over longer periods of time. A long-term ground-water-sampling network was needed to determine changes in ground-water quality for these areas of concern. Wells in the East Poplar oil field and wells screened in the Flaxville aquifer were selected by the USGS in consultation with the Fort Peck Tribes for additional monitoring over a 3-year period. Wells selected in the East Poplar oil field were sampled annually to detect plume migration. Wells selected in the Flaxville and underlying aquifers were sampled quarterly to determine seasonal and temporal trends in nitrate concentrations. Data and interpretations will be published in a report. Contact: Joanna Thamke, 406-457-5900,

Northern Divide Grizzly Bear Project. The USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center in Montana, in cooperation with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the Blackfeet Nation, and Federal and State agencies, is leading a multi-year research project to determine the number of grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem of the United States. This project, requested by the Governor of Montana and supported by Senator Burns (MT), is expected to produce a scientifically valid estimate of the size of the grizzly bear population for the entire ecosystem. The study area is immense, encompassing 7.9 million acres from the Salish-Kootenai lands in the west to the Blackfeet Reservation lands in the east and from the Canadian border in the north to Montana Highway 200 in the south. Much of the project is on Tribal lands. Representatives from both Tribal governments have been actively involved in all stages of the planning process and will serve as project sub-area leaders. Contact: Kate Kendall (USGS), 406-888-7994,; Dale Becker (Salish-Kootenai), 406-675-2700, ext. 1278; Dan Carney (Blackfeet), 406-338-2430,

Flood-Frequency at Gaged and Ungaged Sites in Montana. Reliable flood-frequency information for streams is essential for design and operation of various water control structures such as dams, levees, and water-supply systems. In addition, reliable flood-frequency data are required for proper design of stream-crossing transportation structures, such as bridges and culverts, and for identification of flood-prone areas for land-use management and flood-insurance purposes. The USGS Montana Water Resources District is conducting this study in cooperation with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, BIA, and State, and Federal. It is intended to update flood-frequency information for all gaged sites in Montana that have at least a 10-year record of unregulated flow record; it will use the updated flood-frequency information, together with geomorphic and climatic data compiled at each gaged sites, to develop regional regression equations and a region-of-influence computer model for the estimation of flood-frequency at ungaged sites; and as well as a Web-based program to help users apply the estimation methods at ungaged sites. Contact: Charles Parrett, 406-457-5900,

Hydraulic Characteristics and Flood-Limit Delineation of the Jocko River on Part of the Flathead Reservation. The objective of this cooperative project is to delineate the flood limits and hydraulic floodway for 100- and 500-year events for a 20-mile reach of the Jocko River from near Arlee, Montana, to the river's mouth near Dixon on the Flathead Reservation of the Confederated Salish and Kootanai Tribes. USGS hydrologists from the Montana Water Resources District surveyed channel-geometry (cross-section) data for the Jocko River and are using the data in a hydraulic model to calculate water-surface profiles and other hydraulic parameters such as flow area, conveyance, flow widths, mean flow depths, and velocities. The hydraulic data will be used to delineate the flood plain and floodway. Determination of hydraulic characteristics is a prerequisite to the delineation of flood limits and a hydraulic floodway for the 100-year flood. The 100-year flood is commonly used as a regulatory flood for flood-plain management and flood insurance purposes. Adoption of flood-plain management regulations for the Jocko River would enable land-use and fishery managers for the Salish and Kootenai Tribes to better plan and guide future development to minimize riverine impacts and would also enable citizens to purchase subsidized flood insurance. Contact: Charles Parrett, 406-457-5928,

Northern Cheyenne Tribe and Coalbed Methane. In Fiscal Year 2002, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe began a partnership with the USGS to core drill several Fort Union coal beds and evaluate the potential of coalbed methane resources on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation (NCIR). Coring was performed in conjunction with drilling seven wells to monitor water in the southern part of the Reservation. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the USGS Montana Water Resources District cooperatively supported the drilling project. Personnel from the USGS Central Region Geology Team, Bureau of Land Management, and the Northern Cheyenne Natural Resource Department collected coal cores from three wells and desorbed and measured gas on the drill site. Additional desorption was performed in USGS laboratories in Denver, Colorado. Retrieval of continuous cores of the coal beds, which include the Knobloch, Wall, Pawnee, and Flowers-Goodale coals, permitted gas desorption, adsorption (isotherm), gas composition (chemistry and isotopic), coal quality, and coal petrology analyses. The data will be used to estimate the gas-in-place resources on the Northern Cheyenne lands. This information is critical for the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council to use in making policy decisions on the possible development of coalbed methane, especially with the onset of development off the Reservation. The information will also provide baseline data for determining the effects of gas drainage from future coalbed methane development off the Reservation. Contact: Romeo M. Flores (geology), 303-236-7774,; Mike Cannon (water), 406-457-5900,; Jason Whiteman (Northern Cheyenne Tribe), 406-477-6503

Water Quality Studies for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. The Southern Ute Indian Tribe has rights to 1/6 of the storage capacity of the Vallecito Reservoir and has supported water-quality investigations there with the USGS Colorado Water Resources District. The Vallecito Dam and Reservoir were constructed to furnish supplemental water to about 54,000 acres. The Vallecito Dam prevents the flooding of crops, farmland, and structures along the Vallecito River during spring runoff by storing the floodwater for controlled releases to benefit irrigation. The Southern Ute Tribe is supporting a USGS study that is characterizing current water-quality conditions in the Vallecito Reservoir watershed over five years beginning in 2000. These data will be used to establish a baseline of major ions, metals, nutrients, and dissolved oxygen concentrations in reservoir inflows, in the reservoir itself, and in the reservoir outflow. Current conditions will form the baseline for comparisons with later years, to assess the affects of future population growth and land-use changes on reservoir water quality. Monitoring is planned to continue for 10 to 20 years after the initial 5-year characterization of existing water-quality conditions to determine water-quality trends. In June 2002, the Missionary Ridge wildfire completely burned areas of the Vallecito Reservoir watershed adjacent to the reservoir and, to a limited degree, the valleys of the two major inlets to the reservoir, Vallecito Creek and Los Pinos River. The Missionary Ridge wildfire also burned large areas adjacent to Los Pinos River downstream from the reservoir. The USGS, in cooperation with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, will be collecting water-quality samples on a monthly basis from Vallecito Reservoir, its two inlets, and its outlet, monthly from April-October 2003 and analyzing the samples for dissolved major ions, total and dissolved metals, total and dissolved nutrients, and total and dissolved organic carbon. The water-quality data collected this year will be compared with pre-wildfire water-quality data collected since 2000 to 1) determine if a change in the seasonal distribution of the concentration of the measured parameters has occurred within Vallecito Reservoir, its inlets, and its outlet as a result of the Missionary Ridge wildfire, and 2) determine if a change in the trophic status has occurred in Vallecito Reservoir as a result of the Missionary Ridge wildfire. The USGS and the Southern Ute tribe will need to assess the changes in water quality measured this year to determine the sampling frequency needed in future years to assess the effects of this major disturbance on the long-term water quality of Vallecito Reservoir. Contact: Tony Ranalli, 303-236-4882, ext. 313,

Mapping Exotic Plants in the Southwest. In conjunction with land managers, biologists at the USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center's Colorado Plateau Field Station are developing a database on exotic plants in the Southwest. The database is an important regional tool for inventorying, monitoring, and sharing data on exotic (non-native) plant species that are invading the area. USGS scientists are gathering data on the plants and compiling it according to Federal standards. The database can also be used to generate maps of locations of the plants. The goals of this effort include developing and maintaining the Southwest Exotics Plant Database, maintaining a distribution system that integrates educational, management, and scientific information to aid in control of the exotic plant species, and facilitating a collaborative partnership among Tribal, Federal, State, and private land managers. Contact: Kathryn Thomas, 520-556-7327, ext. 235,

Geologic Framework of Rio Grande Basins, New Mexico. The USGS is conducting geologic and geophysical studies to provide a framework for understanding aquifers in several critical ground-water basins along the Rio Grande, which extends from Colorado to Mexico. The current focus of this project is the Española ground-water basin in the greater Santa Fe, New Mexico, region, which includes lands belonging to the Pueblos of Cochiti, Nambe, Pojoaque, Tesuque, San Ildefonso, San Juan, and Santa Clara. A major project goal is to develop a three-dimensional geologic model of the ground-water basin that will eventually improve the understanding of ground-water flow and resources. The project includes geologic mapping in cooperation with the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources and the University of New Mexico; geophysical mapping of the subsurface in cooperation with Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Summer of Applied Geophysics Experience educational program; investigations into how faults affect the aquifer system; and studies of geologic history to predict the distribution of underground aquifers. Geologic and geophysical maps of Pueblo areas provide information that aids in ground-water protection and assessment of water and other natural resources. In April 2002, the Rio Grande basins project hosted a workshop in Santa Fe to foster communication among scientists working in the Española basin and communicate the results of the studies to the 85 workshop attendees, several of whom were members of Pueblo Nations. Contact: Mark Hudson, 303-236-7446,; Tien Grauch, 303-236-1393,

Consultation with Santa Clara Pueblo. USGS scientists are working with the Forestry Department at the Santa Clara Pueblo in the Pueblo's development of an Integrated Resource Management Plan. The USGS scientists are participating in discussions of possible study designs for field data collection, as well as sharing protocols used by USGS social scientists to improve understanding of the relationships between people and the landscape. USGS research at the Cerro Grande burn, which occurred partly on Pueblo land, has led to acquisition of satellite images and development of data in a geographic information system (GIS); all data and products are being provided to the Tribe. In addition, USGS scientists support the Pueblo's efforts to increase expertise in GIS, using global positioning systems (GPS) and remotely sensed data, by providing technical advice and assistance on request. Contact: Sandra Haire; Dave Lambert

Geohydrologic and Water-Quality Assessment of the Pueblo of San Ildefonso. The Pueblo of San Ildefonso needs geohydrologic and water-quality information to help care for the people of the Pueblo. To provide that information, the USGS New Mexico Water Resources District, in cooperation with the Pueblo's Department of Environmental and Cultural Preservation (DECP), is conducting a multi-year study to determine the surface- and ground-water quality, and characteristics of the Pueblo's water resources. The work is identifying environmental impacts to the geohydrologic system from internal and external sources. Resulting information will be used by the DECP as the basis for health risk assessments and potentially for establishing water-quality standards for the Pueblo. The cooperative project is also providing training for Pueblo of San Ildefonso staff in the collection of surface-water, ground-water, and water-quality data, and in basic interpretation of water-quality data. Contact: Dale Rankin, 505-830-7965,

USGS/Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory Seismic Test Facility Lease with the Pueblo of Isleta. The USGS recently signed a 10-year lease with the Pueblo of Isleta for use of seismometer test tunnels and boreholes on Isleta lands, south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The USGS Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory (ASL) has used these facilities since 1961 for low-noise testing of modern seismic instruments in support of global seismograph networks used for monitoring seismic activity worldwide. This site is notable for its low noise characteristics. Seismic equipment manufacturers want their instruments to be tested here as a key step in qualifying the instruments for use in seismic networks. The USGS/ASL also operates a standard Global Seismograph Network (GSN) station at this location, one of 120 such stations operating worldwide in more than 80 countries and islands. GSN stations support earthquake monitoring and research at the USGS National Earthquake Information Center, tsunami warning efforts by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and monitoring efforts for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The Pueblo of Isleta and the general public receive occasional educational talks and presentations on how the seismic equipment functions for monitoring earthquakes. Contact: Charles R. (Bob) Hutt, 505-462-3201 Additional information: Live Seismograms:

Inventory of Vascular Plants and Vertebrate Animals. In collaboration with the Navajo Nation, Ute Mountain Ute, and Southern Ute Tribes, USGS scientists from the Colorado Plateau Field Station initiated a comprehensive inventory of vascular plants and vertebrate animals in ten National Parks and National Monuments within and adjacent to Navajo and Ute Tribal lands. The purpose of the inventory is to document overall species diversity, collect data on distribution and abundance of rare species, and identify non-native, weedy species. Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, and Navajo National Monument include lands of the Navajo Nation. The USGS, National Park Service, and tribal cooperators conducted vegetation surveys in Fiscal Year 2002 at Canyon de Chelly and Navajo National Monument. Amphibian, reptile, and mammal surveys were conducted at Mesa Verde and Yucca House. All of these projects will continue in 2003. Also, new inventory studies of birds and mammals will begin in 2003 on mammals and birds at Canyon de Chelly, Hubbell Trading Post, and Navajo National Monument. The southwest has been experiencing severe drought, and effects of this drought were evident in all aspects of the inventory during 2002. This still provides insight into the range of conditions seen in this part of the west, though more rainfall would increase plant and animal populations. Haskell Indian Nations University students assisted with mapping and vegetation description in Fiscal Year 2002, and their participation is anticipated to continue in Fiscal Year 2003. The studies provide students with hands-on experience in field research and technologies such as geographic information systems. Contact: Charles Drost, 928-566-7466 ext. 233,

Geo-Ecological Studies of Land Use, Climate Change, and Landscape Vulnerability on the Navajo Nation. Work is underway to examine the history of land-use impacts in the ecologically sensitive Hopi Buttes region of the Navajo Nation, and the relationships between human health and water quality in an environment with known uranium and arsenic contamination. Collaboration with offices and people of the Navajo Nation is crucial to the project, with the ultimate goal of providing information for education and community-based land-use planning. Research on separate aspects of the ecosystem includes bedrock geology, surficial processes, soil and water quality, plant ecology, as well as the history of human habitation. Geologic controls on water quality are being examined to outline areas where water of good quality can be found. Changes in surface stability and erosion and arroyo development are being examined with the aid of existing photographic records. Regional work on sand dune stability encompasses eolian deposits within the entire Navajo Nation. Recent drought years have resulted in reactivation of sand dunes, threatening agriculture and grazing, destroying one home and threatening others. The distribution of eolian deposits is being mapped and classified according to the amount and type of stabilizing vegetation. Dunes that are mostly active are closely associated with Russian Thistle (tumbleweeds), an invasive annual that requires minimal moisture to germinate. The relationship between dune mobility and vegetation may be altered due to the recent appearance of this plant, as it dies off and becomes detached during dry, windy periods. Vegetation mapping, repeat photography, and consultations with Navajo plant experts are providing information on conditions that promote the spread of invasive species. Presentations of this work have been given at a meeting of the Southwest Strategy Native Working Group and to the Arizona Geological Society. USGS scientists will be meeting with Tribal dignitaries from the U.S. and Canada to highlight work on the Navajo Nation in January 2003. This work will also be presented at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society's conference in April 2003, and at a workshop on Science and Native Communities to be held in Fairbanks, Alaska, in July 2003. Contact: Margaret Hiza (project leader), 928-556-7366,; Kathryn Thomas (vegetation studies), 520-556-7466, ext. 235, Additional information:

Drought, Land Use, and Sand Movement, Navajo Nation. Sand dunes cover extensive areas (approximately one-third) of the 70,000 km2 Navajo Nation. Assessment of dune fields, combined with meteorological data, indicates that specific regions of the Navajo Nation are especially susceptible to dune reactivation. Reactivation of stabilized sand is occurring in many areas. Dune mobility can lead to transportation problems, lower air quality from periodic dust storms, and possible contributions to the loss of native plants and grazing land. Reactivation of sand dunes as a result of the current drought has serious consequences for human and animal populations, agriculture, grazing, and infrastructure. Areas covered with dunes and sand sheets have been mapped and classified according to present conditions of stability/mobility. These areas are evaluated by comparison to parameters of the dune mobility index (precipitation /evapotranspiration), variations in summer versus winter precipitation, grazing practices, and the type of vegetation cover. This evaluation provides information on the processes responsible for initiation of eolian sand movement, including controls from source sediment availability, climate, vegetation, and land use. The mapped distribution of sand dunes, in conjunction with meteorological information, provides data to the Navajo Nation for drought mitigation and emergency management. The drought of 2002 was the most severe in the past 1450 years and caused the deaths of more than 20,000 cattle and sheep. Navajo Nation officials are using information from USGS research to identify the most crucially sensitive areas that have been and will be impacted by the ongoing drought and by including this work in the Navajo Nation Drought Mitigation Handbook. Information on dune stability and susceptibility produced from this study is also of value to Navajo Chapter grazing officials who are in the process of evaluating grazing guidelines. Contact: Margaret Hiza, 928-556-7366,

Black Mesa Monitoring Program. The N aquifer is the major source of water for the 5,400-square-mile Black Mesa area of northern Arizona. The Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation use N-aquifer water for municipal purposes and Peabody Western Coal Company uses N-aquifer water to operate a coal-slurry line. The USGS has been conducting a monitoring program in the Black Mesa area since 1971 to document long-term effects of ground-water pumping. The USGS Arizona Water Resources District is monitoring ground-water levels, discharge, chemistry and withdrawals, along with streamflow, on an annual basis in cooperation with the Hopi Tribe, the Navajo Nation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the State of Arizona, and Peabody Coal Company. In addition to hydrologic monitoring, the USGS has used simulations of the N aquifer to evaluate the effects of ground-water withdrawals. A numerical model of the N aquifer developed in 1988 has been used to simulate effects of withdrawals up through 2051. The performance and sensitivity of that model were recently analyzed and results were published in 2002. The performance analysis demonstrated how well the model has simulated 15 years of new water-level data (1985-99). The sensitivity analysis showed limitations of the model and determined relations among the model parameters, observation data, and simulated values. Contact: Blakemore E. Thomas, 928-556-7255,

Geochemical Analysis of Ground-Water Ages, Recharge Rates, and Hydraulic Conductivity of the D Aquifer, Black Mesa. The N aquifer is the most heavily used aquifer for water supply in the Black Mesa area of northern Arizona by both the Hopi Tribe and the Navajo Nation. Concern exists that increasing withdrawals of water from the N aquifer to slurry coal will cause excessive declines in water levels or will cause poor-quality water from the overlying D aquifer to infiltrate the N aquifer. (The D aquifer overlies the N aquifer in the Black Mesa area.) The USGS Arizona Water Resources District continues characterizing the ground-water geochemistry of the D aquifer through the use of naturally occurring inorganic constituents and stable and radio isotopes. Differences in geochemical signatures between the D and N aquifers will help determine whether leakage is occurring to the N aquifer from the overlying D aquifer as a result of pumping ground water from the N aquifer. D aquifer geochemistry will also be used to estimate ground-water age and recharge regimes in comparison to the N aquifer. Water users in the Black Mesa area, including the Hopi and Navajo, will use the information from this study to make informed decisions on how best to manage available water resources. Contact: Margot Truini, 520-556-7352,

Golden Eagle Studies. USGS staff from the Snake River Field Station in Idaho cooperated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and indirectly with Tribes regarding golden eagles. The USFWS implements the Federal Indian trust responsibility for contacts with Tribes involving protected species and the taking of those species by Native Americans for ceremonial uses. Contact by USGS staff with the Hopi Tribe and Navajo Nation was limited by legal circumstances. USGS staff recommended to USFWS basic demographic research and aerial surveys for monitoring western golden eagle status. Contact: Mark Fuller, 208-426-4115,

USGS Evaluates Riparian Habitat for Navajo Nation. In May 2002, a research ecologist from the USGS Southwest Biological Science Center traveled to Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, to meet with staff of the Navajo Nation to discuss an upcoming saltcedar/Russian olive removal demonstration project within the Canyon de Chelly National Monument. The USGS scientist visited the demonstration site to evaluate whether the riparian habitat there might be suitable habitat for the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher. The possibility of expanded willow flycatcher surveys for National Monument projects was also discussed. Contact: Mark Sogge, 928-556-7466, ext. 232,

Aquifer Sensitivity on Navajo Nation Lands and Ground-Water Vulnerability to Pesticide Contamination on the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project. This cooperative study between the USGS New Mexico Water Resources District and the Navajo Nation determined the sensitivity of aquifers to impacts from activities occurring on the overlying land surface, and estimating the effects of irrigated agriculture and attendant pesticide use on ground water underlying the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project. GIS coverages were developed that describe recharge areas, areas of unconsolidated deposits, soil hydrologic group, topography, and precipitation. The aquifer sensitivity assessment consisted of combining these coverages and interpreting the results. The assessment of ground-water vulnerability to pesticide contamination on the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project consisted of combining the results of the aquifer sensitivity assessment with pesticide leachability ratings for each pesticide used during 2000. Leachability ratings were estimated on a field-by-field basis. The study results were published in 2002, as Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4051, entitled "Assessments of Aquifer Sensitivity on Navajo Nation and Adjacent Lands and Ground-Water Vulnerability to Pesticide Contamination on the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah." Contact: Paul Blanchard, 505-830-7947,

Air Quality on the Navajo Nation. Indoor air pollution is hypothesized to contribute significantly to severe respiratory disease on the Navajo Nation. The source of this pollution may be residential coal burning for heating and cooking, and ambient air pollution resulting from industrial coal burning in large power plants. USGS geologists have proposed a 3-year study entitled, "Relationship of Indoor and Ambient Air Quality to Respiratory Diseases in the Navajo Nation," to examine this issue in an epidemiological framework. The study would use geochemical analytical techniques to characterize the coal in the Shiprock Chapter of the Navajo Nation. Navajo students would participate in the project and USGS scientists would work closely with Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency personnel. Seeking final approval to proceed with the project, a USGS investigator, along with collaborators from the Navajo Nation's Uranium Education Program, will present the proposal before the Navajo Nation's Institutional Review Board in Fiscal Year 2003 in Window Rock, Arizona, capital of the Navajo Nation. Contact: Bob Finkelman, 703-648-6412,

Coal, Health, and the Navajo Nation. Domestic use of coal for heating and cooking has led to human health problems in many parts of the world. USGS geologists have documented the effects on health of domestic coal use as well as environmental concerns of industrial coal use in foreign countries. Many families on the Navajo Nation use coal domestically, and live near and may work in coal mines and coal-burning power plants. USGS scientists are interested in collaborating on an epidemiological study of the Navajo Nation to examine those health effects. The primary issue is assessing the health impacts of residential coal combustion on Navajo lands. A secondary issue is the environmental impact of coal-burning power plants near the reservation. As part of their project development, USGS scientists presented several workshops at the Navajo Nation's Diné College and for the Navajo Nation's Uranium Education Program. These activities were well received and a team of local geologists, atmospheric scientists, and epidemiologists are working with the USGS on the project. The USGS is preparing a proposal to the Indian Research Council to obtain permission for the study of the Shiprock area. Contact: Bob Finkelman, 703-648-6412,

Parasites of Native and Non-Native Fishes in the Lower Little Colorado River. Scientists from the USGS National Wildlife Health Center studied parasites in fishes in the lower 21 km of the Little Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Arizona, an area administered by the Navajo Natural Heritage Program (Navajo Nation) and the National Park Service (Grand Canyon National Park). Fish populations were sampled by the USGS in Fiscal Year 2000 and Fiscal Year 2001. In Fiscal Year 2001, a total of 1,235 fish representing seven species (all four native and seven non-native species) were captured and examined for internal parasites. Results from both years indicate that between 50-60 per cent of the endangered humpback chub (Gila cypha) were infected with the Asian tapeworm (Bothriocephalus acheilognathi). Such infections can cause disease and retard growth. The disease could be severe enough to cause mortality. A reduced growth rate could increase the time that fish are susceptible to predation and also cause the fish to be small when they enter the main stem of the Colorado River during monsoon season. Smaller fish do not survive as well as larger fish in the cold waters of the main stem. In addition, zooplankton (critical to tapeworm transmission) were collected, identified, and counted. Temperature was monitored in various tributaries of the Little Colorado River to evaluate environmental conditions involved in the transmission of the tapeworm. Laboratory infections of bony-tailed chub, a surrogate for the endangered humpback chub, were initiated in Fiscal Year 2001 and completed in 2002. These experiments were designed to assess the impact of the Asian tapeworm on fish growth, body condition, and ability to withstand thermal stress. The results indicate that the tapeworm did affect growth, causing infected fish to grow more slowly. Other parameters such as body condition and affects of thermal stress were not significantly different than control fish. Contact: Rebecca Cole, 608-270-2468,

Vegetation Surveys on Native Lands. The USGS Colorado Plateau Field Station's vegetation team is developing land cover map products for most of Arizona and some surrounding areas. As part of the USGS Southwest Regional GAP project's regional conservation assessment of biota, a land cover map of the southwest is being developed. With Tribal permission, USGS scientists conducted vegetation surveys on the Navajo Nation, San Carlos Tribal lands, and Hualapai Tribal lands in Fiscal Year 2002. Tribal governments will be involved in the land cover mapping process by reviewing the draft map and will be given results and products of the overall project. Accuracy assessment of the draft land cover maps is planned for the summer of 2004. Contact: Kathryn Thomas, 928-556-7327,

Terrestrial Monitoring. The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center is leading a project in Grand Canyon National Park to monitor and evaluate the effects of water releases from Glen Canyon Dam on terrestrial resources. The Hopi Tribe, Hualapai Tribe, and the Southern Paiute Consortium participated in a project by providing Tribal input to USGS biologists and participating in monitoring activities. Fiscal Year 2002 was the second year of the project, which is planned to continue for three years. In Fiscal Year 2003, the Navajo Nation and the Pueblo of Zuni will be offered the opportunity to begin participating in the project. Contact: Ruth Lambert, 928-556-7285,

Geoenvironmental Effects of Glen Canyon Dam. The environment in Grand Canyon has been affected by Glen Canyon Dam. The USGS is collaborating with other researchers to provide information for policy decisions concerning the management of water flow from Glen Canyon Dam. Under the post-dam flow regime, which limits floods and impounds sediment, sandbars have degraded, campsites and riparian habitat have been lost, and species have become endangered. Congress passed the Grand Canyon Protection Act, requiring the Bureau of Reclamation to alter discharge from the dam to enhance the environment downstream in Grand Canyon National Park. Representatives of seven Tribes or Pueblos (Havasupai, Hopi, Hualapai, Navajo, San Juan Southern Paiute, Southern Paiute Consortium, and Zuni) are among more than two dozen stakeholders who participate in the Adaptive Management Program or regularly receive reports on the progress of this project from USGS Coastal and Marine Team and the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center. The USGS has provided marine survey technology including side-scan sonar, rotating sonar, seismic reflection profiling, and underwater video equipment. USGS scientists are interpreting sedimentary structures to provide explanations for sediment transport, particularly for use in determining sediment transport prior to the dam, and developing new approaches to sediment-transport modeling. Contact: David Rubin, 831-427-4736,

Geologic Mapping at Pipe Spring National Monument. A three-year project was begun to conduct geologic mapping of the Pipe Spring National Monument west of Fredonia, Arizona, and the surrounding the lands of the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians. The mapping includes four USGS 7.5' quadrangles and encompasses the western two-thirds of the Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation. This USGS project is being conducted from Fiscal Year 2002 through Fiscal Year 2004 in association with National Park Service hydrological studies and in cooperation with the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians. The geologic map will provide baseline geologic data for this part of the Uinkaret Plateau in northern Arizona in support of USGS/National Park Service hydrological studies involving Pipe Spring National Monument, the Kaibab Paiute Tribe, and the town of Moccasin, a private community of about 200 that is surrounded by Tribal lands. All three land-managing agencies have a limited water source that all must share and use. The geologic mapping is also in conjunction with USGS seismic profile studies and USGS Water Resource studies structured to reach a common goal: a better understanding of the water resources of this unique and historical area of the Arizona Strip. Contact: George Billingsley, 928-556-7198,

Verde River Headwaters Aquifer Framework Study. The objectives of this project were to collect geophysical and geochemical data and use those data to delineate major flow paths, determine rates of travel, and accurately measure relative source contributions from Big and Little Chino Basins to perennial springs in the Upper Verde River. The springs provide water for downstream water users (including the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe in Verde Valley) and sustain riparian habitat for abundant wildlife, including several native fish species such as the threatened spikedace minnow (Medafulgida). This project was funded by the Arizona Water Protection Fund, which is administered by the Arizona Department of Water Resources. The project had three technical components. First, the latest advancements in airborne geophysics were used to identify subsurface features that serve as conduits or obstacles to ground-water movement. Second, water chemistry, including isotopes, was used to determine major ground-water flow paths and to determine the age and travel time of the ground water. Last, project personnel conducted a tracer dilution study to determine the contribution of base flow from multiple spring networks in the upper Verde River. The product of this study will be technically reliable information on ground-water flow paths, ground-water travel times, and relative contributions from different aquifer sources. The data for the project have been collected and study results are being prepared. Ground-water modelers and water-resource managers in the Prescott Active Management Area, Yavapai County, and the Verde River Watershed need study results to oversee the resource more accurately. Contact: Laurie Wirt, 303-236-2492,

Hydrogeologic Study of the Upper and Middle Verde River Watershed, Arizona. The population of Yavapai County, Arizona, is growing rapidly, resulting in an increased demand on water resources in the upper and middle Verde River watershed. The watershed contains a thriving riparian zone and is the primary water supply for the county, as well as for large populations further downstream, including the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. The hydrogeologic system in the watershed has not been comprehensively studied, and the effects of historic and present development on regional water resources are poorly understood. Beginning in 2001, this study was funded by the Yavapai County Water Advisory Committee to improve hydrologic and geologic information. This 3-year effort will use geophysical and geologic methods to better define the geometry of and internal structures in the basins and the composition and architecture of the basin fill. As part of the study, USGS personnel will establish and operate a microgravity network to measure changes in ground-water storage. Precipitation and streamflow data will also be collected from new rain gages and a new stream gage on a tributary to Big Chino Wash. USGS scientists will collect and analyze ground-water samples to help delineate ground-water flow paths, and conduct surface resistivity surveys to delineate the thickness and extent of alluvial sediments in selected reaches of the Verde River. All of these investigations will produce data that can be directly used in the regional hydrogeologic investigation and will provide parameters for the conceptual model of the system. A new open-file report describes the geophysical data. The reference is Langenheim, V.E., Hoffmann, J.P., Blasch, K.W., Dewitt, Ed., and Wirt, Laurie, 2002, Preliminary Report on Geophysical Data in Yavapai County, Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-352. The report is available on the Web at Contact: Victoria Langenheim, 650-329-5313, or John Hoffman, 520-670-6671, ext. 265,

Copper Mines Under Review. Ground-water withdrawals associated with two new copper mines proposed for southern Arizona has the potential to affect existing water rights and water supplies of the area. At the request of the Secretary of the Interior, the USGS Arizona Water Resources District is working with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on a plan to monitor impacts to the ground-water system caused by mine-related pumping. The USGS is also providing technical expertise to develop a mitigation strategy. The proposed project could affect the claims to water of the Gila River Indian Community and the San Carlos Apache Tribe, for whom the Federal government has trust responsibilities. At a meeting in June 2002, representatives of the USGS, BLM, the Gila River and San Carlos Tribes, and the BIA discussed USGS recommendations on specific components of the plan. Contact: James G. Brown, 520-670-6671, ext. 280,

Vegetation and Animal Population Monitoring Program at 'Ahakhav Preserve. The USGS Colorado Plateau Field Station is providing assistance to the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) in a vegetation- and animal- population monitoring program to assess the progress and success of riparian restoration projects on the 'Ahakhav Tribal Preserve belonging to the CRIT near Parker, Arizona. This work has included overall design of the monitoring protocols for vegetation, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, as well as assistance on preliminary fieldwork for the monitoring. USGS scientists, working in coordination with CRIT personnel, have completed the population monitoring protocols and sampling of sites. The monitoring program will provide information on changes in vegetation and animal populations' response to riparian restoration efforts carried out on the 'Ahakhav Tribal Preserve, along the Colorado River near Parker. The monitoring sites and protocols cover vegetation, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Contact: Charles Drost, 928-566-7466, ext. 233, charles_drost@usgs

White Sturgeon Habitat Simulations to Assess the Feasibility of Enhancing Spawning Substrate in the Kootenai River. In 1999, the USGS Idaho Water Resources District, in cooperation with the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, began examining Kootenai River white sturgeon spawning substrate habitat to evaluate the feasibility of various recovery actions on improving substrate conditions in Kootenai River white sturgeon spawning areas. The Kootenai River Sub-Basin is an international watershed that encompasses parts of British Columbia, Montana, and Idaho. The Kootenai River is the second largest tributary to the Columbia River. During the last 80 years, the hydraulic, sediment transport, and substrate characteristics of the Kootenai River have been altered as a result of the construction of Libby Dam, dike construction, and wetlands drainage. The operation of Libby Dam has altered the river ecosystem, resulting in the decline of many resident fish populations including the Kootenai River white sturgeon (listed as an endangered species in 1994). One limitation to white sturgeon spawning success may be the change from the natural fluctuations in flow and sedimentation in sturgeon spawning areas resulting from the operation of the dam. To aid in white sturgeon recovery efforts, the USGS has been conducting studies to characterize bed-sediment conditions in the Kootenai River, including 30 kilometers of seismic sub-bottom profiles in and beyond the spawning reach, 3.5-meter cores of river bottom sediments at 30 locations within the spawning reach, and sampling sediment from the riverbed. Data from these studies were integrated with data defining pre- and post-dam water-surface and riverbed elevations and the river's sediment load to develop a conceptual model describing the sedimentation history of the spawning substrate habitat. The integrated analysis helped characterize how sedimentation processes in the river have changed over time and whether changes have affected the quality of the habitat area as it relates to spawning conditions. During Fiscal Year 2002, the USGS, with assistance from the U.S. National Geodetic Survey and the Canadian Geodetic Survey, collected global satellite positioning survey (GPS) data at benchmarks along the Kootenai River from Libby Dam, Montana, to Kootenay Lake in British Columbia, including the white sturgeon spawning reach along the Kootenai Tribal Lands in Idaho. These benchmarks are reference points for detailed mapping of the bathymetry and levees of the Kootenai River. During the summer of 2002, USGS scientists mapped the bathymetry throughout the white sturgeon spawning reach. Since April 2002, the USGS has collected numerous suspended-sediment samples from the river's water column at the upstream and downstream extents of the spawning reach and at the mouths of the two tributaries in this reach. Suspended-sediment samples were collected during the two large snowmelt runoff events that took place during the spring of 2002. Sediment samples from the riverbed also were collected throughout the spawning reach. Streamflow velocity and discharge were monitored intermittently at various locations in this spawning reach. These data will be used to develop and calibrate one-dimensional and multidimensional digital models that simulate streamflow and sediment transport. The sediment transport models will identify sedimentation characteristics under various flow regimes and help evaluate the feasibility of various recovery actions on improving substrate conditions in sturgeon spawning areas. Contact: Gary Barton, 253-428-3600, ext. 2613,

Mining Contamination. From 1998 through 2002, geologists in the USGS Western Mineral Resources Spokane Field Office have worked in cooperation with the Coeur d'Alene Tribe to make digital geologic and geochemical maps of the floodplain of the Coeur d'Alene River valley. Sediments containing high concentrations of lead and associated heavy metals (in forms that are bio-available and bio-transferable) cover most of the floodplain. USGS maps and reports demonstrate the distribution, character, and quantity of lead-rich sediments on the floodplain. These maps and reports have been used in support of a Natural Resource Damage Assessment, and an environmental-damage lawsuit filed by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe (and joined by the U.S. Departments of Interior and Justice) against mining companies. The Companies released large volumes of lead-rich tailings into upstream tributaries between 1886 and 1968. Frequent floods continue to transport lead-rich sediment, eroding from the bed and banks of the river and its tributaries, down-valley and onto the floodplain. In 2002, the USGS completed a report on rates of sedimentation and lead deposition on the floodplain during a series of time-stratigraphic intervals that span mine-tailings disposal history, from before 1886 to about 1993. This report, which includes estimates of background, historic, and baseline rates of sedimentation and lead deposition in representative depositional settings on the floodplain, has important implications for alternative remediation strategies being considered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as for Coeur d'Alene Lake management strategies being considered by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe and the States of Idaho and Washington. Contact: Art Bookstrom, 509 368-3119,

Western U.S. Phosphate and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. The eastern half of the Fort Hall Reservation, home of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and part of the Southeast Idaho Phosphate Resource Area in the Western Phosphate Field, is included in the study area of the USGS project "Geologic and Geoenvironmental Studies of the Western Phosphate Field." Although the project was initially focused on evaluating the resource potential of the region, research efforts have been extended to include multidisciplinary geoenvironmental studies of selenium and other potentially toxic elements. Selenium, an element released from phosphate waste piles, has had a detrimental effect on local livestock. The study area includes the Gay Mine, one of the largest open-pit mines in southeastern Idaho. The mine was operated by commercial entities on the Shoshone-Bannock lands from 1946 to 1993. The site now consists of numerous mine pits, waste dumps, and mill shale piles spread over an area of nearly 25 square miles. After initial contacts and meetings with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Tribal Land Use Committee, USGS staff visited the Gay Mine site, and conducted geologic mapping to support resource estimates for the Chesterfield Quadrangle. Samples were also collected for chemical and petrographic analysis. In fiscal years 2000-2002, staff from the BIA and the USGS participated in regular meetings of the Interagency Area-Wide Technical Group and the Selenium Working Group Advisory Committee. This project was completed in Fiscal Year 2002. Contact: James R. Hein, 650-329-5287,

Salmonid Genetics. Biologists at the USGS Alaska Science Center are researching the genetic population structure of Lahontan cutthroat trout, in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The scientists are examining the genetics of Snake River steelhead for the State of Idaho. Results of this research will have significant implications for Tribes that comprise the Nevada Indian Fish Commission and other Tribes in the interior of the Great Basin. Project results were published as: Nielsen, Jennifer L. and George K. Sage, 2002, "Population Genetic Structure in Lahontan Cutthroat Trout," Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 131:376-388. Contact: Jennifer Nielsen, 907-786-3512,

Cui-ui in Pyramid Lake, Nevada. The cui-ui is an endangered fish of the sucker family that is found only in Pyramid Lake, Nevada. The Pyramid Lake Paiute Indians and other Northern Paiutes historically relied upon annual spawning runs of cui-ui for food. Since the Tribe controls use of Pyramid Lake and fully supports efforts to restore the cui-ui population, the Tribal Council has passed resolutions prohibiting harvest of cui-ui by non-Indians and Tribal members. The USGS is continuing studies of the population dynamics and reports results to the Tribal Chairman. Adult cui-ui are netted at the south end of Pyramid Lake in the spring and are marked to determine the mortality rate. Fish are recaptured in the fall at selected stations around the lake to determine juvenile population size and estimate mortality over the summer. Contact: Gary Scoppettone, 702-784-5451,

Fallon Basalt Aquifer. The Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe, the U.S. Navy, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Nevada Division of Water Resources are cooperating with the USGS Nevada Water Resources District on a study to better define sources of water, controls on its use, and the water quality in the Fallon Basalt Aquifer. This aquifer is the sole source of drinking water for the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe, the City of Fallon, and the Fallon Naval Air Station. The Fallon Tribe is contributing data and funding to the project and is providing access to Tribal lands for this study. Work on the Fallon Basalt Aquifer study is progressing, with a report on in-situ arsenic treatment recently published as a book chapter "In Situ Arsenic Remediation in a Fractured, Alkaline Aquifer" by Alan H. Welch, Kenneth G Stollenwerk, Douglas K. Maurer, and Lawrence S. Feinson, in a book titled "Arsenic in Ground Water, Geochemistry and Occurrence," Alan H. Welch and Kenneth G. Stollenwerk, eds., Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, 2003. A report summarizing work on the potential for conjunctive use in the basalt aquifer has been drafted. That summary discusses potential geochemical reactions from injection of surface water into the basalt aquifer. This report will be published as a USGS Water Resources Investigation Report (WRIR) in 2003. A new study has begun to determine the potential for formation of chlorination by-products from injection of treated surface water into the basalt aquifer. A summary of the results of USGS chlorination by-products work is expected to be published as a USGS Fact Sheet in 2004. In addition, work to characterize the basalt aquifer by drilling deep test holes is continuing. Four holes have been drilled, with the final, fifth hole to be completed once sufficient funding is obtained from either from the Bureau of Reclamation or the Fallon Naval Air Station. Available data will be compiled in a report summarizing the deep test drilling. Remaining work includes developing a numerical ground-water flow model and a final report. Contact: Douglas Maurer, 775-887-7631,

Susceptibility of Pacific Salmon to Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus. The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, in collaboration with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), is supporting research at the USGS Western Fisheries Research Center (WFRC) on the effects of an exotic virus on Pacific salmon. Infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAV) was initially identified as a major pathogen of Atlantic salmon marine aquaculture in Norway. The virus has received increasing attention following the identification of the virus in Atlantic salmon reared in marine netpens in Scotland, in New Brunswick, Canada, and in Chile. More recently, the virus has been identified in Maine as the cause of losses in Atlantic salmon netpen aquaculture, resulting in the mandated destruction of several hundred thousand valuable fish. The virus was also recovered from Atlantic salmon returning to a USFWS hatchery in Maine that supports recovery of these endangered wild-spawning stocks. The potential for the virus to affect various species of Pacific salmon is of significant interest to the USFWS fish health program as well as Tribal and State fisheries managers in the western U.S. Using the specially constructed Biosafety level 3 laboratory at the WFRC, USGS scientists challenged stocks of juvenile chinook, chum and coho salmon, steelhead trout, and Atlantic salmon with isolates of ISAV from Norway and Chile. Mortalities among groups of Atlantic salmon were about 20 per cent with the Norwegian strain and 98 per cent with the Canadian strain (delivered at a higher dose). No Pacific salmon or steelhead died during the challenge periods although transient infections were detected in most species. These results suggest Pacific salmon are at substantially less risk than previously suspected. A manuscript presenting the results of this study has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Fish Diseases. Contact: James Winton, 206-526-6587,

Transport and Fate of Bacteria and Nitrate in Ground Water, Lower Nooksack River Basin. The Nooksack Indian Nation desires an improved understanding of the fate and transport of fecal coliform and nitrate contaminants as they move from agricultural fields to the ground-water system and eventually to surface-water systems in the lower Nooksack River Basin. Additional information about the extent of denitrification is also needed to provide realistic constraints on water-quality models that are used to make water-resource management decisions. In Fiscal Year 2002, the USGS Washington Water Resources District began a study of the interaction between surface and ground water in the shallow aquifer of the lower Nooksack River Basin. Stream locations where ground- and surface-water exchanges occur were identified, and flow directions between the ground- and surface-water systems were determined. In Fiscal Year 2003, discharging ground water will be sampled and analyzed for concentrations of fecal-coliform bacteria and a suite of nutrients and other constituents related to ground-water denitrification. Ground-water ages will also be determined. Ground- and surface-water samples will be collected over the course of a storm hydrograph to determine the relative proportion of surface runoff that constitutes streamflow during periods when surface-water bacteria concentrations are significantly elevated. Lastly, a laboratory microcosm experiment will be conducted to determine if ground-water denitrification can be enhanced by the addition of carbon. Contact: Steve Cox, 253-428-3600, ext. 2623,

Trace Metal Concentrations in Shallow Sediments along Lake Roosevelt. The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation are concerned about the potential threat to human health of trace metals in exposed bottom sediment from Lake Roosevelt. Lake Roosevelt is a 125-mile-long reservoir in eastern Washington State that extends from Grand Coulee Dam to near the Canadian border where the Columbia River is free flowing. During periods when the water level of the reservoir is lowered, large areas of contaminated sediment are exposed. Upon drying, the fine-grained portion of these sediments, including trace metals, becomes airborne due to high winds and can be inhaled by area residents and visitors. USGS scientists with the Washington Water Resources District have studied two different, though related, aspects of the potential human health issues involving trace metals in fine-grained sediments: the sediment themselves, prior to disturbance, and the airborne characteristics of these sediments. Sediment samples were collected to determine the concentrations of trace metals in the fine-grained sediment exposed during the spring 2001 drawdown. The results of the sediment study will be published in Fiscal Year 2003. Once airborne, the dust particles can be carried downwind various distances depending on their size and the magnitude and duration of the prevailing winds throughout the Lake Roosevelt airshed. In Fiscal Year 2002, the USGS began monitoring air quality at several locations along Lake Roosevelt to determine the occurrence, concentrations, distribution, and seasonal variability of selected trace elements on airborne dust particles, and, to the extent possible, the fraction of airborne trace element originating from exposed lake bed sediments. This work is anticipated to continue through Fiscal Year 2004. Contact: Sue Kahle, 253-428-3600, ext. 2616,

3D Acoustic Telemetry Study. USGS researchers at the Columbia River Research Laboratory are cooperating with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation to determine the efficacy of using strobe lights to reduce entrainment of kokanee salmon through turbines at Grand Coulee Dam, Washington. Kokanee salmon and rainbow trout were tagged and released into the forebay of Grand Coulee Dam. When fish enter the area of the hydrophone receivers, their spatial location in three dimensions is recorded. The scientists examined how fish responded to strobe lights when the lights were on, off, and on for 1 hour, then off for 1 hour. We found that kokanee salmon appeared to be repelled by the strobe lights, but rainbow trout were attracted to them. The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation will use this information to reduce entrainment of fish and to meet their fishery enhancement goals. Contact: Jim Petersen, 509-538-2299, ext. 236,

White Sturgeon Restoration in the Columbia River. USGS fishery biologists are participating with the Spokane Tribe of Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission fishery biologists in an effort to restore declining white sturgeon populations in the Columbia River basin. Restoration of this species is especially important because of the cultural significance of these fish. Federal scientists and Tribal representatives worked together on the Upper Columbia River White Sturgeon Recovery Team and collaborate on research projects funded by the Bonneville Power Administration. Contact: Jim Petersen, 509-538-2299, ext. 236,

Water Resources of The Tulalip Tribes. Future increases in population and development of lands of The Tulalip Tribes and neighboring areas could lead to increased pumping of ground water both on and off the Native lands. Such pumping may decrease baseflows of streams and could affect fish-rearing operations in the Tulalip Creek watershed. To help address these issues, the USGS Washington Water Resources District is conducting a study to evaluate the ground-water and surface-water resources of The Tulalip Tribes. To date, 252 wells have been inventoried and 15 wells have been sampled. Selected streams and wells are being monitored in Fiscal Year 2002 and Fiscal Year 2003 for flow and water level, respectively. The geohydrologic system has been mapped, a water budget will be determined, and future ground-water use will be estimated. The results of this study will be published in Fiscal Year 2004. Contact: Lonna Frans, 253-428-3600, ext. 2694,

Salmon Life History. USGS fishery biologists are continuing to assist the Skagit System Tribal Cooperative in studying the life history of chinook salmon in the Skagit River, Washington. The study is funded by Seattle City Light, Skagit System Cooperative, and the USGS, and investigates the importance of intertidal estuarine habitats in the life cycle of chinook salmon. The length of time spent in this ecosystem is determined, and the daily growth of juvenile chinook salmon measured, by studying the changes in "ear stone" (otolith) microstructure. The USGS is contracted to provide the staff, specialized equipment, supervision, technical assistance, and expertise in conducting the study. Contact: Jim Petersen, 509-538-2299, ext. 236,

Salmon River Watershed Analysis, Quinault Indian Nation. The Quinault Indian Nation collaborated with the USGS Washington Water Resources District and several other agencies to conduct an analysis of the Salmon River watershed. The Salmon River watershed covers 3 square miles of forested land, much of which has been affected by timber harvesting. The river has native runs of chinook and coho salmon, as well as steelhead trout. The Quinault Nation also operates a salmon hatchery on the river. The watershed analysis will serve as a tool to support decision-making processes in managing the river system and restoring salmon runs. Under two separate projects, the USGS led efforts for two modules--hydrology and geomorphology--of the watershed analysis. As part of the hydrology module, USGS staff measured and described low-flow discharge at selected sites on the Salmon River and correlated low-flow discharges with nearby continuous-discharge records to estimate low-flow magnitudes and recurrence intervals on the Salmon River. As part of the geomorphology module, USGS scientists investigated channel-migration processes, including interactions among channel migration, large woody debris, floodplains, and the surrounding forest. Historic channels and logjams were also mapped. The results of these studies were written as chapters of a watershed analysis that is expected to be published in Fiscal Year 2003. Contact: Bill Bidlake, 253-428-3600, ext. 2641, or Jim O'Connor, 503-251-3222,

Tsunami Ready Community, Quinault Indian Nation. The Quinault Indian Nation became an official "Tsunami Ready Community" on May 30, 2002. The Tsunami Ready Community recognition is part of the mitigation component of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program overseen by NOAA. Considerable local initiative is required to be designated Tsunami Ready. Activities that the community completes include: inundation mapping of low-lying areas, posting of tsunami evacuation routes, community meetings on the hazard, access to NOAA Weather Radio, and a local response plan. The Quinault Indian Nation is the first Native American group to be designated Tsunami Ready. The USGS attended the award ceremony, gave a short presentation, and met with local Quinault Indian Nation officials. The Quinaults received official signs from NOAA announcing that the community is Tsunami Ready. Additionally, all Tsunami Ready communities are also certified as "Storm Ready," so the Quinaults are also the first Native American group to be so designated. The USGS is working with the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program by improving seismic networks along the coasts of Alaska, Hawaii, and the Pacific Northwest to provide real-time notification of possible tsunamagenic earthquakes and to improve the number and quality of seismic signals being received at the Tsunami Warning Centers in Alaska and Hawaii (operated by NOAA). The USGS is working with the State of Washington to improve the access that the Tribes, including the Quinaults, have to seismic information. Contact: Craig Weaver, 206-553-0627,

Concentrations of Dissolved Oxygen in the Lower Puyallup and White Rivers. The Puyallup Tribe of Indians is concerned that wasteload allocations for biochemical oxygen demand and ammonia, based on a modeling study conducted in the early 1990s, will not protect the quality of water in the lower Puyallup and White Rivers. The USGS Washington Water Resources District, in cooperation with the Tribe and the Washington State Department of Ecology, monitored specific conductance, temperature, pH, and concentrations of dissolved oxygen in the Puyallup and White Rivers during August and September 2001 and 2002. USGS scientists analyzed factors affecting concentrations of dissolved oxygen in the lower Puyallup and White Rivers and published a report on their findings in Fiscal Year 2002. The analysis was based on data collected in 2001 and on data previously collected by the Puyallup Tribe and the Department of Ecology in August and September 2000. A similar report analyzing the 2002 data will be published in Fiscal Year 2003. The Washington State Department of Ecology will use the data to determine if wasteload allocations need to be revised. Contact: Gary Turney, 253-428-3600, ext. 2626,

Trends in Streamflow in the Lower Puyallup River Basin. The lower part of the Puyallup River traverses the Puyallup Indian Reservation and is an important resource to the Puyallup Tribe of Indians for direct water uses and for fish that help sustain the Tribe. To improve understanding of the river's resources, the USGS Washington Water Resources District and the Tribe are conducting a cooperative study of flow trends of the Puyallup River, and comparing those flows to regulatory in-stream flows for the river. Various streamflow statistics will be evaluated, including annual mean discharge, monthly mean discharge for summer months, and annual minimum 7-day mean flows. Streamflow records will also be evaluated to determine the fraction of time minimum in-stream flows were not met. The impacts of water use will be evaluated using data from USGS 5-year compilations and water rights permits. Contact: Steve Sumioka, 253-428-3600, ext. 2645,

Coastal Erosion in Willapa Bay, Washington. The USGS, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Army Corps of Engineers are cooperating in a study of coastal erosion on lands of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe, located in Willapa Bay, Washington. Tribal lands are rapidly eroding, increasing the frequency of flooding and the loss of valuable intertidal habitat. The joint study will allow the Tribe to make informed decisions to remedy this coastal problem. This study is benefiting from the recently completed "Southwest Washington Coastal Erosion Study" carried out by the USGS and the Washington State Department of Ecology. This cooperative project used fundamental and applied studies to develop a regional perspective and understanding of coastal processes, sediment transport, and associated shoreline changes. The study examined the effects of man-made influences (enhanced runoff, dredging operations, Columbia River dams) and natural processes (climate variability, subsidence caused by earthquakes, coastal dune development) on sediment budgets and on the long-term shoreline change trends of the southwest Washington coast. During Fiscal Year 2002, USGS scientists collected wave, current, and sediment transport data during several winter storms. The field data are being used to calibrate and test a 2D numerical model of circulation, sediment transport, and morphological change in the estuary. The modeling is being used to help determine the spatial patterns and causes of erosion and deposition in the estuary, and will eventually be used to evaluate alternative solutions to erosion problems. Contact: Guy Gelfenbaum, 650-329-5483,

Hydrogeologic Issues of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe and Tokeland Peninsula. The Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe obtains water from an artesian aquifer underlying its lands and the Tokeland Peninsula. The Tribe is concerned about the effects of increasing population and commercial activities on the quantity and quality of water in the aquifer. Specific water-quality concerns include seawater intrusion, contamination from septic tanks, and contamination from pesticides applied in nearby forests. The USGS Washington Water Resources District conducted a study describing the general hydrology and water chemistry of the aquifer, including concentrations of nitrate and selected pesticides. An interpretive report describing the findings was published in Fiscal Year 2002, completing this project. Contact: Gary Turney, 253-428-3600, ext. 2624,

Ground-Water Resources of the Yakima River Valley, Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. Surface water in the Yakima River Basin is under adjudication. The amount of surface water available for appropriation is not known, but there are increasing demands for water for municipal, fisheries, agricultural, industrial, and recreational uses. These demands must either be met by ground-water withdrawals and/or by changes in the way water resources are allocated and used. Ongoing management of water in the basin also may be affected by rules to protect salmonid fish under the Endangered Species Act. In Fiscal Year 2000, the USGS Washington Water Resources District began a study of the ground-water system in the basin, in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Washington State Department of Ecology, and working with the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. The study describes the geologic framework and ground-water flow system in the Yakima River basin, as well as the interaction between ground water and surface water. A ground-water model will be constructed as a tool to improve understanding of the system and to help estimate the effects of selected management strategies. As part of this project about 2,000 wells were visited to verify locations and measure water levels. Water levels were measured five times at about 800 of these wells. Information about all inventoried wells was added to the USGS National Water Information System. Lithologic information for each inventoried well has been stored digitally for use in constructing maps of the hydrogeologic units. Concurrently, the interaction of ground water and surface water along selected river reaches is being monitored on an hourly basis by collecting continuous water-level and temperature data. Historical municipal ground-water withdrawal data were collected and compiled, and agricultural withdrawal data were collected in Fiscal Year 2002. Work began on estimating ground-water recharge, with recharge being estimated for the upland, forested areas in the basin using four previously constructed watershed models. New methods were developed to thermally profile long river reaches to locate areas of large ground-water contributions and to identify potential areas of good salmonid habitat. Contact: John Vaccaro, 253-428-3600, ext. 2620,

Restoration Monitoring of Satus Creek and the Satus Wildlife Area, Yakama Nation Reservation. Agricultural return flows are known to contribute suspended sediment, nutrients, bacteria, metals, and pesticide loads to creeks and rivers in the Yakima River Basin. In particular, Satus Creek, located on lands of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, receives loads from the North Drain return flow, resulting in increases of sediment, nutrients, bacteria, and pesticides, both in the water column and in streambed sediments. In addition, the deposition of suspended sediment from the North Drain return flow has created barriers to the migration of fish protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). A large-scale restoration effort by the Yakama Nation and the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is being conducted to improve the aquatic ecosystem associated with Satus Creek and the Satus Wildlife Area. Several salmonids that are listed under the ESA have historically used Satus Creek for parts of their lives. A large part of the production in the basin of one of these species (anadromous steelhead trout) occurs in Satus Creek. The Satus Wildlife Area also is an important component in the restoration of habitat for wildlife and fish in the lower Yakima River Basin. The USGS, with funding from the USACOE, is monitoring the hydrologic, water-quality, and possible biologic effects of the North Satus Drain Ecosystem Restoration to identify temporal and spatial changes in the system. The USGS is also compiling selected historical data for Satus Creek, local shallow ground water, and North Drain. The USGS began monitoring the current baseline conditions in Fiscal Year 2002 and will continue monitoring after the restoration work is completed. Contact: John Vaccaro, 253-428-3600, ext. 2620,

Yakima River Basin Stream Quality and Biological Communities. The lands of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation encompass more than 100,000 acres of intensively irrigated land within the Yakima River Basin. Agricultural runoff from the Yakama Nation, in addition to agricultural runoff from other areas in the Yakima Basin, has been assessed as part of a National Water Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA), conducted by the USGS Oregon Water Resources District. Trends will be assessed by comparing water-quality data (legacy pesticides, trace elements, fecal indicator bacteria, aquatic communities of insects and algae) to similar data collected more than a decade ago during the first cycle of NAWQA study. The study of agricultural runoff from small watersheds includes several drainages within the Yakama Nation. NAWQA program personnel worked cooperatively with personnel from the Yakama Nation's Department of Natural Resources. To maximize the level of data collected, chemical suites from sites routinely sampled by Yakama Nation staff were augmented with NAWQA pesticide and trace element determinations to chemically characterize agricultural return flow. Agricultural runoff was collected from a network of biological sampling sites on several small watersheds to assess the effect of different irrigation methods and agricultural practices on surface water quality including algae and aquatic insects and their habitats. The intent of the biological assessment is to determine a threshold of agricultural activity capable of sustaining healthy aquatic communities. A ground-water and a surface-water sample were collected from each site to measure emerging contaminants, including antibiotics, other prescription and non-prescription drugs, organic-waste-water contaminants, and steroids. These chemicals may be leaching to shallow ground-water from combined animal feeding operations or may be entering surface water from point and non-point sources. This is one part of a national study by the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology Program ( Reports from studies of agricultural contaminants in the Yakima Basin as well as chemical data can be obtained at Contact: Greg Fuhrer, 503-251-3231,

Steelhead Restoration. USGS fishery biologists continue cooperating with the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Indian Nation in an effort to restore steelhead trout in the Wind River basin in southwestern Washington State. Federal scientists and Tribal representatives worked together on a Technical Advisory Committee to the Wind River Watershed Council. Contact: Jim Petersen, 509-538-2299, ext. 236,

Watershed Restoration for Reintroduction of Salmon and Steelhead. USGS fishery biologists are continuing to partner with the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Indian Nation fishery biologists in an effort to assess and restore the Rattlesnake Creek watershed of the White Salmon River basin. Restoration of this watershed is especially important because of the possible reintroduction of salmon and steelhead above Condit Dam on the White Salmon River. Federal scientists and Tribal representatives worked together on a Technical Advisory Committee to the White Salmon Watershed Management Council. Contact: Jim Petersen, 509-538-2299, ext. 236,

Water Management and Steelhead on National Wildlife Refuges. USGS fishery biologists from the Western Fisheries Research Center are continuing to study the effects of water and land management at Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge (managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). Fishery biologists of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation are cooperating in this study. The study involves estimating the number of steelhead that enter the refuge, their residence times, and their condition and growth rate. The Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge is adjacent to the Yakama Indian Reservation in southern Washington State. Information will help refuge managers make decisions about managing water movement, constructing or removing dikes, or altering vegetation types. Contact: Jim Petersen, 509-538-2299, ext. 236,

Columbia River Chinook Salmon. The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Hanford Laboratory in Washington State has become a nuclear waste disposal site. Tribes in the region, including the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, and the Nez Perce Tribe, are concerned that chromium leaking from the site might adversely affect a wide variety of salmonids through reduced survival. Gender alterations identified in these stocks also raised concerns about diminished reproductive capacity of natural populations. In addition, earlier studies focused on anadromous salmonids, especially chinook salmon, that only live in the Hanford Reach during early development. Until the present study, species that spend their entire lives in the Hanford Reach have been largely ignored. The Tribes are particularly concerned about the human health aspects of consuming these fish. In a USGS laboratory, USGS biologists have simulated conditions of the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River in Washington to study impacts under various exposures to chromium. In Fiscal Year 2002, employees from the USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center participated in a review of a white paper prepared for DoE on these investigations. Contact: Michael J. Mac, 573-875-5399,

Coastal Cutthroat Trout Distribution in Columbia River Gorge. USGS fishery biologists from the Western Fisheries Research Center cooperated with fishery biologists from the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation to describe current distribution of coastal cutthroat trout in stream systems draining to the Columbia River within the Columbia River Gorge. Poor hatchery returns, low angling success, and low numbers of fish at counting stations indicate that populations of sea-run cutthroat trout have declined throughout the lower Columbia River Basin. Information on the current status of sea-run and resident coastal cutthroat trout populations in the lower Columbia River, especially above Bonneville Dam, is extremely limited. Products of the cooperative work include a report and a website (under development) presenting information and portraying species distribution. This effort provides a necessary first step toward assessing needs for specific management and recovery goals for coastal cutthroat trout in the Columbia River Basin above Bonneville Dam. Contact: Patrick Connolly, 509-538-2299, ext. 269,

Pacific Lampreys. The USGS is assisting Columbia River Treaty Tribes in their effort to study the status and needs of Pacific lamprey in the Columbia River basin. The USGS is continuing to assist the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation (CTUIR) in their endeavor to reestablish Pacific lampreys in the Umatilla River. USGS biologists from the Western Fisheries research Center are cooperating with the CTUIR to conduct research on several aspects of the life history and habitat needs of lampreys in the Columbia River basin. The USGS is continuing a CTUIR-funded investigation of the olfactory sensitivity of Pacific lampreys to pheromones released by other lampreys and lampreys' use of these pheromones as a migratory cue. The USGS is cooperating with the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon (CTWSRO) in research to examine the distribution and abundance of all lamprey species found in the Deschutes River basin. Additional USGS research to assist these Tribes includes a study to define critical habitat needs of lamprey eggs and early larvae by conducting experiments to measure effects of temperature on these early life history stages and refining identification and aging techniques for larval lamprey. All of these projects are intended to provide information that will help the CTUIR implement their Umatilla River restoration plan. Biologists from the USGS and CTUIR have often combined resources in activities such as field collections of larval lampreys, and laboratory dissections of larval lampreys for identification and aging studies. Additionally, USGS, CTUIR, and CTWSRO biologists have routinely shared information from cooperative studies; for example, USGS researchers presented results of two studies on olfactory sensitivity and temperature effects on larvae at the 19th Annual Pacific Regional Conference of the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society, which was hosted by the CTUIR. Contact: Jennifer Bayer, 509-538-2299, ext. 299,

Spring Chinook Salmon on the Deschutes River, Oregon. USGS fishery biologists continue cooperating with the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation in the second year of a study on the Deschutes River in Oregon. The study will help to determine the distribution, migration behavior, habitat use, and species interactions of juvenile spring chinook salmon raised in hatcheries and released in the fall on the Deschutes River. Juvenile spring chinook salmon are tagged with radio transmitters or passive integrated transponder tags and then tracked throughout the lower Deschutes River as they migrate downstream from the Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery. Information from tracking devices will help determine the winter locations of juvenile salmon released during fall and how they might impact wild salmon in the Deschutes River. Working together, scientists from the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation and the USGS are sharing the responsibilities for trapping, tagging, tracking, and instream sampling during this study. Contact: Jim Petersen, 509-538-2299, ext. 236,

Geomorphology of the Deschutes River, Oregon. This project was intended to describe the overall geologic and geomorphic context of the Deschutes River system in a way that will help evaluate the effects of the Pelton-Round Butte hydroelectric complex on downstream channel morphology. Portland General Electric and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation are currently applying jointly to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for relicensing of the hydroelectric complex. Results of the USGS Oregon Water Resources District study are being published in 2003 in an edited volume of the American Geophysical Union (Water Science and Application Series no. 7, edited by O'Connor and Grant). Contact: Jim O'Connor, 503-251-3222,

Bull Trout in Beulah Reservoir, Oregon. In 2001, USGS fishery biologists from the Western Fisheries Research Center began a study of the condition and growth of bull trout in Beulah Reservoir, which was created by a Bureau of Reclamation dam. The study is a collaborative effort among fishery biologists from the Burns Paiute Tribe, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and other Federal agencies. Aspects of the study include the seasonal occurrence of bull trout in the reservoir and their diet and movements. Parameters for a bioenergetics model of sub-adult and adult bull trout are being developed through laboratory studies. The bioenergetics model of bull trout growth will be used, along with physical measurements and a reservoir temperature model, to help managers predict whether a minimum pool level is necessary for bull trout survival in the reservoir. Contact: Jim Petersen, 509-538-2299, ext. 236,

Quantifying the Ground-Water Resources of the Upper Klamath Basin, Oregon and California. Ground water has long been considered a possible source to meet the increasing demands for water in the upper Klamath Basin. A quantitative understanding of the regional ground-water system is crucial to managing water resources in the basin. However, the amount of ground water that can be pumped without adversely affecting existing well users and streamflow is not well understood. The USGS Oregon Water Resources District is conducting a 7-year investigation that continues through Fiscal Year 2005 to quantify the ground-water resources of the upper Klamath Basin. This information will be used by water managers to help determine how ground water can contribute to solving water-supply problems and, at the same time, maintain ground-water discharge to streams critical for aquatic wildlife. The Klamath Tribe resides in the upper Klamath Basin study area. Three additional Tribes (Hoopa Valley, Yurok, and Karuk) reside in the lower basin. All of these Tribes are interested in water-resources management in the basin and in the present study. Although the USGS is not formally cooperating in partnership with Tribes in the basin, project personnel have communicated with Tribal representatives, and in the case of The Klamath Tribes, have worked with Tribal members to obtain access to certain properties and wells for data collection. Contact: Marshall Gannett, 503-251-3233,

Anadromous Fishery Restoration. USGS biologists and hydrologists participated in the Klamath River Fishery Restoration Program, a cooperative effort among the Yurok, Karuk, and Hoopa Valley Tribes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and California Department of Fish and Game. The USGS Fort Collins Science Center improved the System Impact Assessment Model (SIAM) to provide a better understanding of water quality and quantity management problems that limit anadromous fish restoration in the Klamath River below Iron Gate Dam. Scientists collected data for the model and performed the required analyses. The SIAM has been completed and is available through the USGS Fort Collins Science Center website ( as is the user's guide: Bartholow, J., Heasley, J., Hanna, B., Sandelin, J., Flug, M. Campbell, S. and Douglas, A., 2002, Evaluating Water Management Strategies With The Systems Impact Assessment Model (SIAM, version 3): Fort Collins, CO, U.S. Geological Survey. Contact: Dave Hamilton, 970-226-9383,

Upper Klamath Lake Water-Quality Conditions. In 2002, the USGS Oregon Water Resources District Office began a multi-year study to determine the behavioral response of endangered Lost River and shortnose suckers to poor water-quality conditions in Upper Klamath Lake. These fish have great cultural significance to The Klamath Tribes and were an historically important food source for Native Americans in the Klamath Basin. As one of the reasonable and prudent alternatives in the 2001 Biological Opinion, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asked the Bureau of Reclamation to begin a study on the role that "water-quality refuges" play in the survival of the endangered suckers during periods when much of the lake is characterized by poor water-quality conditions. Two main parts of the study include installing a network of continuous water-quality monitors to determine the spatial and temporal extent of water-quality refuges in the lake, and tracking radio-tagged suckers in the lake throughout the summer. The first of three field seasons was completed in 2002. An interim report is due in spring of 2003. Contact: Tammy Wood, 503-251-3255,

Traditional Management Techniques on Mesquite Tree Stands at Death Valley. A planning effort is underway to attempt to evaluate and quantify the effects of the re-institution of traditional natural resource usage on stands of mesquite trees in Death Valley National Park. The Timbisha Shoshone Tribe will use traditional methods of wood gathering, stand maintenance, and collection of mesquite bean pods on plots in a pattern designed to improve understanding of how such management practices effect individual trees and the mesquite tree population. USGS scientists intend to determine the effect that traditional management practices have on various measures of plant production, plant physiology, and population demography. This project will integrate diverse factors including elements of cultural anthropology. Contact: Todd C. Esque, 702-914-2206, ext. 226,

Mercury in Vegetation and Soils at Abandoned Mercury Mines in Southwestern Alaska. Mercury toxicity is an issue to Alaska Natives, particularly those who rely on fishing for sustenance. USGS scientists collected and analyzed vegetation (willow and alder) and soil samples from three abandoned mercury (Hg) mines and from background sites in southwestern Alaska. The Hg concentrations, speciation, and distribution from the two types of sites were then compared. Total Hg and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations were higher in vegetation and soil samples from all of the mine sites than in samples from the background sites. There was no correlation between total Hg concentrations in vegetation and total Hg concentrations in soil or between total Hg and MeHg concentrations. However, the percent MeHg of the total Hg was higher in samples from the background sites compared to samples from the mine sites and is higher in vegetation samples than in corresponding soil samples. The percent MeHg is an order of magnitude higher in the willow samples than in corresponding alder or soil samples. The percent of divalent Hg [Hg(II)] is highest in soil samples from the retort and background areas. The higher percent MeHg in vegetation and soil in samples from background sites may be explained by the higher proportions of reactive Hg species, such as Hg(II), at these sites compared to the surface mined and tailings areas where most of the Hg is in the elemental and cinnabar (HgS) forms. Dissolved gaseous Hg species are more readily accumulated in vegetation and are more readily methylated than solid phases like HgS (mercury sulphide) and liquid Hg. Contact: Elizabeth Bailey, 907-786-7442,

Water Quality Sampling of Peterson Creek. In the summer of 2001, the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska entered into a 2-year cooperative agreement with the USGS to collect baseline water-quality data for Peterson Creek, a valuable salmon fishery located on north Douglas Island near Juneau, Alaska. Peterson Creek, with a drainage basin of less than five square miles, will be affected by a large development project that is scheduled to begin in the near future. Field crews consisting of two Tlingit-Haida staff, an Alaska Department of Fish and Game employee, and two USGS Alaska Science Center personnel divided the basin into nine sub-basins and completed a rigorous sampling and measuring program for each sub-basin over a variety of flow conditions. Data from this project are currently being prepared for publication. Contact: Bruce Bigelow, 907-586-7287,

Water Quality Sampling of the Taku River. The Douglas Indian Association (DIA), the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and the USGS Alaska Science Center continue implementing a 5-year cooperative water-quality project to collect baseline water-quality data for the Taku River, an important salmon fishery. Although the watershed is undeveloped, a new mine is proposed in the watershed on the Canadian side of the border. The Taku River is also subject to glacial outburst floods that affect the River's water quality. The USGS is conducting the field sampling and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is analyzing the samples. The DIA has provided an intern to assist USGS researchers with the sampling for part of the project. During Fiscal Year 2002, USGS scientists continued working with the Water Survey of Canada and the Canadian part of the DIA by providing logistical support and discharge measurements for the collection of water quality samples on the Taku River and several of its tributaries on the Canadian side of the border. Contact: Bruce Bigelow, 907-586-7287,

Stream Gaging of Sinona Creek. The USGS Alaska Science Center operates a relatively new stream flow monitoring station on Sinona Creek near Chistochina Village (between Glenallen and Tok) for the Cheesh'na Tribal Council. Sinona Creek is an important subsistence fishery. Tribal members have noticed a marked decrease in streamflow over the past few years. The USGS has offered to train Tribal members to measure streamflow. Contact: Steven Frenzel, 907-786-7100,

Aniak Mining District Geologic Map Compilation. The USGS is cooperating with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on a 5-year regional study in southwest Alaska that will benefit two Alaska Native Regional Corporations--Calista and Doyon. BLM's "Aniak Mining District" study encompasses 360,000 km2 of Federal, State, and Native Corporation land in an area of past gold and mercury production that may contain additional undiscovered gold and other resources. The USGS brings local expertise to the cooperative project, having previously performed 1:250,000-scale geologic mapping and assessment of undiscovered resources for about half of the area. The USGS has agreed to provide a digital geologic map of the mining district as an underlay for the BLM studies. This map is being compiled from existing published maps and from new USGS data in the central part of BLM's study area. In Fiscal Year 2003, BLM will release the results from a 1000-mi2 geophysical survey in the center of the mining district. The USGS will assist in interpreting these data and will incorporate new information into the geologic compilation. Contact: Marti L Miller, 907-786-7437,

Stream Gaging of Eklutna River. In cooperation with the Native Village of Eklutna, the USGS Alaska Science Center operates a streamflow monitoring station on the Eklutna River near Eklutna, Alaska. USGS employees make periodic discharge measurements on the Eklutna River above the confluence with Thunderbird Creek. The Eklutna River, a subsistence fishery for the village, has been adversely impacted by water withdrawal in the headwaters and gravel mining near the mouth. The village is interested in reclaiming the fishery and applying for instream-flow water rights. USGS personnel have been teaching tribal members how to measure streamflow and archive data. USGS staff also trained tribal fisheries employees to characterize streambed sediments. Contact: Steven Frenzel, 907-786-7100,

Geochemical Landscape of Alaska Native Corporation Lands. Geologists from the USGS have developed collaborative plans with Alaska Native Corporations to conduct projects with the goal of understanding the geochemical landscape (that is, the spatial variations in the distribution of chemical elements within media such as stream sediment and soil) of Native and adjacent lands. The study areas comprise the southwestern quadrant of Alaska, including the Aleutian Islands. Part of the project includes collecting one sample per 289 km2 (20 km cell) and analyzing each sample for 43 chemical elements of both geological and environmental significance (e.g., mercury, arsenic, and selenium). Geologists from the Calista Corporation and the Bristol Bay Native Corporation participated in acquiring samples for analysis. In Fiscal Year 2001, sampling was completed in the Bristol Bay area; sampling in the Calista area will be completed in Fiscal Year 2003. The geochemical data will be used to create interpretive derivative maps involving watersheds, lithologies, geology, mineral deposits, and political boundaries. As part of this project, topical study of the distribution of metals in native vegetation comprises a Master's thesis for the associate land manager of the Calista Corporation. The products of the project are designed to assist the Native Corporations in managing their lands. Contact: Andrew E. Grosz, 703-648-6314,

Mapping Sensitive Islands in the Bering Sea. The USGS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Response and Restoration have completed a mapping project for the Pribilof Islands of Alaska. St. George and St. Paul are the only two inhabited islands in the volcanic Pribilof archipelago. The Pribilofs are located in the Bering Sea approximately 770 air miles southwest of Anchorage and 250 miles north of the Aleutian Islands. These two tiny islands are home to the world's largest community of Aleut people. The Native communities on the islands will use the maps and digital data from this project for land use, economic development analysis, and natural resource management. The products of this project will also be used in restoring the environmental integrity of the islands along with identifying and protecting sensitive habitat areas of migratory birds and marine mammals. A concerted effort was undertaken by the local residents to identify the original Aleut names for various geographic features on both islands. This effort will help to acknowledge and preserve the historical and linguistic importance of the Aleut language. The Alaska Historical Commission along with the U.S. Board of Geographic Names concurred on the significance of this innovative approach. These local-use names were provided to the USGS for incorporation into the final map products and many of the geographic features on both islands are labeled in English and Aleut. Contact: A.C. Brown, 907-786-7002,

Alaska Volcanoes and Alaska Natives. Open communication between Alaska Natives and the USGS Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) is crucial in helping to safeguard Alaskan communities. Numerous Alaska Native villages and corporations communicate with the AVO during periods of volcanic activity. Native officials transmit on-site observations to AVO, and AVO scientists distribute interpretive and hazards information to the Native communities. Many of these communities are on the AVO automatic weekly update fax and/or electronic mail lists that provide the activity status of more than 40 active volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands. All Native villages in the Aleutians, including Nelson Lagoon, Naknek, Unalaska, Akutan, False Pass, Atka, King Cove, and Perryville, are near active volcanoes. AVO also conducts geological field studies and services existing seismic-monitoring equipment to provide real-time warnings of volcanic activity and related hazards to aircraft and local communities. USGS communications and research involved obtaining letters of non-objection for proposed volcano hazards work and accessing lands owned or selected by several Alaska Native corporations, including The Aleut Corporation, Akutan Corporation, Ounalashka Corporation, Ahtna Incorporated, and Cook Inlet Region Incorporated. Contact: Thomas Murray, 907-786-7443,

The contacts provided in the report were accurate at the time of publication. Please refer to the USGS Employee Directory or the Office of Tribal Relations contact page if you require information about a specific activity.

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