Wildfire smoke is a health concern


While Washington state wasn’t forecast to see above normal wildfire risk this summer, local air quality has still been impacted by wildfire smoke, creating hazardous health conditions. The chance of a large fire – and smoky conditions to follow – in any given year is increasing due to climate change. Even distant fires, such as in California or British Columbia, can impact local air quality – and your health. The Northwest is currently enduring lingering smoke and the Nooksack Health Department encourages staying inside and limiting outdoor activity until conditions improve. According to the CDC, wildfire smoke is a mix of gases and fine particles that can make people sick when breathed. It’s especially concerning for those with asthma, COPD, and heart disease, for women who are pregnant, and for children. Exposure to wildfire smoke can cause coughing, trouble breathing, stinging eyes, runny nose, headaches, chest pain, and more. To protect yourself, stay inside on particularly smoky days, stock up on N95 masks for times when it’s necessary to leave home in smoky conditions, and learn to make your own in-home air filtration system. Clean air agencies recommend attaching a filter to a box fan and using the fan inRead More

Barron-Nooksack Housing partnership improving heating, energy efficiency in tribal homes


Nooksack Tribal Housing has partnered with the local company Barron Heating, Electrical, and Plumbing, to replace outdated and poorly performing hot water heaters in tribal homes. The project is improving both the availability of heat and hot water for residents while improving the electrical efficiency of the equipment. Barron provided the following statement about the effort:“Barron is delighted to be partnering with the Nooksack Tribal Housing Authority (NTHA) to revitalize the heating and hot water for the occupants at the Whispering Cedars complex in Everson. We have already replaced four out of 12 of the combination water heater tanks that already existed and will now be replacing all remaining units with a tankless combination boiler. The tanks that are currently installed are past their optimal running age, are inefficient, and underperforming, leaving the occupants with little to no heat or hot water. We are grateful that the NTHA shares our vision of bringing reliable equipment to the home so residents can experience the comfort and security that heat can provide during the colder seasons. These boilers are capable of providing heat and hot water to the home simultaneously without sacrificing efficiency and will have our continued support long after theRead More

Restoring logjams for threatened Nooksack salmon

Natural Resources, Uncategorized

Along the North Fork Nooksack River, gravel shores are left wanting – particularly while they bake in the sun during the summer months – for the shade, stability, and variety of habitats riverside trees can offer. Part of the problem in this particular stretch of the river is a lack of logjams accumulating naturally. Here, since large logjam structures were removed for river navigation and river-adjacent forests were cut down after European settlers arrived, the ecosystem has struggled to replenish that resource. Without logjams in place, shorelines erode and eroded materials move downstream more rapidly. As those shorelines erode, trees that could have eventually grown large, fallen into the water, and become lodged in the river are washed away too soon – eventually leaving barren shorelines that no longer feed large wood into the river system at all. The Tribe is working with partners to put the pieces back together in areas of the Nooksack River watershed that are most important for threatened Nooksack chinook salmon. One such area is located at the confluence of the North Fork of the river and Maple Creek. Whatcom Land Trust owns much of the land along lower Maple Creek, as well as alongRead More

Housing Department gets grant to build new units


The Nooksack Housing Authority has been awarded grant funding to built the Nooksack Project, which will provide much-needed additional affordable housing units for the Nooksack Reservation. This new construction project will consist of three two-bedroom units and one four-bedroom unit. The two-bedroom units will be contained in a triplex on its own lot, located on First Street in Deming. The four-bedroom unit will also be located on its own lot on First Street. Both lots are on the Nooksack Reservation. The new housing project will be on Tribal Trust land and there is a resolution from Tribal Council to allocate the land for affordable housing, in order to allow for the Tribe to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 virus and similar threats by eliminating the spread of disease. These four new housing units, with a total of 10 bedrooms, will help the Housing Department to prevent, prepare and respond to health emergencies by substantially reducing current overcrowded living conditions which exacerbate the spread of disease and create overall unhealthy home environments. The four-bedroom home will be one-story and will contain two full bathrooms. The two-bedroom triplex units will also each have two full bathrooms. Additional amenities includeRead More

New judge serving Nooksack Tribal Court

Tribal Court, Uncategorized

Nooksack Tribal Court has a new Chief Judge, Doug Hyldahl. The Chief Judge hears civil, criminal, juvenile, and domestic cases, and issues decisions and orders. The Nooksack Tribal Council on Monday, August 1, swore Hyldahl into the position to handle Nooksack Tribal Court cases.

Fund for school & sports fees taking applications

Education, Uncategorized

The Education Department is now taking applications for Johnson O’Malley Program funding to help Nooksack families cover the costs of student participation in school and club sports, as well as other school programs such as band and shop class. The program offers up-front support. It DOES NOT provide reimbursements.