Tribal Council recently approved a grant agreement for disaster relief funding for the 2013 Fraser River sockeye and the 2015 Puget Sound coho and pink salmon fisheries. Eligible Tribal members may apply for these new programs available through the grant agreement, which include (1) disaster relief payment; (2) crab gear reimbursement program; and (3) commercial dive training program.
Disaster Relief Payment
One-time payments will be made available to Nooksack Tribal members who possessed a commercial fishing license for the eligible fishers for 2013 Fraser River sockeye and/or the 2015 Puget Sound coho and pink salmon fisheries. Eligible fishers acquired Tribal commercial fishing decals by or before Oct. 1, in 2013 and on or before November 1, in 2015. The Natural and Cultural Resources Department reviewed internal records to develop tentative lists of qualifying Tribal members. If you appear on this list, you will be issued a check. Members are encouraged to contact NNCR within the next 30 days if they would like to learn whether or not they are on the lists. Issuance of Disaster Relief payments are subject to Tribal law, including N.C.L. 99.16.020, which requires the Tribe to offset the amount of a benefit payment by the amount of any valid outstanding debt owed by the beneficiary. For fishers eligible for payment under the Disaster Relief Assistance Program, if you have an outstanding judgment in Tribal Court (or other outstanding debt owed to the Tribe), the Tribe will reduce the amount of the benefit payment to ensure collection of its debt/satisfaction of the judgment.
Crab Gear Reimbursement and Commercial Dive Training Programs
Tribal Council also approved the Crab Gear Reimbursement and Commercial Dive Training Program policies. Both programs are limited to eligible Tribal members and are first-come, first-served and contain a maximum benefit of $5,000 per fisher per program.
For the crab reimbursement program, eligible fishers can be reimbursed for the purchase of up to 25 new commercial crab pots, lines, buoys and bait boxes. For the Nooksack fisher diver certification training and hose tender certification training program, the Tribe will consider applications from eligible members for payment of tuition and related expenses for the SSA full program; SSA Diver Program; SSA Tender Program; SSA Refresher Program; or SSA Experience program.
Eligibility requirements are as follows:
Approved applicants for the crab gear reimbursement program shall retain all gear for a period of no less than 5 years or return the gear to the Tribe. Approved diver and hose tender certification applicants who fail to complete the requested courses shall return all equipment and/or supplies (or are liable for the cost of replacement). Applicants who quit, drop out; or are removed from any training program are liable for repayment of all awards made pursuant to this program.
Interested Tribal members must fully complete (and return) the application(s) to the Natural and Cultural Resources Dept. Applications (and related materials) can be found here and on the Natural and Cultural Resources page. For a mailed packet application, with a prepaid self-addressed return envelope, call Tricia Cline at (360) 592-5140 (ext. 3132).
Completed applications can be mailed back, or shall be returned during office hours to either to the Natural and Cultural Resources Administrative Assistant, Tricia Cline at (360) 592-5140 (ext. 3132), or to the Tribal Administration Office. Ring the bell at the Administrative Office and an employee will come take your application. Please wear your mask and follow social distancing protocols.
The Nooksack Fish Commission will begin review applications starting March 1, based on the date received, completeness of the application packet, the eligibility criteria, and availability of program funding. The Commission will notify applicants within 7 days of any determination. Awards are limited to funds available, and will be made on a first-come, first-served basis, consistent with the criteria described above. These are one-time only award programs, and applicant awards are limited to a maximum of $5,000 per program.