The Tribal Grasslands project presents an ideal opportunity involving a broad spectrum of stakeholders--including Yakama and Kalispel tribes, local school children, Audubon chapters, and private land-users--to observe and preserve an indicator species caught between climate change and direct agricultural threats to its grassland habitat. Audubon used field data gathered by adult and youth volunteers to inform management policies to improve grassland health for people and birds.
This initiative focuses on the Bobolink as indicator species on lands owned by the Yakama Nation and Kalispell Tribe. Washington has lost 70% of our grasslands, with the remainder heavily fragmented and of poor health. Since 2010, Audubon and tribes have gathered migratory and nesting data on the Bobolink which resulted in the adoption of the 2011 Yakama Nation Bobolink Management Plan. Kalispel Tribe delayed moving hay fields in 2012 until the Bobolinks fledged. The Yakama Nation implemented the Bobolink Management Plan by cross- fencing cattle pasture in order to protect nesting birds in 2013.
Initially funded by a TogetherGreen grant, the Tribal Grasslands Project is coordinated by Birding Trail Director and 2010 TogetherGreen Fellow Christi Norman. TogetherGreen is a partnership between National Audubon and Toyota.
READ Audubon Magazine November/December 2013 page 9 story Making Hay.
2012-2013 Field Season Sponsors: Kalispel Tribe of Indians, Tulalip Tribes, Patagonia Foundation