Native American Legal Update
Suquamish Tribe sues over Navy wharf
The Suquamish Tribe, a federally recognized tribe located in Washington State, sued the Army Corps of Engineers, the Navy, and the National Marine Fisheries Service today, claiming that the defendants violated federal statutes and the tribe's treaty when they approved construction of a second explosives handling wharf at Naval Base Kitsap. The complaint alleges that the new wharf will displace the tribe's fishing grounds and extinguish fishing rights reserved to the tribe in its treaty.
The tribe is concerned that construction will harm several species of fish, including ESA-listed Hood Canal summer-run chum salon, Puget Sound Chinook salmon, Puget Sound steelhead, and three species of rockfish. The complaint also asserts that the wharf will eliminate the Suquamish Tribe's access to certain treaty fishing grounds.
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