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

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Future Opportunities

Geographic Information in the Four Corners Region. Along with other Federal, State, and academic partners in the Colorado Plateau Data Coordination Group, USGS scientists participated in a workshop for Four Corners area Tribal users of geographic information systems (GIS), providing information about GIS training and data sharing/partnership opportunities, the Navajo Nation Data Resource Center, regional GIS involvement, Tribal and regional pilot projects, Federal and academic GIS projects and research, and presentation of a Colorado Plateau "Information Team" concept. In addition, a free one-day GIS training workshop for ARCVIEW users provided a demonstration on how to develop a project using this software. Another training opportunity will be provided in late spring 2003. Contact: David M. Vincent, 801-975-3435,

Bureau of Indian Affairs Requests Additional Endangered Species Training. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has requested USGS assistance in offering training to Tribal biologists in Fiscal Year 2003. Similar training for Tribal personnel has previously been conducted, with BIA assistance, for Tribal personnel, by a research ecologist at the USGS Southwest Biological Science Center. The training includes techniques for surveying the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher. In the past, lectures were presented on the status, distribution, ecology, and habitat use of the flycatcher, and the USGS scientist led a field trip to known flycatcher breeding sites along the Rio Grande. Contact: Mark Sogge, 928-556-7466, ext. 232,

Ground-Water and Surface-Water, Colony Wash Watershed, Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation, Maricopa County, Arizona. The Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation has several concerns regarding the quality of water flowing onto their lands. Samples collected from previous USGS/Fort McDowell cooperative projects indicate the presence of high levels of dissolved solids and contaminants at levels exceeding U.S. Environmental Protection Agency water-quality standards. Analyses also detected low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and pesticides. The Fiscal Year 2003 USGS/Fort McDowell monitoring project will monitor the chemical composition and quality of the ground and surface water flowing through Colony Wash; it will also monitor aquifer responses to various upstream influences within the Colony Wash watershed. This work will augment a long-term hydrologic (water-quality and water-level) database that can be used to evaluate the aquifer over time. As part of this monitoring program, streamflow samples will be collected when conditions permit. Shallow ground-water samples will be collected quarterly during dry periods from existing monitor wells. Deep ground water from the Ft. McDowell back-up drinking-water well will be sampled twice. Samples will be analyzed for nutrients, major and trace ions, trace metals, VOCs, and pesticides; water-level pressure transducers will be installed in two shallow wells to monitor water-level changes with time and in response to surface flows. Modified temperature sensors (resistivity probes) will be placed at several locations within Colony Wash to detect the presence, duration, and extent of ephemeral surface flows. Contact: John Hoffmann, 520-670-6671, ext. 265; or Christie O'Day, 480-736-1093, ext. 224,

Restoration of the Elwha River Ecosystem. Scientists from the USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center are providing technical advice to the National Park Service (NPS) and the Lower Elwha Tribal Community of the Lower Elwha Reservation on restoration of the Elwha River ecosystem. As part of this project the USGS is planning to conduct a workshop in Fiscal Year 2003 for NPS and Tribal employees to determine research issues associated with dam removal. Restoration of anadromous fisheries is a priority for Tribes on the Olympic Peninsula. Contact: Edward Schreiner, 360-565-3044,

Umatilla Basin Ground-Water Study Planning. During Fiscal Year 2002, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD), and USGS planned an investigation of the ground-water resources in the Umatilla Basin with special focus on ground-water/surface-water interaction. The Columbia River Basalt Aquifer can produce large quantities of water and underlies the Umatilla Basin, however, the storage capacity of the basalts is limited. As a result, water levels in the aquifer are declining in many parts of the basin and there is concern about the impact of these changes to the hydrologic system on discharge to streams. As part of this planning and preparation for the study, the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries was asked to conduct geologic mapping and geologic map compilation in the basin. This information will be valuable to the cooperative ground-water study that is expected to begin in late Fiscal Year 2003. Recent meetings between the Tribes, OWRD, and USGS have started the process of developing a detailed scope of work for the investigation. Contact: Bill McFarland, 503-251-3204,

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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