This year’s Culvert Case, is the third in a series of Boldt Decision court rulings related to the Boldt decision of 1974. This year’s Culvert Ruling requires the State of Washington to replace more than 600 state-owned road culverts to reduce barriers blocking salmon access to spawning grounds.
The initial Boldt decision of 1974 ordered co-management and equal sharing of specific marine resources between treaty tribes and the State of Washington, representing non-tribal recreational and commercial harvesters. The Boldt decision also affirmed treaty assured rights for treaty tribes to harvest at their usual and accustomed sites. This ruling continues to shape Washington State's environmental policy and establishes treaty tribes as a voice for environmental stewardship to sustain the marine resources addressed in their treaties.
This presentation will consider: the historical context of the Treaty of Point Elliott, the Fish Wars and the Boldt Decision; the relationship between private ownership of shore lands and tribal treaty rights; legal rulings that have followed the initial Boldt decision; how a strong tribal voice helps shape Washington’s environmental stewardship; how treaty rights are compatible with priorities for Southern Resident Killer Whale recovery, salmon recovery, water quality, and protection, restoration and maintenance of marine natural resources; and looking ahead to opportunities and challenges.