Welcome to the Wildlife Program
The Yurok Tribe Wildlife Program was begun in 2008 with the primary purpose of determining if Yurok Ancestral Territory and the surrounding lands are suitable for reintroducing the critically endangered California condor. Not only does this intensive feasibility study continually lead program staff into new and exciting projects, but other conservation, health, and monitoring opportunities have been pursued that are vital to ecosystem health on and around the Yurok Reservation. Such projects include: lead burden assessment in avian scavengers, contaminant assessments in marine mammals, population monitoring of seals and sea lions along the Northern California coast, foothill yellow-legged frog egg-mass surveys on the Lower Klamath River, California condor habitat analyses, outreach and education related to the history and effectiveness of the California Condor Recovery Program, outreach and abatement efforts related to environmental lead from ammunition sources, and making hunter safety and education courses available on the reservation to give Tribe members the state certifications needed to legally hunt ALL of Yurok Ancestral Territory.
Projects such as these are deeply tied to the holistic ecosystem approach the Tribe envisions for stewardship of all natural resources on the reservation. This relationship to the land and nature is rooted in our awareness that we are not outside the natural world looking in, but rather are a part of that world. The Tribe’s commitment to improving the human relationship with the world is exemplified in our Constitution, which mandates the Tribe to “restore, enhance and manage . . . natural resources” in Yurok Ancestral Territory.
Our work in the Wildlife Program focuses on conservation and restoration of systems, taking into account the effects off past, present, and future human activity. We cannot remove ourselves from the system, but we can, with some patience and effort, find ways to advance while maintaining the balance in the natural world that has allowed life on earth to thrive and persist in the amazing variety and complexity we see today.
We invite all people sharing this planet with us to join in: our deep appreciation and respect for the natural world, acceptance of our role as responsible stewards keeping balance in the world, and realization of the power that every individual has within them to make positive change for all people, wildlife, and the world as a whole.