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Natural Resource

Natural Resources Department

The Natural Resources Department (NRD) is working to ensure that the plants, animals, and landscapes central to Cowlitz Culture persist and thrive for future generations. We do this by restoring ecosystem health and function through direct action. We conserve and maintain lands for cultural and natural resource purposes, while providing fish and forest resources for every tribal member. We also advise tribal leadership on natural resource issues that impact those plants, animals, and landscapes critical to Cowlitz Culture.


To protect, conserve, restore, and promote culturally relevant species and landscapes integral to the unique identity of the Cowlitz People. To further educate the community and inspire future leaders and participants in this vision.

Services & Programs:

Tribal members living within 60 miles of St Mary’s or the Longview Offices can pick up fish, fresh or frozen. If they live outside of that radius, the tribal members can have frozen, vacuum-sealed filets shipped to them. Donations are gladly taken to defray the costs of shipping. Each tribal member can receive up to 10 filets/fresh fish per distribution. Elders get priority distribution.We also partner with the Elders and Garden Programs to make fish available to tribal members who can take advantage of those programs.

  • Fish Distribution
    • Fresh Fish Distribution
    • Frozen Filet Distribution
    • Frozen Filet Shipment Distributio


The Lands Maintenance Program provides the Tribe with a variety of services for its fee-ownership and trust lands. The Program has expanded its services on existing properties to include mowing, general cleanup, road maintenance, and weed control on several properties owned by the Tribe. In addition to this work, Lands Maintenance partners with many other departments and programs within the organization to provide value and assistance towards the Tribe’s goals and mission.

  • Lands Maintenance
    • Invasive Species Management
    • Vegetation Management
    • Fencing, road maintenance,and other non-facilities infrastructure maintenance and construction
    • Regular inspection of the Tribe’s Properties


The Habitat Restoration and Conservation Program develops, funds and implements habitat restorationprojects throughout the Tribe’s Historic Area of Interest. These actions include conservation property acquisition; dam, levee, and road removal; floodplain reconnection; large wood placement; channel modification; culvert replacement; and riparian planting

  • Habitat Restoration and Conservation
    • In-stream, floodplain, and riparian restorationand reconnectionwork
    • Fish passage barrier removal 
    • Protection of habitat
    • Represents the Tribe’s restoration and conservation interests in forums and workgroups
    • Project management and construction oversight


The Policy Program helps to ensure that tribal leadership has access to the advice and knowledge of staff and best available information to make informed decisions about important natural resource issues. Specific policy objectives are to:

Review project proposals, permit applications, legislation, and other government actions that could affect tribal rights and resources (paying particular attention to natural resource quantity/quality impacts, impingement into tribal sovereignty, and opportunities to expand resource availability); 

Provide expert-level issue analysis and recommendations on natural resource matters; 

Synthesize and record information from diverse sources to facilitate internal documentation of Natural Resources Department goals, strategies, and decision-making; and 

Establish and/or maintainrelationships with local, state, and federal agencies, other tribes, and non-governmental organizations in support of tribal resource goals. 

  • Policy

The Wildlife Program works with state, local, and federal agencies indeveloping management actions that help the animals and the ecosystems they rely on to persist on thelandscape. The Wildlife Program has assisted with the translocation of Endangered Species Act-listed Columbianwhite-tailed deer and is currently focused on restoring beaver to streams throughout Cowlitz Country

  • Wildlife
    • Representation for the Tribe at forums and workgroups where the interests of the Tribe involve Wildlife Species
    • Beaver Reintroduction Program
    • Columbian white-tailed deer translocation



  1. Media Advisory: Signs of hope for Lewis River salmon
  2. Cowlitz Indian Tribe gets grant to survey beaver habitat
  3. Lower Columbia Intensively Monitored Watershed Map Site
  4. Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund FY 2016 Report to Congress
  5. Cowlitz Tribe’s project improves salmon habitat
  6. Cowlitz Tribe helps 'put a price tag on salmon recovery' at Abernathy Creek
  7. Cowlitz biologist discusses Pacific County salmon project
  8. From farm to wetland, a food web is born
  9. From farm land to wetland: A tidal marsh returns to life after 120 years
  10. Logs hauled by helicopter to creeks to restore fish habitat
  11. Helicopter lowers log into Abernathy Creek for salmon habitat restoration project
  12. Removal of dam will free Wildboy Creek after 55 years
  13. Wildboy Creek Conserved

Our Locations
Ridgefield Office
31320 NW 41st Avenue, Ridgefield, WA, 98642
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm
Longview Office
1055 9th Avenue, Longview, WA, 98632
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm


The legacy of an ancient people in southwest Washington is rich with descendants who manage a growing portfolio of health, education, scientific research, housing, transportation, development, elder care, conservation and legal issues. The Cowlitz Tribe is a growing force in community building in what are now Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis and parts of Pierce, Skamania and Wahkiakum Counties, a vast territory occupied by numerous Cowlitz villages prior to non-Cowlitz exploration and seizure. Today, an elected Tribal Council is composed of professionals adept at managing multiple programs and projects.