Since its inception in 1995, the Salmon and Steelhead Habitat Inventory and Assessment Program (SSHIAP) has been a joint effort for the treaty tribes and state of Washington that provides a “living” geodatabase of local and regional habitat analyses. Over the years, the Point No Point Treaty Council (PNPTC) and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC) have been jointly implementing this program by providing coordinated data services to the twenty Treaty Tribes of western Washington. For over 20 years, SSHIAP has been providing data management and analysis for ecosystem habitats in freshwater, marine, and nearshore areas with a focus on salmon and steelhead distribution within western Washington.
The Treaty Council’s SSHIAP program works with tribes and natural resources entities to both collect, analyze and share important natural resource data. Our SSHIAP program staff work primarily with the Jamestown S’Klallam, Lower Elwha Klallam, Makah and Port Gamble S’Klallam tribes, but also assist with maintaining, updating and creating region-wide GIS datasets to support the rest of the regional tribes. This kind of valuable coordination helps to have consistency and supports the unified need to protect tribal Treaty Rights and common habitat strategies for a broad area.
A key feature of SSHIAP is that it quantitatively characterizes habitat conditions linked with fish distribution. This is designed for local, watershed, basin and regional scale habitat analyses focused on salmon protection and restoration efforts, and helps to track trends in habitat over time.
Collectively, the SSHIAP program provides a cooperative process with our state and local partners to implement habitat and restoration strategies by:
- Documenting and quantifying past and current habitat conditions
- Providing a consistent framework for data analysis across the region
- Assessing the role of habitat loss and degradation on the condition of salmon and steelhead stocks
- Assisting in the development of stock- or watershed-specific strategies for habitat protection and restoration.
- Publishing reports that assess habitat issues every four years, called the State of our Watershed Report
We work together with our partners at Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission’s SSHIAP program. You can find some great interactive mapping tools which can be found on the NWIFC’s site.