Wetlands

Tribal staff have expressed special concerns regarding wetland water quality, because LTBB culture relies heavily on wetlands for traditional medicines and cultural activities. A Native Plants Initiative was launched recently to increase awareness of culturally significant plants and uses and to guide staff in developing wetland management guidelines. Chapter 4 of the tribal code established protective measures for wetlands 1/3 acre in size or larger.

LTBB staff monitor a number of wetland sites (Table 4), including some with impaired adjacent waterbodies. Wetlands aid in preventing or mitigating degradation of adjacent waters by moderating storm flows, filtering pollutants, storing and using nutrients, recharging groundwater, and providing habitat and refugia for aquatic and other biota. Overall water quality for wetlands mirrors the general trend for other tribal waters. Wetland areas of highest risk for degradation include those with nearby roads, road/stream crossings, highly erodible soils, nearby developed lands, and wetlands adjacent to steep slopes.