Quinault Indian Nation - 2011 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Quinault Indian Nation
Location: Taholah, WA
Project Title: Quinault Indian Nation Comprehensive Biomass Strategic Planning Project
Type of Application: First Steps (Planning)
DOE Grant Number: DE-EE0005052
Project Amounts:
DOE: $86,903
Awardee: $22,399
Total: $109,302
Project Status: See project status
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: September 2011
End: September 2013

Summary

The Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) will develop a comprehensive biomass strategy that includes an implementation plan. It will be a sustainable plan that is consistent with the overall QIN Strategic Plan.

Project Description

Background

The Quinault Indian Reservation (QIR) contains 208,105 acres of land in a single, triangular block located in the southwest corner of the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington and includes the villages of Taholah, Queets, and Amanda Park. It is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean and 28 miles of preserved shoreline, among the few undeveloped shorelines remaining in the United States. The Quinault Tribe of Indians entered into the Quinault River Treaty with the United States in 1855, commonly known as the "Treaty of Olympia." The modern Quinault Indian Nation is composed of descendents of the Quinault, Queets, Quileute, Hoh, Chehalis, Chinook, and Cowlitz tribes. The current tribal enrollment stands at 2,861. Just under half reside on the reservation. The lives of the Quinault people have centered on the natural resources provided by the environment. It's this Quinault cultural connection to the natural world that continues to set the tribe distinctly apart from surrounding communities. Today, the Quinault people feel an obligation to fulfill the role of caretakers of the land as their ancestors did. These cultural distinctions are embedded in their desire to preserve ancestral ocean beaches, ancient geological formations, salmon fishing grounds, eagle nesting preserves, and forests.

The QIN believes the utilization of renewable energy must be strongly pursued in order to maintain the tribe's cultural harmony with the natural world while pursuing positive tribal economic development. Since most of our tribal lands are forested lands, biomass is a natural fit. The QIN has faced financial hardships that have negatively impacted its efforts to fully move forward with its renewable energy plan of 2006. Therefore, under this grant, the QIN will develop a comprehensive biomass strategy. The comprehensive biomass strategy is compatible with the tribe's cultural, social, and long-term energy goals. It is a part of tribal culture not to let anything go to waste. The cedar tree and cedar bark was historically used for transportation to fish, trade, and gather roots and berries; build longhouses to houseĀ  native settlements; weave clothing and baskets; and provide medicine. It is only natural to find a use for wood waste while improving tribal lands. A biomass project or projects will not only create additional jobs, but also provide opportunities for other independent businesses to emerge.

The QIN will create a comprehensive biomass strategy. This study is consistent with and a direct result of the QIN's long-term energy plan completed under a prior DOE-funded Renewable Energy Study in 2006. That study revealed that the most viable options to the QIN were biomass and energy efficiency. The QIN is nearing the completion of a USDA Rural Business Opportunity Grant project to assess the volume and types of available biomass throughout the Quinault Indian Reservation in support of a biomass-for-heat facility. This project has been designated a Great Regions Project, one of seven in the United States. Since biomass can be utilized in many ways, with both demand-side and supply-side options, the QIN's leaders believe a comprehensive biomass strategy is invaluable to the Quinault people.

Project Objectives

The overall long-term goals of the QIN center on the advancement of health, safety, welfare, education, and economic development and are highlighted in the QIN's Strategic Plan. The QIN is always focused on opportunities that promote enhancing the quality of life for the tribal community. The QIN recognizes the importance of renewable energy development as a way to meet its long-term goals. Not only is there great potential to provide the tribal community with clean, affordable, safe, and competitive energy options, but environmental and economic benefits as well. Conceptually, the nation's long-term renewable energy goals are to:

  • Achieve energy self-sufficiency
  • Generate new employment and business opportunities for the QIN and its members
  • Create an energy system consistent with the environmental sustainability and the cultural values of the Quinault Indian Nation.

The key objectives for this project include the following:

  1. Identify and confirm community and tribal energy needs.
  2. Conduct an inventory of sustainable biomass availability.
  3. Develop a biomass energy vision statement, goals, and objectives.
  4. Identify and assess the biomass options, both demand-side (those that reduce energy consumption) and supply-side (those that generate energy), that are viable to the QIN.
  5. Develop a long-term biomass strategy consistent with the long-term overall goals of the QIN.

The purpose of this comprehensive biomass strategy is to explore the biomass potential in great depth and create a comprehensive plan that identifies options and provides a clear path for implementing viable biomass projects.

Project Location

The QIR contains 208,105 acres of land in a single, triangular block located in the southwest corner of the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington and includes the villages of Taholah, Queets, and Amanda Park. It is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean and 28 miles of preserved shoreline, among the few undeveloped shorelines remaining in the United States.

Project Status

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's fiscal year 2010 funding opportunity announcement "First Steps Toward Developing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency on Tribal Lands" (DE-FOA-0000422) and started September 1, 2011.

The November 2011 and November 2012 project status reports provide more information.

For current project status or additional information, please contact the project contact(s).

Project Contact

Julie Law
Grants & Contracts Manager
360-276-8215
jlaw@quinault.org
1214 Aalis Drive
PO Box 189
Taholah, WA 98587

Dave Bingaman
QDNR Director
360-276-8211
dbingaman@quinault.org
1214 Aalis Drive
PO Box 189
Taholah, WA 98587