Native American Tribes Reclaim Part of California’s Redwood Forest

Posted By BrittanyLCerny February 1st, 2022 Last Updated on: February 2nd, 2022

Hundreds of acres of land along Northern California’s coast have been successfully reclaimed by the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, a group comprising ten tribes who have lived on the land for thousands of years.

The name of the area will also be restored to its original name, Tc’ih-Léh-Dûñ, which means “Fish Run Place” in the Sinkyone language.

Crista Ray, a tribal citizen of the Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians and a board member of the Sinkyone Council was interviewed for an article in NPR.

Renaming the property Tc'ih-Léh-Dûñ lets people know that it's a sacred place; it's a place for our Native people. It lets them know that there was a language and that there was a people who lived there long before now.

The ten tribes affected by this deal give many thanks to the organization that helped make it possible.

Preserving the Redwoods 

Save the Redwoods League is the nonprofit responsible for transferring 500 acres back to the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council. 

Their goal is to completely restore the redwood forest and reconnect people to nature. So far they have helped protect over 216,000 acres of land and intend on preserving even more. 

Reserving the redwood forest is about culture and ecology, and in Native American communities, those two go hand in hand.

What Are Land Reclamations Truly About?

When a tribe reclaims its land, this helps revive its community. It also brings them a sense of justice and healing, as well as promotes land preservation. Many wooded areas in Northern California have been victimized by logging and deforestation, which have devastated the landscape and caused wildlife to disappear. 

In 2020, another Northern California tribe, the Esselen, was able to reclaim their land, a 1,200-acre ranch. An article describes the deal’s details and states, “The deal will conserve old-growth redwoods and endangered wildlife such as the California condor and red-legged frog, as well as protect the Little Sur River, an important spawning stream for the imperiled steelhead trout.”

This is just one of many examples of successful, recent land reclamation. For years, indigenous communities have attempted to legally reclaim specific areas of land as their own. Tribes are currently in the news winning cases to get sports teams, parks, trails, mountains, and more renamed. And they are also accumulating more wins through land acquisition and restoration.

Get Involved

The Save the Redwood League and the Forest Forever Campaign encourage you to join in their conservational efforts; there are various ways to do this. You can also learn more about how they have been involved in land preservation projects, such as the one mentioned in this article, and find out how you can help with future projects. 








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