A centuries-old California redwood forest that has beaten the odds of one day become lumber is being returned to a group of 10 Native American tribes whose ancestors once walked the land.
The Associated Press is reporting that the Save the Redwoods League, which has been working to protect and restore endangered redwoods forests since 1918, is transferring more than 500 acres of land that includes old-growth redwoods to the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, which will protect the land their forebearers called Tc’ih-Léh-Dñ, or “Fish Run Place.”
The league paid $3.55 million for the difficult-to-navigate five-mile stretch of the Lost Coast property about five miles north of San Francisco in 2020, buying it from a lumber company to protect it from logging.
In partnership with the Save the Redwoods Leagues, the tribes will serve as guardians of the land.
“Fundamentally, we believed that the best way to permanently protect and heal this land is through tribal stewardship,” Sam Hodder, chief executive of the Save the Redwoods League, said this week, according to the New York Times. “In this process, we have an opportunity to restore balance in the ecosystem and in the communities connected to it.”
The land is west of the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park and north of the protected Intertribal Sinkyone Wilderness, which was purchased by the Sinkyone Council in 1997.
The council’s goal, according to the Times, is to connect and expand the redwood forests in the area to repair “components of an ecosystem that has been fragmented and that has been threatened” by colonial settlement.
Along with the redwood trees, other endangered species living in the area include coho salmon, steelhead trout, northern spotted owls and marbled murrelets, a small seabird.
The property is the second Save the Redwoods has donated to the council. Back in 2012, it gave 164 acres of land known as Four Corners to the Sinkyone. That property is located just north of Tc’ih-Léh-Dñ.
[AP via ABC 7 Chicago] — Vince DiMiceli