Sustainability

Hundreds of acres of California redwood forest returned to Native American tribes for conservation

Story at a glance

  • Save the Redwoods League on Tuesday announced it is transferring 523 acres of a property formerly known as Andersonia West on the Lost Coast to the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council.
  • The council is made up of a group of 10 native tribes whose ancestors were forcibly removed from the land by European American settlers generations ago.
  • The group works to protect culturally important lands, waters and wildlife within the traditional Sinkyone Tribal territory.

A large swath of redwood forest in Northern California’s Mendocino County has been reclaimed by a group of tribal nations with ancient ties to the region to help “ensure lasting protection and ongoing stewardship” of the land.  

Nonprofit Save the Redwoods League on Tuesday announced it is transferring 523 acres of a property formerly known as Andersonia West on the Lost Coast to the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, a group of 10 native tribes whose ancestors were forcibly removed from the land by European American settlers generations ago.  

The group works to protect culturally important lands, waters and wildlife within the traditional Sinkyone Tribal territory.  

The council will be responsible for conserving the land, which has been renamed Tc’ih-Léh-Dûñ, meaning “fish run place” in the Sinkyone language. The council has also granted the Save the Redwoods League a conservation easement.  


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


“Renaming the property Tc’ih-Léh-Dûñ lets people know that it’s a sacred place; it’s a place for our Native people,” Crista Ray, a tribal citizen of the Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians and board member of the Sinkyone Council, said in a statement.  

“It lets them know that there was a language and that there was a people who lived there long before now,” Ray said.  

The area is about five hours north of San Francisco and includes about 200 acres of old-growth coast redwoods and 1.5 miles of Anderson Creek. The swath of land is also made up of second-growth redwoods, Douglas-firs, tanoaks and madrones, and supports coho salmon, steelhead trout, marbled murrelet and northern spotted owl, which are all listed under the Endangered Species Act.  

The Save the Redwoods League bought the property in July 2020. The donation is the nonprofit’s second to the Council. In 2012, the League transferred a 164-acre property to the group for conservation. 

“The Sinkyone Council today represents the Indigenous Peoples who are the original stewards of this land. Their connection to the redwood forest is longstanding, and it is deep,” Sam Hodder, president and CEO of Save the Redwoods League, said in a statement.  

“We believe the best way to permanently protect and heal this land is through tribal stewardship.”  


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

RESEARCHERS FIND GENETIC LINK TO COVID-19-INDUCED LOSS OF SMELL AND TASTE

NEW STUDY SAYS AIR KNOCKS DOWN COVID-19 INFECTION RATE BY 90 PERCENT

ROBIN WILLIAMS’ DAUGHTER HAS WARNING FOR FANS MOURNING BOB SAGET

YALE, GEORGETOWN, 14 OTHER TOP COLLEGES SUED FOR ALLEGED COLLUSION

34 RESCUED FROM FLOATING CHUNK OF ICE OFF GREEN BAY SHORE