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Indian Forest; Land in Trust Philip Rigdon Yakama Nation DNR April 18, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Indian Forest; Land in Trust Philip Rigdon Yakama Nation DNR April 18, 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Indian Forest; Land in Trust Philip Rigdon Yakama Nation DNR April 18, 2007

2 Indian Forest Social Economical Cultural & Traditional Traditional Hunting and Fishing Foods and Medicines Religious & Cultural

3 Today’s Forestry Economic Development is Balanced with; Traditional and Culture Values Fish and Wildlife Water Quality Food and Medicine

4 Indian Forest 193 Reservation in 33 States have Forestland 17.9 Million Acres of Forestland 10.2 Million Acres of Woodland 7.7 Million Acres of Timberland

5 Diversity of Lands Rainforest in Washington Palms of Florida Hardwoods of Northeast and Midwest Juniper Stands of the Southwest Interior West Mixed Conifers Stands With the diversity of lands, tribes have different goals for their lands

6 Timberlands 44 Billion Board Feet Nationally - Annual Allowable Harvest Million Board Feet Forest lands Generates over $456 million for Indian communities and $180 million for neighbor non-Indian communities 706 Million Board Feet - Annually Harvested from

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8 Indian Forest A deep history that is shaped by a shifting federal policy from the beginning of treaty relationships between tribes and the U.S. Government.

9 History of Indian Forestry Trust Responsibility John Marshall’s 1830’s Supreme Court Cherokee Nation v. Georgia “Domestic Dependent Nations” This created a ward-guardian relationship between tribes and the United States.

10 Indian Forestry History 1873 U.S. v. Cook –The ruling stated that Indians on the Tulalip Reservation in Washington State had no legal right to sell timber unless the clearing was for agriculture purposes; otherwise the logs belonged to the United States. –The court viewed Indian rights to the reservation and the timber upon them as rights of occupancy only.

11 Indian Forestry History 1887 General Allotment Act –Assimilate tribes and Indian people –Move land out of communally held tribal land into land that is owned by individual people.

12 Indian Forestry History 1889 Dead and Down Act –Grant tribes the right to salvage dead timber for commercial purposes. –Green timber could not be harvested unless it was being cleared for agriculture. –This was the first time Congress or the federal government recognized the Indians’ right to use their forest for commercial purposes

13 Indian Forestry History 1909 Act - Appropriated Money for Indian Forestry 1910 Established the Division of Forestry in the Bureau of Indian Affairs –The second, in 1910 authorized the Secretary of Interior to approve timber harvesting on a sustain yield basis –Even with the new approach, Congress refused to address the failing allotment policy

14 Indian Forestry History 1934 Indian Reorganization Act –The act also signified that tribes generally are the real owners of the land and resources. –The act also gave tribal governments the power to stop unwanted activities

15 Indian Forestry History 1950 Termination Era –The ultimate goal of the new deal was to develop tribes into independent self-governments. –Within the extreme of this self-governance, various western congressmen moved toward a federal policy of termination during the 1950s. –President Eisenhower wanted “out of the Indian Business” and the approach at that time was to terminate tribes if they could economically and socially sustain themselves. –This policy lasted until the mid 1950s,when nearly everyone involved recognized this path was not working

16 Indian Forestry History 1960 to 1970 Tribes began to move toward self-determination –Within this new approach, tribes began developing tribal goals and addressing severe problems with federal trust responsibility and inadequate funding and services on Indian forest.

17 Indian Forestry History 1975 Self-Determination Act –Enabled tribes to take over management of Bureau of Indian Affairs programs. –First significant move where tribes make the management decisions and carry out the goals and objectives of the tribe.

18 Indian Forests During the 100 year history - forestry management was a forestry program inside a social service agency Developing commercial forest during dramatically dynamic policy period During this history of BIA Forestry – inadequate funding Tribes were developing mistrust of the BIA due to poor management, little tribal involvement, and in some cases outright corruption

19 Intertribal Timber Council Tribes Questioning Direction and Past Management of Their Forest Two options –Litigation –Gather All the Players In 1976 the Intertribal Timber Council was Established

20 Intertribal Timber Council Annual Symposium New Collective Voice in Washington D.C. Since establishment, ITC has been vital in addressing issues concerning funding, policy, and other issues involving trust responsibility

21 National Indian Forest Resource Management Act Attention and approach by ITC culminated by Congress paying more attention to Indian Forest Address Several Issues to Indian Forest

22 NIFRMA 1990 Recognition by Congress of Trust Responsibility Development of 10 year management plans, integrating tribal values Education & Technical Training Developed Last Mandate was the development of an Independent Assessment of Indian Forestlands every Ten-years

23 IFMAT Report Secretary of Interior contracted with ITC Panel of Scientist Selected The first assessment had 8 question Mainly aimed at finding out the state of Indian forest Took 2 years to finish - finished in 1993 Panel visited 33 reservations The report came back with ten findings and developed some recommendations for Indian Forest

24 IFMAT Report The Four Most Significant Findings Number 1 Vision - gap between how Indian people envision their forest and how these forest have been managed

25 IFMAT Report Number 2 Gap in funding between Indian forest and comparable federal and private lands Indian forestry is funded 63% of that for timber production on National Forest 50% compared to private forestry in PNW 35% compared to coordinated resource management on national forest

26 IFMAT Report Number 3 Lack of Coordinated Resource Planning Number 4 The need for better method of setting and overseeing trust standards for Indian forestry

27 IFMAT II 2003 As mandated, re-assessment every 10 years Going back over the issues from previous

28 IFMAT II Report Number Vision - gap between how Indian people envision their forest and how these forest have been managed 2003 Significant Progress –Cooperation between tribe / BIA –Management and responsibility of taken over by tribe

29 IFMAT II Report Number Gap in funding between Indian forest and comparable federal and private lands 2003 Some Progress –68% of other federal agencies –Mainly due to large reduction of funding for forest on the National Forests –Significant increase in funding for fuels management, fire preparedness and emergency stabilization on Indian forest

30 IFMAT II Report Number Lack of Coordinated Resource Planning 2003 Some Progress –Funding has been more of an issue –Tribes and BIA are actively progressing

31 IFMAT II Report Number The need for better method of setting and overseeing trust standards for Indian forestry 2003 Little if any Progress –Many issues are and will continue to go to court –Cobel Lawsuit

32 Final Analysis by IFMAT Team Recognized Potential for Indian forest to serve as models of sustainability for society as a whole. Due to the unique communal ownership, native lands must be used in a way that protects and enhances the resources for generations of children yet unborn because they bear the environmental and economic consequences of today…...

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34 Thank You


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