BLM, Tribe, and Timber Companies Collaborate on Reviving Time-Honored Building Tradition

Press release from BLM:

large grabber arm clamped on a chunk of redwood laying horizontal on the ground.

Hauling a log for construction in Headwaters Reserve. [BLM Photo]

The Bureau of Land Management is contributing to an immersive experience and time-honored Tribal tradition along California’s North Coast. The BLM and two timber companies partnered to provide the Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria a downed redwood tree from public lands so the Tribe can build a traditional dance house and living quarter.  Tribal members at the Tish Non Village Community Center near Loleta will use the buildings to share experiences of their ancestors dating back to time immemorial. 

“We are so proud to support Native cultural practitioners who collect forest resources for traditional uses and look forward to seeing this locally led conservation project develop,” said BLM Arcata Field Office Assistant Manager Jennifer Wheeler. 

“It’s going to be a community thing, revitalizing our culture and revitalizing our community,” said Edward “Gusto” Bowie, Tribal council member at large for the Bear River Band. “It is a healing process. Our goal is to have these houses built up and down the coast, just as it used to be.”  

BLM archaeologist Sharyl Kinnear Ferris worked with Bowie to select a segment of downed redwood tree from public lands in the Salmon Pass area of the Headwaters Forest Reserve near Fortuna. Leonardo Logging owner Dave Carter volunteered his time and expertise to load and haul the massive log to Loleta using equipment provided by Humboldt Redwood Company. Members of the Tribe will split and slowly dry the wood before cutting and building with it. 

Headwaters Forest Reserve was established in 1999, after the BLM and California State Wildlife Conservation Board purchased the 7,400-acre Headwaters Forest for public ownership. The BLM and California Department of Fish and Wildlife collaborate to protect old growth redwoods, forest stands, streams, and wildlife in the reserve. 

The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land in the Nation, primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

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Thatguyinarcata
Guest
Thatguyinarcata
2 months ago

Very cool.

It’s nice to see the government involved in something that’s not immediately horrible.

Mr. Clark
Member
Mr. Clark
2 months ago

BLM should give the Natives back some of this land. Mattole Native families had land solden to BLM.

Solden: forced to sell

tru matters
Guest
tru matters
2 months ago

Sounds like it is going to be a beautiful building.

Would like to see a pic of what it’s to look like.

Guest
Guest
Guest
2 months ago

This is nice to see. Kind of ironic that the Biden administration is actively supporting an ongoing genocide on the other side of the planet, supplying weapons and funding, while native people are slaughtered and pushed off their land. Hmmmmm…

Two_feathersUp
Guest
Two_feathersUp
2 months ago

This is awesome, all of this is native land. Our reservations also need to take the land back from the cartels and migrants at any means possible. It’s destroying our people and the land. Don’t believe me??? Take a look at round valley reservation. Wake the F&!@ up tribal members!

Entering a world of pain
Guest
Entering a world of pain
2 months ago
Reply to  Two_feathersUp

Was reading an article the other day about two reservations in Montana, believe it was the Blackfoot and Crow.
These small rural populations are being systematically targeted by cartels as places to push fentanyl because they are so remote the price cartels can charge is much higher than in urban areas.
Very sad.