The Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians just learned that Thomas Porter, the Director of the State Department of Forestry, at the September Board Meeting of his agency called for the redrafting of the Jackson Demonstration State Forest Management Plan to address Native American cultural resource protection issues, including access to and co-management of the Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF).
The Tribe also confirmed today via phone conversation with Kevin Conway, State Forest Manager, that, at the Nov. 16, 2021 meeting of the Jackson Advisory Group, a subcommittee has been formed to address redrafting the Jackson Demonstration State Forest Management Plan, specifically to address tribal cultural and biologic resource protection concerns and to bring the Management Plan into conformity with current State administration policies
One of the current State administration’s policies is the Statement of Administration Policy Native American Ancestral Lands September 25, 2020, which declares that “in the spirit of truth and healing in recognition of past harms done to California Native American communities, it is the policy of this administration to encourage every State agency, department, board and commission (collectively, “entities”) subject to my executive control to seek opportunities to support California tribes’ co-management of and access to natural lands that are within a California tribe’s ancestral land and under the ownership or control of the State of California, and to work cooperatively with California tribes that are interested in acquiring natural lands in excess of natural lands that are within a California tribe’s ancestral land and under the ownership or control of the State of California, and to work cooperatively with State California tribes that are interested in acquiring natural lands in excess of State needs.”
The following is a link to the September 2021 Board of Forestry meeting in which its Director called for the redrafting of the Management Plan at JDSF to address tribal access to and co-management of JDSF.
We have extracted the following verbatim quote from the Director of the State Board of Forestry at this meeting addressing his call for the redrafting of the JDSF management with the local Tribes whose ancestral territory is now the Jackson Demonstration State Forest
“I am asking the Board and Chair Gillis to consider a review of the Management Plan [at the Jackson Demonstration State Forest]. It is several years old and it is not due for renewal for a few years out but the reason I am asking for a review is that the Newsome Administration and Governor Newsome himself have been very clear to me and my colleagues and agencies as well as departments encouraging us as department and agency heads to seek opportunities to support tribal access to and what is termed co-management. In the context I am talking about is access to and ongoing dialogue to culturally important plants and animals and how these can be managed in conjunction with each other’s desires and needs on the landscape and so this is my primary reason for calling for a review of the management plan.
I believe that the Management Plan is whole and complete and points to all of the issues that were of value and of need at the time. I think that under the current administration and the direction the state is going related to tribal engagement I think it warrants a review at this stage before its regular time for renewal”. [Emphasis suppled].
The Tribe thanks Governor Newsom
e for advocating for tribal co-management of State lands that are within a California tribe’s ancestral territory and looks forward to ongoing Government to Government consultation with the State to address this matter.
Also, there are current provisions in the California Forest Practice Act (CFPA) and the accompanying regulations on Native American cultural resource protection that fall far short of adequately protecting the Tribe’s ancestral sites while clearly favoring the timber industry. Our mutually agreed upon Agenda for Government to Government consultation with the state includes discussing amendments to the CFPA and its accompanying Timber Harvest Plan regulations as well. The current Timber Harvest Plan process has proven to be a process whereby tribal input is not sufficiently sought and obtained by the Registered Professional Foresters determining the boundaries of the Tribe’s ancestral cultural sites.
The Tribe has therefore reiterated its call for a moratorium on logging at JDSF while these Management Plan amendments are being crafted, “…for we cannot accept the continuing and systematic destruction of ancestral sacred sites and other cultural resources at JDSF while we are at the Government to Government consultation table seeking to protect these resources, said Historic Preservation Officer of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians, Priscilla Hunter