InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, NE Mendocino County, CA
With significant support from Lannan, the nation’s first intertribal wilderness has been created on a 3,845-acre parcel of redwood forestland located along the Lost Coast north of Fort Bragg. The InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness land is only a small portion of the original indigenous Sinkyone Indian territory.
From the mid 1800’s to the early 1900’s, the Sinkyone people were massacred and driven from their land. Some Sinkyone survivors became members of neighboring tribes. This land has great cultural significance for Indian peoples of the region who in the mid-1980’s helped stop the further clear cut logging of the land’s last old growth redwoods and then formed the InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council to acquire and conserve the property.
Comprised of ten federally recognized North Coast tribes, the Council is a nonprofit land conservation consortium that owns and manages the InterTribal Wilderness land. The Council worked with TPL, the Pacific Forest Trust, the State Coastal Conservancy, and other conservation groups to reestablish indigenous peoples’ control of the land and to place protections on it that ensure permanent conservation and stewardship of its sensitive cultural and ecological values.
The Council’s management includes a preservation and restoration program focusing on stewardship of forest, salmon, and other culturally important resources. The Council has completed a plan for limited public access that calls for low-impact campsites and backcountry hiking trails linking to the Lost Coast Trail in the adjacent Sinkyone Wilderness State Park.
The Council collaborates with conservation organizations, local communities, and state agencies to address conservation and restoration needs for the InterTribal land, the Sinkyone State Park, and the aboriginal Sinkyone Indian territory at large.
Photo: Hawk Rosales. Copyright 2008 InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council