June 01, 2012

Tribes as Managers of Federal Natural Resources

Brett Kenney

If you were in southwest Oregon one afternoon and decided to drive up 2.5 miles on BLM forest road 29-10-9.0, you might become confused by a landscape showing three radically different forest management regimes in action. You might first notice clear-cut monoculture industrial forest lands, where sunlight falls on huckleberries and salal growing between an armada of stumps. Next door you would see lands owned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), thick with an unthinned monoculture of trees and revealing relatively little active management. Finally, you could see the Coquille Indian Tribe’s forest, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the only forest able to meet the social, economic, and environmental goals of the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan, where water quality is constantly monitored and native trees live long lives and create new habitat for a variety of native species.

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