523 Acres Of Sacred Forest Land In North California Returned To Native Tribes

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Save the Redwoods League, A hundred year old conservation group in California has returned guardianship of hundreds of acres of redwood forest land to a coalition of Native Tribes that were replaced from the land generations ago by European American settlers. The Redwoods League purchased the 523-acre area known as Anderson’s West on the Lost Coast of California in July, 2020.

The league announced on Tuesday, the 25 January, 2022, that it had donated & transferred ownership of the property to the Intertribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, a consortium of Northern California Tribal Nations focussed on environmental & cultural preservation. It is a sacred place for the original tribes where they used to hunt, fish and conduct ceremonies.

The forest will be Called Tcih Leh Dun which means Fish Run Place in the Sinkyone language-as an act of cultural empowerment and a celebration of indigenous resilience. The tribal council has named it as a Conservation Easement meaning the use of land will be limited for its own protection.

Renaming the property:Tcih Leh Dun lets people know that it’s a sacred place, it’s a place for our native people. It lets them know that there was a language and there were people who lived there long before now. This is the reaction of the Sinkyone council.

Tcih Leh Dun is a haven to ancient trees, important bodies of water & a variety of endangered species. Indigenous people will play a key role in environmental stewardship. According to a UN 2021 policy brief the indigenous represent some 5% of the world’s population, but effectively manage nearly 20 to 25 % of the earth’s land. Much of their land is in areas that hold 80 %of the planet’s biodiversity & about 40 %of the protected lands. 

Govind Tekale

A retired teacher at Sainik School Kazhakootam, besides his lifelong reading passion he is now an avid writer.

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