In California’s Mendocino County, there are 523 acres of rugged forest that are studded with the stumps of ancient redwoods harvested during a logging boom that did away with over 90 percent of the species on the West Coast. But about 200 acres are still dense with old-growth redwoods that were spared from logging.

The land was the hunting, fishing and ceremonial grounds of generations of Indigenous tribes (such as the Sinkyone) until they were driven off by European settlers. A California nonprofit organization, Save the Redwoods League, dedicated to conserving and preserving redwoods, had purchased the 523 acre forest in 2020 (with corporate donations). Yesterday on Tuesday, they announced that the land was returning to its original inhabitants, to the Intertribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, which consists of 10 Native tribes. The tribes and the Save the Redwoods League will both serve as guardians of the land.

Fundamentally,we believed that the best way to permanently protect and heal this land is through tribal stewardship,” Sam Hodder, chief executive of the Save the Redwoods League, said in an interview on Tuesday. “In this process, we have an opportunity to restore balance in the ecosystem and in the communities connected to it.

via NY Times