CONFEDERATED TRIBES OF WARM SPRINGS -- The U.S. Forest Service would partner with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to manage some parts of the Mount Hood National Forest bordering the Warm Springs Reservation, under a congressional proposal.
Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman Earl Blumenauer re-introduced the Wy’east Tribal Resources Restoration Act this week. Warm Springs CEO Bobby Brunoe tells KBND News it would create Treaty Resource Emphasis Zones, "Those would be areas managed by Warm Springs for things like wildfire, fuels reduction, enhancement of treaty resources - such as huckleberries, habitat for deer and elk, watershed enhancement, meadow restoration, wetlands. A host of things on the borders of the reservation here that are important for the tribes and our culture here in Warm Springs."
He’s excited about the possibility of establishing the first place-based co-stewardship agreement in the nation, "Using our traditional ecological knowledge that the tribes have for things such as prescribed fire and how we manage our resources here on the reservation, and using those same practices on Forest Service lands."
Brunoe adds, "It gives us the ability to do a lot more fuels work on the borders. Opportunity to enter into an agreement with the Forest Service for building capacity for Warm Springs to hire technical staff, such as hydrologists, biologists to be able to go do the work, and firefighters."
Wyden and Blumenauer call the act groundbreaking, and say it would capitalize on the generations-long knowledge of the tribes, who have been good stewards of the land and wildlife since time immemorial.