EEL RIVER – TROUT CREEK and ALDER CREEK LAND ACQUISITION
As the result of a 12-year process, on January 24, 2019 the Potter Valley Tribe received the donation of 879 acres of forested lands in the main stem Eel River, just north of Potter Valley. The tribe applied for and negotiated a land conservation proposal with the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, beginning in 2007. A conservation easement will be held by the Mendocino Land Trust.
The Stewardship Council was formed as part of a PG&E settlement agreement under the bankruptcy reorganization in 2003. This agreement establishes that 140,000 acres of PG&E’s watershed lands will be conserved in perpetuity for the following beneficial public values: protection of outdoor recreation, sustainable forestry, agriculture, natural resource protection, open space preservation, and historic and cultural resources. All lands directly associated with PG&E’s hydroelectric systems will be retained by PG&E, with conservation easements also in place.
With this acquisition of a significant part of its aboriginal territory, the Potter Valley Tribe now can begin the awesome task of managing these land resources. Among the long-range future plans are: development of recreational facilities, expanding environmental education programs, assisting with restoration of habitat and fishery resources, wildfire and fuels management, and becoming good neighbors with the stakeholders in the area.
INTERTRIBAL ENVIRONMENTAL YOUTH CAMPOUT
The 9th Annual Intertribal Environmental Youth Campout was held on June 17–20, 2019, at the tribe’s Noyo-bida Ranch in Ft Bragg. Sixteen local tribes and five outside organizations participated through planning and attendance. This year was one our best campouts yet with over 25 workshops during the week that included Environmental, Cultural, and Traditional Ecological Knowledge themes alongside team building activities. We had 160 registered youth and 70 chaperones and staff/organizers that stayed throughout the week. And we fed them all! The Potter Valley Tribes’ Environmental Office helped manage it as an event with a zero waste goal. From the clubhouse we recycled and composted nearly 5 cubic yards and had an 80% recycle rate. This year’s theme was “Honoring Mother Earth” and overall was a fun-filled educational experience for everyone.