© 2024 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Major Tribal Land And Forestry Bill Headed For President Trump's Desk

Coquille Indian Tribe

A major piece of legislation championed by Congressman Peter DeFazio has cleared both houses of Congress, that – if enacted - will benefit three Native American tribes in Oregon. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

The Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act cedes more than 17,000 acres of federal land to the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians.  Another 14-thousand acres goes to the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians. It gives both tribes a land base since they regained federal recognition in the 1980s.

As for the Coquille Tribe, the Act restores governance of their tribal forest, effectively “decoupling” them from federal land management rules.

Mark Johnston is Executive Director of the Coquille Tribe. He says they’ve managed their 5,400 acre forest efficiently despite the unique legal burden put on them in 1996.

“And for the Coquille, we’ve been certified by Forest Stewardship Council – FSC - for a number of years, and you’ll take a look at our land, and we truly believe in a balance between conservation and sustainable harvest.”

The bill now heads to President Trump’s desk. Tribal officials hope he’ll sign off on it.

Copyright 2017, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
Related Content