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Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians of Oregon

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The tribes asked the Coos Bay City Council to support a plan to take over up to 95,000 acres of the Siuslaw National Forest. They hope to generate $1 million a year from thinning trees, tribal administrator Francis W. Somday II said. Congressmen have asked for an indication of local support. Councilors made no commitments, but Mayor Joanne Verger said she expects to continue discussions and would like more specific information about the tribes' interest in buying land within the city limits. City Councilor Don Spangler said if the proposal goes through, the tribes' gain could become the area's loss. The historical tribal homeland ranged over 1.6 million acres from north of Florence to south of Coos Bay and to the Interstate 5 corridor. Current holdings include 6.2 acres between Coos Bay and North Bend, as well as a 98-acre site and a 10-acre site, all donated or purchased with tribal funds. Somday said the land would be transferred from the U.S. Forest Service to a BIA trust. The tribes would be unable to sell the land. The tribes were restored to sovereignty in 1984, 40 years after the federal government dissolved them. Members say they've never been compensated for homelands under an 1855 treaty.

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