Despite pressure from local residents to pursue county control of the forests in Coos County, Oregon, commissioners decided last week to continue supporting the Coquille Indian Tribe's ongoing deal with the Bureau of Land Management for tribal stewardship of some federal lands that could be used for timber cutting.
Increased timber cutting will generate jobs and money for Coos County, but some county citizens wanted to push the tribe aside, possibly due to recent publicity about the tribe's progress, reported The World Link.
The World's editorial board notes that, "Politically, an Indian tribe is better-positioned to prevail in today's Washington than a county would be. But even a tribe can't win if the feds perceive a divided community."
Forest management is nothing new to the Coquille people. The tribe's Land, Resources and Environmental Services Department (LRES) manages the Coquille lands in a sustainable manner to best suit the cultural and economic priorities of the Coquille people. The LRES forestry program oversees the Coquille Forest, the tribe's Empire Reservation of reclaimed ancestral homelands, and other lands owned by the tribe.
The forestry program prepares timber units for sale, carrying out all field work and biological surveys necessary. The LRES also assures harvest levels meet the sustainable cutting level established in the Tribe's Coquille Forest Resource Management Plan.