Yurok Tribe, California


The tribe is racing to rescue a historic building in Klamath before the North Coast weather ruins it. The tribe hopes to halt the rot and disrepair of the Yurok Redwood Experimental Forest Ranger Station and open it to the public. The building shelters a program to restore the Yurok language, spoken fluently by only about 30 tribal elders. Documents, photos and maps are kept in the building and the tribal culture department, which protects historic resources, also has an office there. "Over the past 10 years we have collected everything written or taped on Yurok culture and history, said culture department director Thomas Gates. The building was constructed in 1941 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration. The ranger station once housed U.S. Forest Service staff overseeing what is now the Yurok Redwood Experimental Forest. Restoration should cost about $500,000. The tribe wants half from the Park Service Save America's Treasures Fund. It also requested help from the state Department of Parks and Recreation, which has some $8 million available for historic preservation.