A 523-acre forest of old redwood trees along the Lost Coast of Mendocino Country, California is being returned to Indigenous ownership. The tract of land, formally called Andersonia West, was acquired by a conservation group called Save the Redwoods League in 2020 for $3.55 million. Recently, the league announced that this natural forestland was being donated to InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, a non-profit consortium of 10 Northern California Tribal Nations who actively work towards protecting the environment for “past, present, and future generations of life.”
“This place is within the Sinkyone traditional territory, that for thousands of years it has been and still remains an area of importance for the Sinkyone people, and that it holds great cultural significance for the Sinkyone Council and its member tribes,” explains Priscilla Hunter, chairwoman of the Sinkyone Council. This valuable parcel of land contains second-growth redwoods, Douglas-firs, 1.5 miles of Anderson Creek, and numerous endangered species of animals, including the northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet.
The Sinkyone Council renamed the property “Tc'ih-Léh-Dûñ,” which means “Fish Run Place” in the Sinkyone language. “Renaming the property Tc'ih-Léh-Dûñ lets people know that it's a sacred place; it's a place for our Native people. It lets them know that there was a language and that there was a people who lived there long before now,” says Crista Ray, a board member of the Sinkyone Council. California has been overwhelmed by fires for years, and this partnership between the league and the council is intended to help heal this land “through tribal stewardship.”
You can learn more about this amazing donation by visiting Synkyone Council's website.