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Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Covelo FireScape Subgroup Forest Health Field Trip
Round Valley, an important focal area identified by the public at previous FireScape Mendocino community workshops, was center for a series of meetings and field trips by members and partners of the Covelo FireScape Subgroup. These events took place on September 13 and 14 in the greater Covelo area on private, tribal, state, and federal lands.
Pre-Field Trip Discussion on Collaborative Fuel and Forest Health Projects
On Friday, fire and conservation leads from the Round Valley Indian Tribes joined other members of the Covelo FireScape Subgroup to tour potential prescribed fire projects along Etsel Ridge on the Mendocino National Forest.
Discussions centered on the need to substantively incorporate tribal knowledge in the planning and implementation stages so as to best achieve the goals of the project to enhance forest health, improve water quality/quantity, and restore/protect cultural resources.
Other topics covered on the field trip were the important benefits of these potential projects which include jobs for youth and others to support the local economy, enhance wildlife habitat, provide high quality recreation opportunities, and restore Forest resilience on the landscape.
A Salmon Awareness Festival Forest Health Workshop hosted by the Eel River Recovery Project, Round Valley Indian Tribes, and FireScape Mendocino was held on September 14 at the Round Valley Indian Health Center.
A diverse group attended the workshop to talk about building capacity in the local community in support of job creation, economic benefits, cultural restoration, restoring the landscape, and doing cross-boundary fuel and forest health projects to meet those objectives which also include enhancing water quality for fish and other wildlife.
Other discussion items were to review the organizational strategies of the Western Klamath Restoration Partnership, Karuk Tribe, TREX, Prescribed Burn Associations, Indigenous People’s Burning Network, Fire Learning Network, and FireScape Mendocino.
The workshop ended by reviewing recent fuel/forest health projects funded by California’s Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Grants recently awarded to the Tehama Resource Conservation District in partnership with FireScape Mendocino on the east side of the Forest.
Local representatives at the meeting thought it was important for them to continue meeting with a goal to apply for CCI and/or other grant opportunities so they could start important collaborative fuel projects in or near Round Valley.
Pre-Dinner Salmon Awareness Festival Ceremonies
After the workshop, members of the Covelo FireScape Subgroup, FireScape Mendocino Core-Team, partners, and general public attended the Salmon Awareness Festival that was graciously hosted by Eel River Recovery Project and Round Valley Indian Tribes.
According to the festival’s sponsors, this is an annual event to celebrate the return of the salmon that enter the lower Eel River at this time each year to stage for their spawning run. Ceremonial dances, a traditional salmon feast, a watershed education fair, and a forest health workshop are all part of the event.
Round Valley Historical Landmark
The weekend’s events highlighted the important role that relationship building has in creating a collaborative spirit in the community to support much needed forest health projects to restore the landscape for current and future generations.