Cow Creek Umpqua and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Sign Partnership

The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians began a new era of partnership Wednesday, having signed another formal agreement with a lead federal and state land management agency within the Cow Creek Umpqua Tribe’s service area.

Cow Creek Umpqua Tribal Chairman Carla Keene signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Acting Forest Supervisor Jake Winn of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest at the Tribal Government Office in Roseburg.

The MOU with the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest marks the fifth agreement reached with the Cow Creek Umpqua Tribe for co-stewardship of lands and resources in Southern Oregon. Earlier this summer, Chairman Keene signed agreements with the Bureau of Land Management’s Roseburg and Medford districts. Signed agreements with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Umpqua National Forest are also in their first year of implementation.

Together, the agreements mark a significant milestone in Tribal co-stewardship, Tribal consultation, and joint responsibility of federal and state lands and resources.

“Working with our partners in land management, such as the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and others, we can now all come to the table as invested equals and work collaboratively to make the best decisions to improve the health and longevity of our most precious natural resources. Land, wildlife, and water make the Cow Creek Umpqua people who we are, and we look forward to the work we can achieve together,” said Chairman Keene.

“The Forest Service is very committed to working with Tribes. We are excited to work together, setting goals and priorities on the ground,” said Winn. “When it comes to forest resiliency and fire resiliency, fires don’t think about human-made borders. So, when we can work together across boundaries, it makes us stronger.”

The MOU states that both the Cow Creek Umpqua Tribal Government and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest will engage in co-stewardship of National Forest Lands, sharing resources, research, and opportunities for funding and projects, all while cooperating on issues around forest health and resilience, watershed health, fish and wildlife habitat restoration, and public use for the benefit of surrounding communities.

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest spans from Bandon to Northern California and has eight designated Wilderness areas incorporated within it.