Forest Service-managed land includes land with treaty or other rights held by Native American Tribes, and it also includes land that shares extensive borders with Tribal reserve lands. The Forest Service maintains a government-to-government relationship with Tribes. It consults with them on actions that have Tribal implications and delivers to them scientific knowledge and technology that helps them manage these lands, landscapes, and associated resources sustainably.
As communities that are often directly tied to their local natural resources, Tribes are an integral part of rural America. By working with them, the Forest Service can help revitalize rural economies, reduce poverty, and ensure environmental justice. In return, the Forest Service gleans wisdom from the Tribes' centuries of experience managing natural resources. Traditional ecological knowledge may provide new insights into how ecosystems respond to human intervention and changing climate conditions. It may suggest new strategies to manage forests and grasslands for a variety of economic services, cultural uses, and environmental benefits. The knowledge the Tribes bring to cooperative research can both raise and answer questions being studied by Forest Service scientists.
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