Forest Service Chief Abigail Kimbell has reported to Congress on the status of proposals and implementation of contracts under the Tribal Forest Protection Act (TFPA) of 2004. The Act requires a Report to Congress four years after enactment.
The TFPA was passed in response to devastating wildfires that occurred in many western states that crossed from Federal land onto tribal land in 2003. National Forests and Grasslands share approximately 2,100 miles of contiguous boundary with Indian Tribes.
“The Forest Service is pleased to work together with neighboring tribes to restore forest health and reduce the risks of wildfires,” said Chief Kimbell.
The Tribal Forest Protection Act provides a tool for Indian Tribes to propose work and enter into contracts and agreements with the Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management to reduce fire threats from Federal land adjacent to Indian trust land and Indian communities.
During FYs 2004 – 2008, 10 contracts and agreements were approved culminating in 23,230 acres and 51.5 miles of boundary being treated using the TFPA. Approved proposals include:
- Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes adjacent to Lolo National Forest (MT); Fuels reduction on 1,000 acres.
- Mescalero Apache Tribe adjacent to Lincoln National Forest (NM); Fuels reduction, urban interface, ecosystems restoration on 16,000 acres.
- White Mountain Apache Tribe adjacent to Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest (AZ); Tree removal from forest boundary, 21.5 miles.
- Hoopa Tribe adjacent to Six Rivers National Forest (CA); Fuels reduction, 20 miles.
- Ramona Band of Cahuilla Indians adjacent to San Bernardino National Forest (CA); Fuels reduction and plant restoration, 10 acres.
- Tule River Tribe adjacent to Sequoia National Forest (CA); Fuels reduction and forest restoration, 3,000 acres.
- Viejas Tribe and the Ewiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians adjacent to Cleveland National Forest (CA); Sweetwater Fuel Break Project; Fuels reduction, 220 acres.
- Viejas Tribe and the Ewiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians adjacent to Cleveland National Forest (CA); Capitan Grande Fuels Treatment Project; Fuels reduction, 3,000 acres.
- Quinault Indian Nation adjacent to Olympic National Forest (WA); Resource protection, 30 miles.
- Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, adjacent to Mt. Hood National Forest; Fuels reduction and forest restoration, 1,000 acres.