FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2010
Natural Resources Tribal Summit sought common ground with tribes on state land access, management and stewardship issues
Goldmark issues Commissioner’s Order pledging partnership with tribes
OLYMPIA – At the conclusion of a two-day summit with tribal representatives from across the state, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will expand its efforts to communicate and work with the tribes on resource management issues that affect them and the state lands they use.
“This summit marks the beginning of a new era in how DNR works with our state’s native peoples,” Goldmark said. “As stewards of 5.6 million acres of state-owned lands, DNR works for trust beneficiaries like schools and counties, but we must also give respect to the tribes and the cultural significance that these lands have for them.”
The summit – held September 13-14 – was hosted by the Nisqually Indian Tribe. It marked the first time that DNR had invited all 29 federally recognized Indian Tribes in Washington State to discuss natural resources issues at one table.
Goldmark said the summit is only the beginning to an ongoing discussion with the tribes. DNR will continue to invite tribes to meetings where its regional managers can hear their concerns about the department’s management of resource lands. DNR also plans to conduct another statewide Natural Resources Tribal Summit next year.
Goldmark’s official Commissioner’s Order also confirmed that DNR recognizes the tribes’ separate rights and authorities and commits the department to maintain government-to-government relations with them. DNR’s tribal relations program is led by a full-time Tribal Relations Manager, Rodney Cawston, who is a member of the Colville Tribe.
The full text of the Commissioner’s Order on Tribal Relations is online at: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/em_comm_tribalrelations_order_201029.pdf
Photos from the Natural Resources Tribal Summit are on Flickr at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wastatednr/sets/72157624839093043/
Additional information about DNR’s Tribal Relations Office can be found online at www.dnr.wa.gov at the link to “Tribal Relations.” The direct link is: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/AboutDNR/TribalRelations/Pages/Home.aspx
DNR manages trust lands
DNR manages more than 5.6 million acres of state land:
- 2.9 million acres of trust lands, including forest, range, agricultural land, and commercial properties that earn revenue to build public schools, universities, prisons, and other state institutions, and help fund Westside county services.
- 2.6 million acres of ‘aquatic’ lands: the bedlands under Puget Sound and the coast, many beaches, and navigable natural lakes and rivers.
- 133,000 acres of natural areas that protect rare and threatened species as well as high-quality examples of the native ecosystems and landscapes of Washington.
Media Contact: Aaron Toso, Director of Communications and Outreach, 360-902-1149, email@example.com
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