The Hoopa Valley Tribe has announced a significant milestone with the acquisition of 10,395 acres of land bordering the western boundary of their Reservation. This reclamation brings the Tribe’s total land holdings to over 102,000 acres, marking a pivotal moment in their history.
The Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation was established in 1864, but it resulted in the loss of access to more than two-thirds of the Tribe’s ancestral lands. The recent $14.1 million purchase of the Hupa Mountain property is a monumental step towards reclaiming these lands and restoring the Tribe’s connection to its heritage.
“Today is a day of intense celebration for our Tribe,” said Joe Davis, Chairman of the Hoopa Valley Tribe. “The Hoopa Valley Tribe worked hard to secure this once-in-a-generation opportunity to reclaim a meaningful portion of our ancestral lands.”
This acquisition, previously held by Australia-based forestland manager New Forests, represents the Tribe’s most substantial reacquisition of land since the establishment of the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. The regained land includes the headwaters of Pine Creek, a vital spawning stream for sacred salmon, as well as gathering sites for food and basketry materials. It’s also home to various plant and wildlife species integral to the Tribe’s culture.
This restoration effort is set to enhance both the environment and the Tribe’s well-being. Plans include restoring the historic salmon run in Pine Creek, increasing the elk population (a traditional food source), and addressing the threat of sudden oak death, which affects acorn crops and creates fire hazards.
The opportunity for the Tribe to regain these acres emerged when New Forests put the land up for sale in 2022. Working closely with The Conservation Fund and The Trust for Public Land, the Tribe secured the necessary public and private funding for the purchase.