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4 dead as severe storms hit Houston, TX; Election Protection Program eases access to voting information; surge in solar installations eases energy costs for Missourians; IN makes a splash for Safe Boating Week.

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WA tribe receives funding to return forest lands to tribal stewardship

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Wednesday, March 13, 2024   

A Washington state tribe is getting funding to return forest lands to tribal stewardship.

The Washington state Legislature has approved $25 million in Climate Commitment Act funding to the Quinault Indian Nation on the Olympic Peninsula to purchase 11,000 acres of privately owned forest lands on their reservation.

Guy Capoeman, president of the Quinault Indian Nation, said the Climate Commitment Act is an important law for the state.

"It shows that the efforts of not only the Nation but the state as a whole and the concern for habitat and the environment is real," Capoeman emphasized.

The Climate Commitment Act was passed in 2021 and created a cap-and-invest program to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions, with 10% of revenue generated committed to tribes. The Nature Conservancy in Washington partnered with the tribe on the purchase.

Capoeman pointed out reacquiring the forest land for the tribe is momentous.

"Repatriating your lands back, I mean, what bigger goal for a tribe is there, right?," Capoeman noted. "Other than the wellness of their members. Those are all things that are instrumental in our existence as a people."

Capoeman added Indigenous people around the world have a significant role to play in combating climate change, given their connection to the land.

"Knowing how to manage and deal with those resources can show and help the rest of the world in how we mitigate and adapt to what's happening in the world today," Capoeman concluded.


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