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ROSEBURG, Ore. - President Trump signed the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act into law on Monday, January 8. This placed more than 31,000 acres of land into trusts for the tribes that originally owned it.
One of those tribes is the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians in Douglas County. Staff with the Cow Creek Tribe said this recognizes a treaty from 1853 between the Cow Creek Indians and the U.S. Government.
Part of the land can be seen from I-5, just past the Cow Creek owned Seven Feathers Resort & Casino known as the Canyon Mountains.
Staff said there is no one who cares quite like the Cow Creek Tribe which makes them the best bet at managing these lands. They said it benefits the tribe and the people who enjoy it.
”They’re caring about the water, the fish. They care about the people that live here and the jobs that are created is unique," said Tim Vredenburg, the director of forest management at the Cow Creek Tribe.
Vredenburg said another reason they'll succeed is because they have to deal with the consequences of what is done to the land. He also doesn't believe they will go anywhere.
"They've been here for thousands of years. They're going to be here for a very long time," he said.
The Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act also placed more than 14,000 acres into a trust for the Confederate Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians. It also amended the Coquille Restoration Act, which allows the tribe to manage their forest land in the same way as other federal tribes.