Governor Gavin Newsom proposes $100 million line item for purchasing and preserving tribal lands
Over the weekend, California Governor Gavin Newsom proposed a $100 million line item to be given to Native American tribes in California to purchase land that would be preserved, as well as create programs to fight change. climate change and increased workforce development.
According to Newsom’s proposal, which stems from a 2020 executive order in which Newsom set a mandate to preserve 30% of California’s land and coastal waters to be preserved by 2030 to help combat climate change and boost biodiversity, the funding would also be used to support tribal initiatives that advance shared climate and biodiversity goals, including knowledge research, development and implementation traditions, workforce training and tribal nature-based climate conservation programs. The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) would manage the new tribal funding commitment. Tribal leaders would also have a say in where the money goes and which lands are preserved, moving away from the normal system of grants where the state distributes where the money goes and how it is spent.
“Too often, Native American tribal communities in California are neglected and experience many of the worst impacts of climate change,” Governor Newsom said in A declaration. “The California way is not to hide from our past, but to embrace it with a commitment to build on our values of inclusiveness and fairness for all who call this state home. We know that peoples California natives have always had a relationship of interdependence with the land, the waters, everything that makes up the state of California.Unfortunately, we also know that the state has played a role in violently disrupting these relationships.
Government officials noted that since the executive order of 35% by 2030 mandated in 2020, tribes have said they want to take a leadership role in preservation and restoration efforts. Over the weekend, California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot noted that the funding would lead to a collaborative effort between the state and tribes to do just that.
“We heard loud and clear in our consultations with more than 70 different Native American tribes in California a strong desire for tribal governments to play a leadership role in restoration and conservation efforts that benefit tribal communities and honor their connections. with the lands and waters,” Crowfoot said. “The tribes have also identified a need for capacity building resources to participate more centrally in California’s conservation and climate efforts. This proposed funding can make this collaboration possible.
“Land preservation would allow more plants and soils to actually absorb this pollution from the atmosphere and store it in the earth. Nature is needed in this effort to fight climate change.
Celebration, concern over Newsom’s $100m proposal
Governor Newsom’s Tribal Advisor Christina Snider also said, “As we have heard in recent days, the removal of California’s Indigenous peoples and practices from the places where they have lived and thrived since time immemorial has had considerable negative impacts, including many of the climate challenges we are currently experiencing. This proposal, which anticipates a tribal-led and informed process, is a step in the right direction to begin to honor what the indigenous peoples of California have gone through and respectfully defer to tribal communities as the original inhabitants of this place.
Tribes responded positively to the proposed budget item over the weekend, but also warned of potential issues, such as multiple tribes claiming ownership of the same land, unrecognized tribes not receiving any of the proposed funding and tribes worried about the extent to which the state would oversee the distribution of funds.
“Many different tribes have competing land claims or are worried about being small enough to get nothing or worry about land prices,” said “Russell,” a tribal representative who asked to remain anonymous, in an interview. at the Globe. . “It would be a great boon for us, because we are very committed to the preservation of the land. A lot of people would think we’re just doing this for free land or some other selfish motive, but we really want to help the planet and keep these areas as they are. But there’s a lot of concern attached to all of this, so if it’s passed we’ll really have to figure out who gets what and other factors or else everything to protect California lands will come down to petty squabbles, and nobody wants that.
Others noted that the state should play a role in monitoring land to ensure it is properly preserved.
“If this happens, the state needs to make sure that the tribes are doing all their part to properly preserve these lands,” added Michael Carver, a land remediation contractor who has contracts with many states at the west of the Mississippi, at the Globe on Mondays. “Tribal lands, especially reservations, mean different rules. Since the laws are different, state departments sometimes don’t go there and things like cleaning the highways become the duties of the tribes. I have been on reservations for housekeeping and it is a nightmare as nothing was done regularly.
“California tribes have a much better track record and in many cases put the groups who adopt a highway to shame in terms of cleanliness. But the state still needs to make sure it does its part. The state is trying to sell this by paying the tribes $100 million now and saving many land maintenance costs later while still fulfilling the executive order mandate and currying favor with the tribes. But oversight is needed, and it needs to be clearer that the state will oversee at least some of it to truly succeed.
Newsom’s tribal lands proposal is currently part of his $286.4 billion budget proposal.