Coquille Indian Tribe gains control over its forest

Jan 9, 2018

The Coquille Indian Tribe now has more control over its forest land.  

President Donald Trump signed the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act on Monday, the tribe announced in a press release.

The act "decouples" the Coquille from federal rules that limited the tribe’s autonomy in managing its own land. 


About 5,400 acres make up the Coquille Tribal Forest in eastern Coos County. The forest was established in 1996 to help the tribe support education and health care. But there was a catch —  the tribe had to manage its forest by the same rules governing nearby federal lands.


The Coquilles were the only tribe in the U.S. working under this rule.


Rep. Peter DeFazio sponsored the bill, and it passed the Senate in December. 


The new act also benefits two other tribes. It restores 17,500 acres of federal land to the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, and another 14,700 acres to the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw  Indians.