Resources

Living Downstream

Val Lopez webIn this podcast, “Environmental Justice for Non-Recognized Tribes,” you heard about the challenges faced by federally non-recognized tribes such as the North Fork Mono Tribe, the ytt Northern Chumash Tribe and the Amah Mutsun Tribe. These tribes are among 55 other indigenous communities in California that are not recognized by the local or federal government since the United States Senate declined to ratify 18 treaties in 1851 and 1852. Reporter Debra Utacia Krol also points out that California has the largest number of unrecognized tribes of any state in the U.S. For listeners who want to read more about these tribes and their importance to restoring and sustaining biodiversity in California, we have included additional resources on this page. 

What tribes are federally non-recognized in California? The Office of Historic Preservation in California lists non-recognized tribes in California and other states in the U.S. In contrast, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) lists federal and state recognized tribes by state

[Photo: Valentin Lopez. Credit: Debra Utacia Krol]

The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band is one of the non-recognized tribes in California working on environmental and cultural restoration as well as protecting their ancestral sites. Amah Mutsun created a land trust to restore, conserve and protect the Popeloutchom lands. Their website also includes a map of the Amah Mutsun’s traditional territory spanning areas in San Benito, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Año Nuevo State Park in Santa Cruz County is one such restoration project undertaken by the Amah Mutsun through their land trust. 

The ytt Northern Chumash Tribe in San Luis Obispo County has similar cultural protection goals as Amah Mutsun. They outline these goals on their website. The North Fork Mono Tribe website describes their tribe’s history and environmental protection projects. 

Several state laws and policies providing protection to non-recognized tribes in California include executive order b-10-11, signed by Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr. in 2011. The executive order outlines several policies such as the inclusion of tribal members in state policy discussions that may affect the tribes. In addition, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) provides cultural protections for federally non-recognized tribes since its amendment in 2014. Assembly Bill 52 also provides legal standing to non-recognized tribes if a project under CEQA occurs on the tribe’s lands. 

State agencies have also made other efforts to ensure the rights of California tribes. The California Coastal Commission adopted a Tribal Consultation Policy to enhance outreach and collaboration with Native American Tribes. The California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC) also makes efforts to protect tribes’ cultural resources and ancestral sites.



A quick guide to the resources linked on this page:

Environmental News

  • Prevent Wildfires
    October 03, 2019

    Smokey the Bear Has Affected Forest Management for Decades

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    September 06, 2019

    Study Shows Climate Change Could Threaten Oyster Habitat

    Research from the University of California at Davis published last month shows that climate change could dramatically shrink oyster habitat. KRCB’s Adia White visited Hog Island Oyster Company on Tomales Bay to find out how this will affect local businesses. (An employee sorts oysters ahead of a…
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    August 29, 2019

    Controlled Burns Could Help Prevent California's Megafires

    Over the past two years, California has been devastated by the worst wildfires in its history. As those fires continue to grow in frequency and intensity, the state has begun to fight fire with fire. Felicity Barringer, editor and lead writer at the Bill Lane Center for the American West talked…
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    Gray Whale Mystery

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    Experts Showcase Fire Resistant Building Materials

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    Jun 12, 2019

    Why Food Reformers Have Mixed Feelings About Eco-Labels

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    Jun 08, 2019

    Living Downstream: The Klamath Water Wars

    This is the story of a 15-year conflict over what would be the biggest dam removal ever, a modern cowboys and Indians tale that shows how victories…
  • Jun 07, 2019

    Against All Odds, Paradise Students Graduate on Home Campus

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    Jun 04, 2019

    Grist Finds Link Between Pollution and Infant Death in San Bernardino

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    May 30, 2019

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    May 29, 2019

    Sonoma County Inspects Rural Properties for Fire Safety

    Sonoma County is inspecting homes and properties to make sure that owners have cleared weeds and cut overgrown grass on their lots. This is the first…
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    May 24, 2019

    KRCB TV Highlights the Wine Industry’s Unsung Heroes

    From the history of the region to the people behind the scenes, there are many untold stories about winemaking in the North Bay. In the Independent…
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    May 23, 2019

    Local Activists Bring Green New Deal Principles to Sonoma

    Environmental activists and concerned community members rallied at a town hall last week to discuss options for confronting climate change. The event…
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    May 15, 2019

    Hope for Sonoma's Coast; Other Calif. Areas Under Siege

    On May 15, Sonoma County residents concerned about climate change and the economy will get together in Santa Rosa to talk about the Green New Deal.…
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    May 14, 2019

    Sonoma County Activists Address Climate Change at Town Hall

    Local environmental activists are coming together for a town hall tonight to discuss options for confronting climate change. The event is hosted by…
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    Apr 29, 2019

    FEMA Hosts Disaster Preparedness Symposium in Santa Rosa

    According to FEMA, the City of Santa Rosa has rebuilt quickly compared with other cities hit by major disasters. FEMA held its emergency preparedness…

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