USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region highlights co-stewardship with American Indian Tribes through story map

(PORTLAND, OR)- The USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region has published an interactive story map highlighting co-stewardship work occurring between American Indian Tribes and National Forests across Oregon and Washington.

“The Pacific Northwest is home to many Indigenous peoples and their cultures, traditions, and knowledge continue to define the Pacific Northwest today,” said Kristine Harper, Tribal Relations Specialist for the Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service and enrolled member of the Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska. “This story map displays how we are working with Tribal governments to incorporate this knowledge into our projects and activities across the region.”

The Forest Service is responsible for millions of acres of federal land where Tribes have reserved the right to hunt, fish, and pray by ratified treaties and agreements with the United States, according to a news release from the Forest Service. The Forest Service is tasked with managing these landscapes to be sustainable for future generations, which includes the natural and cultural resources they provide.

In the Pacific Northwest, the Forest Service has invested in co-stewardship opportunities with Tribes to collectively address the forest health and resilience challenges impacting the national forests and grasslands. The region’s new interactive story map highlights various initiatives and project work that the Forest Service has underway in partnership with Tribal governments in a manner that recognizes Tribal treaties, reserved rights and Indigenous knowledge. The story map will be updated as additional co-stewardship agreements are developed and project activities progress.

“By taking time to understand the deep connections that Indigenous Nations have with their ancestral homelands, we can make a greater difference in conserving our shared natural resources over the long-term,” said Merv George, Deputy Regional Forester for the Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service. “This co-stewardship approach helps us better honor treaty and other reserved rights and protect Tribal history and culture, while also increasing our ability to accomplish our mission.”

As an agency of the USDA, the Forest Service continually strives to be more diverse, open, and inclusive. This story map represents meaningful ways the Forest Service is living out the agency’s federal trust responsibility to conserve the treasured landscapes now and into the future. This is an important part of the agency’s overall commitment to strengthen nation-to-nation relationships, honor American Indian Tribal history and culture, and respect Tribal sovereignty. Additional information about the Forest Service’s Tribal Action Plan is available on the agency’s website at

For additional information about the Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region’s Tribal Relations Program visit: The Tribal Relations Interactive Story Map is available at: