Tribal Relations

Archeological ruin on clif

Tribes Have Strong Ties to the Manti-La Sal National Forest

Federally recognized tribes have strong cultural relationships with lands now managed by the Manti-La Sal National Forest. These include the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, Ute Mountain Ute, Southern Paiute, Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo of Zuni. These tribes have significant current and historical ties to the lands and resources within the National Forest. In addition, archeological and anthropological data and studies confirm that a number of Native People called the Forest home dating back to at least 12,000 years.

The Manti-La Sal National Forest contains some of the most important ancient American Indian cultural resources and landscapes in the Four Corners Region. It also contains significant ancient sites on the Wasatch Plateau. These resources span an estimated 12,000 years of human occupation and use of the lands within and adjacent to the Forest. Over 4,500 tribal cultural resource sites have been documented on the Forest.

Tribes maintain traditional connections with the Forest. This includes whole landscapes that encompass areas of tribal importance and plant communities. These are living parts of modern ceremonial life and are important sources of material for traditional ceremonial activities and economic pursuits. They serve as a way for modern tribal members to remember traditional knowledge, reconnect with traditional lands and to practice traditional ways. They also provide economic benefits to tribes through use of Forest resources.


How We Work With Tribes

Leaders from the Manti-La Sal National Forest meet often with Tribal Leaders to consult on matters of importance. Recently meetings have included discussions regarding Forest Plan Revision, Bears Ears National Monument Planning and establishing a program for free collection of Forest products. Work continues with American Indian Tribes in the area to address their concerns and to consult with them regarding projects on the Forest.

In addition, the Manti-La Sal National Forest helps support The Four Corners Youth Conservation Corps. It is made up of crews that include Native American  youth age 16 to 18. It is sponsored and managed by the Four Corners School of Outdoor Education. Each summer they are able to work on the Forest maintaining trails, building fence, restoring springs and doing other outdoor work on the Forest. Young people learn more about careers with the public lands agencies, and the agencies benefit from their hard work.