Tribal Relations

All tribes whose aboriginal territories are now part of the Coronado National Forest (NF) are recognized as having important roles in the stewardship of the land. Traditional lands on the Forests provide a setting for the education of tribal youth in culture, history, and land stewardship. Interpretive and educational exhibits or other media that focus on the history of the Coronado NF, developed in collaboration or consultation with tribes, provide the general public with a greater understanding and appreciation of their history, culture, and traditions.

Traditional tribal uses, such as the collection of medicinal plants, wild plant foods, basketry materials, and fuel wood, are allowed. Tribal members have access to sacred sites for individual and group prayer and traditional ceremonies and rituals, and the integrity of sacred sites is maintained or improved whenever feasible. Forest employees understand the trust responsibilities that they have for tribes.

The Forest Service and Tribes work together to build respectful, collaborative relationships.  Tribal consultation mandated by the National Historic Preservation Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, other laws, treaties, and Executive Orders is conducted at early stages of planning and project design, so that tribal perspectives and information can be incorporated into decisions.  Decisions that the Forest Service makes are transparent, and reflect the results of tribal consultation.

Collaboration between tribes, Forest Service, BLM, state agencies, private foundations and landowners help create partnerships and facilitate management by landscape rather than jurisdiction. Tribes, the public, contractors, and researchers can cross from one federal agency’s jurisdiction to another without encountering contradictory rules or cumbersome red tape.