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Chinquapin Springs Acorn Grove

RFFI and local tribal representatives have worked together for more than three years - planning and engaging the community - to establish the Chinquapin Springs Acorn Grove in the Usal Forest (see map).

Ron Lincoln with Large Chinquapin
Ron Lincoln, elder of the Wylaki Tribe, points to one of the large Chinquapin trees in the grove that gave birth to the name of the Chinquapin Springs Acorn Grove.
This grove will be used for acorn gathering by local Native Americans.

In July 2010, tribal peoples from all over California were invited by RFFI and the Wailaki Tribe Corporation to share in a tour of cultural restoration and native plant gathering. Visitors came from all over California to Usal Redwood Forest to learn about this project and to offer advice.

RFFI and their timberland manager, Campbell Timberland Management, LLC conducted studies on the areas, including archaeological studies by the State Archaeologist. Usal had been used historically by local native peoples for these same purposes. The State archaeologist identified a location in which no existing Native American artifacts will be disturbed.

The grove was dedicated in late summer 2012. The Cahto Tribe is providing coordination for tribal use of the grove. Native peoples from the Wailaki, Round Valley, and Cahto tribes are involved at this time. The Grove will open up myriad possibilities. The leaders of this project see many benefits, among them:

  • Teach others how to cook with acorns,
  • Include other California Tribes,
  • Teach youth traditional tribal ways,
  • Influence how the Usal Redwood Forest is managed,
  • Ceremonial use of the land,
  • Focus on all cultural uses such as reed and medicinal plant gather in addition to acorn gathering.

Most significantly they see the opportunity for the forest to act as a catalyst to bring tribal people together to teach cross-cultural respect for the land and educate youth in traditional tribal ways. For more information contact morgan@rffi.org.
 

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