Sonoma County seeks assurances from Pomo regarding timber

Clark Mason, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

The Kashia Band of Pomo Indians wants to expand its remote rancheria, and although Sonoma County officials are supportive, they want greater assurance to be able to weigh in on any timber harvest plans for the tribe’s newly acquired property.

The Kashia Pomos two years ago bought 480 forested acres next to their Stewarts Point Rancheria, about 30 miles north of Bodega Bay, with plans to preserve their cultural and spiritual sites and use the land for tribal gatherings.

“We don’t have a lot of really big, long-term plans for it,” Tribal Chairman Reno Franklin said Friday, adding that the tribe dismissed any possibility of a casino or commercial development due to the remote location.

Nor is the tribe’s intent to commercially harvest marijuana, as some tribes are pursuing.

“We take any drug use really seriously and don’t want to perpetuate it into the community,” he said. “We will not be entertaining, or considering in any way, marijuana cultivation on that land.”

The only intent, he said, is to “sustainably harvest timber.”

Because the 860-member tribe has applied to have its new property placed into federal trust — which would remove it from county jurisdiction and local land use and zoning guidelines — county officials want to see more analysis of foreseeable environmental impacts, in particular logging.

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