In 2011, the Yurok Tribe became one of the first participants in the California Cap and Trade program. Currently, the Yurok Tribe manages two Improved Forest Management projects referred to as Phase 1 and the CKGG projects, totaling over 30,000 acres of pristine forest lands. The forward-looking projects have put the Tribal government in a position to significantly advance its social, economic, cultural and environmental restoration goals.
Participating in the Cap and Trade Program has also enabled the Yurok Tribe to re-acquire approximately 50,000 acres of forest within the Yurok ancestral territory from a large timber company and others. Located near the Klamath River, these lands are holistically managed to achieve several objectives, including: carbon sequestration, old growth forest restoration, watershed restoration and sediment reduction, anadromous fisheries restoration, cultural preservation, endangered species protection and climate change resilience. In addition, these lands are once again accessible to tribal members for cultural uses, such as gathering basket making materials as well as traditional medicines and foods. The Tribe’s cutting-edge, traditional ecological knowledge-driven and conservation-based approach to land management aims to improve the long-term food security, health, and wellbeing of Yurok Tribal people in the present and for generations to come.