The Esselen Tribe of Big Sur regain some of their land -The Optimist Daily and other sources

This is not about our Peninsula, nor the Pacific NW. But the story how this tiny West Coast tribe, almost wiped out and by most people, assumed dead and gone, have revived themselves and their lands, is a story worth telling. As many of you know, there is a famous “new age” retreat here, primarily by and for wealthy white people, (I only reference the images on their web site that are almost uniformly white) called the Esselen Institute. There is no mention on their web site that their name is derived from the native tribe who’s land they sit on. No honor to the tribe at all.

 

The coast here is supremely rugged, and the people who chose to live here must also have been very experienced in living in this unique environment. They were, by all accounts, a gentle and peaceful people. Not a warrior tribe. They unfortunately apparently trusted the Spanish who turned against them quite quickly.

Anyone who has visited the coast of Monterey and south, can only imagine what it must have been like being able to subsist off vast amounts of seafood, shellfish and rivers teaming with salmon, along with acorns, camas, and other flora further inland . The rivers there held runs (and still do) of steelhead. According to the Western Rivers Conservancy, who bought the land and donated it to the tribe, “The ranch’s ridgetop grasslands and giant redwoods are ideal feeding and nesting habitat for California condor, and wildlife biologists predict the land will become part of the expanding range of recovery for this endangered bird”

All of this in one of the most hospitable climates outside of Italy. In my mind, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and an astonishingly welcome place for human habitation. It is no wonder why these people settled here. Now, a small correction to the incomparable suffering of these people over the last couple of hundred years, as they were driven out of their homes to be enslaved by Spaniards, beaten by priests, and ignored and murdered by whites, looking to settle their land, is being righted.

According to Wikipedia: “About 460 individuals have identified themselves as descendants of the original Esselen people and banded together to form a tribe.” After an extended battle for the ability to be accepted as a tribe, due to the work of the Western Rivers Conservancy, land along the Little Sur river have been bought for them.

We are living in an age of recovery. While recovery of natural habitats is important, as important is the recovery of native peoples to the lands they lived on, in a balance with nature, for thousands of years. Their struggle and their true love of their lands continues to be a guidepost for those of us moving from a culture of imperialism, war, racism and conquest, to one of balance, cultural diversity and peace. The work has barely begun and has a long time before it can be called, “complete”. If ever.

View of Adler Ranch, Big Sur, California Photo by Doug Steakley

 


The story below would be more accurate if it had said, “…were forcibly removed from their lands and enslaved in Spanish missions.” That is the truth of the matter.

After 250 years, the Esselen tribe has reclaimed their homelands

In 1770, the people of the Esselen Tribe of northern California were forcibly removed from their lands and brought to Spanish missions. But now, after more than 250 years, the Esselen tribe is landless no more.

This week, the Esselen tribe finalized the purchase of a 1,200-acre ranch near Big Sur, along California’s north-central coast, as part of a $4.5 million acquisition that involved the state and an Oregon-based environmental group. The deal signifies a return to their ancestral homelands. It is also a big win for environmentalists as the tribe will conserve old-growth redwoods and endangered wildlife such as the California condor and red-legged frog, as well as protect the Little Sur River, an important spawning stream for the imperiled steelhead trout.

 

https://www.optimistdaily.com/2020/07/after-250-years-the-esselen-tribe-has-reclaimed-their-homelands/

and

http://www.westernrivers.org/blog/entry/protectingacriticalstreamintheheartofbigsur

 

 

 

 

Greta Thunberg’s Summer – BBC Radio

 

Where in the world has Greta Thunberg been, while the world has struggled with COVID-19? Putting together her radio broadcast of her remarkable last year on the road. She ties it all together with how climate change and COVID are interrelated, and what must come next. Don’t miss this incredible radio broadcast, but give yourself some time. It’s an hour and a twenty minutes long. You can download it from this link at the BBC. A great production.

Things may look dark and hopeless, but I’m telling you there is hope. And that hope comes from the people, from democracy, from you. From the people who more and more themselves are starting to realize the absurdity of the situation. The hope does not come from politics, business or finance. And that’s not because politicians or businesspeople are evil. But because what is needed right now simply seems to be too uncomfortable, unpopular and unprofitable.

Public opinion is what runs the free world, and the public opinion necessary is today nonexisting, the level of knowledge is too low.

But there are signs of change, of awakening. Just take the metoo movement, blacklivesmatter or the schoolstrike movement for instance. It’s all interconnected. We have passed a social tipping point, we can no longer look away from what our society has been ignoring for so long. Whether it is sustainability, equality, or justice.

If you don’t want to listen to it, or don’t have the time, you can find the whole thing on Time Magazine. https://time.com/5863684/greta-thunberg-diary-climate-crisis/

The radio download is here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08kbsm0

 

Hello? Puget Sound Partnership? – Guest Blog on Salish Sea Communications

I think Pete speaks for many of us, very frustrated at the endless planning and prioritization sessions that the Partnership foists on us. In the end, we need more money on the ground, being spent on a wide range of projects and education of the population.

Hello?  Puget Sound Partnership?  Do you suppose you could take a little break from meetings and planning and strategizing and round up some ammunition to send my way?

http://salishseacommunications.blogspot.com/2017/11/hello-puget-sound-partnership.html

EVENT: Day of Science in Port Angeles – APRIL 22nd.

Science Celebration Flyer final

EVENT: Oily Boids Get the Training in PA! April 8 and 15

Oiled Wildlife Flyer 2017Clallam Marine Resources Committee is offering two free oiled wildlife training April 8th and April 15th.

Clallam MRC is offering two free oiled wildlife training April 8 and April 15, 2017

The class April 8 will cover:

  • Health & safety.  Facility requirements
  • Bird anatomy & family characteristics, live & dead specimen practice sessions
  • Effects of oil & secondary complications
  • Hands-on bird anatomy and basic examination
  • Bird handling, intubation / hydration

Maximum 25 participants

The class April 15 will cover:

  •  Health & safety.  Facility requirements
  •  Bird anatomy & family characteristics, live & dead specimen practice sessions
  •  Effects of oil & secondary complications
  •  Search & collection planning
  •  Search & collection procedures (netting, stalking, teamwork, gear)
  •  Initial “beak-to-tail” examination & treatment
  •  Bird handling, intubation / hydration

Maximum 30 participants

Registration:

To register online go to http://www.clallamcountymrc.org/  You can choose one or the other or come to both classes.

For both classes bring:

  • Lunch – snacks will be provided
  • Comfortable, casual, warm layered clothes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty
  • For April 15 – rain gear, sturdy boots (waterproof if possible), sunglasses, hat, and binoculars

 

Ever wonder about that foam on rivers? – ADN.com

Having just returned from a river rafting trip on the John Day in Oregon, this thought crossed my mind. And of course, someone has recently written about it on the Internet. Enjoy.

While sitting in the front of a canoe on a twisty Alaska creek, my daughter asked to steer closer to the riverbank. She wanted to grab some suds. There, caught in the elbows of fallen trees, were quivering mounds of white foam.

Foam is floating on most Alaska waterways this summer. Years ago, when I first saw yellowish suds on a creek that ran behind my cabin, I thought of something man-made and nasty spilled upstream. But the Pearl Creek foam and other globs seen far from towns are probably natural.

http://www.adn.com/alaska-news/environment/2016/06/11/ever-wonder-about-that-foam-on-alaskas-rivers-heres-what-it-is/

EVENT: WSU Naturalist Training

2016 Bn Trn Info

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