February 23, 2021
Smith River, CA
Contact: Troy Ralstin Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Executive Director, (707) 487-9255 x1220
Download Press Release

As the original inhabitants and stewards of the Smith River Plain an  Estuary the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation has been presented with a quintessential opportunity to return a critical portion of our unceded ancestral territory back under the rightful ownership and management of the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation. Reservation Ranch is located on the lower Smith River, and lies in the heart of the original 40,000 acre Smith River Indian Reservation of 1862. This land was secured by our ancestors through negotiations with California State Representatives who signed a Peace Treaty in 1855; however, neither the 1855 Treaty nor the 1862 Reservation were upheld, forcing our people to relocate from their homes and sacred place of Genesis. The property is currently for sale by the long-standing owners and is the subject of regulatory oversight for alleged extensive and egregious
California Coastal Act, California State Water Resources Control Board, and National Marine Fisheries Services violations resulting from current and past land management activities.

The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation is actively seeking support, allies and comments to assist in the reclamation of this sacred land for the purposes of restoring the natural habitat and diverse ecosystems, resulting in the protection and perpetuation of natural and cultural resources. Please visit our StoryMap (linked below) to learn more about the historical and cultural significance of this land and the extensive environmental issues that must be rectified. To express your support please contact the Nation via email:; or in writing:
140 Rowdy Creek Rd. Smith River, CA 95567.

The Natural Resources Department is seeking public comment on the ‘E’sr-k’aa-ni Traditional Plant Management Project. Public comment may be submitted until Wednesday, March 31 st at 5 pm by:

email to or
mail to 140 Rowdy Creek Rd
Smith River, Ca. 95567
Attn: Natural Resources

The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation’s goal for this project is to establish protocols based on Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), living culture, and western science to inform active management of tribal resources and lands; maintain cultural and community vitality; restore traditional management practices; support resilient and biodiverse habitats, and traditional plant restoration. Traditional plant restoration will be for food, medicine, and basketry/dye materials, as well as to improve local access to cultural practices and re-establish wildlife habitat.

We are asking for input regarding the plant management and preferred level of trail maintenance. We have completed a bio- inventory and trail assessment on the existing conditions at ‘E’sr-k’aa-ni. We are recommending managing for desired native species and removal and maintenance of non-native species. 

To learn more download ‘E’sr-k’aa-ni Public Comment

North Coast Regional Water Board Program for Discharges of
Waste Associated with the Production of Lily Bulbs.

Public Review of the Draft Smith River Plain Water Quality
Management Plan (SRPWQMP)

Regional Water Board staff have developed a draft SRPWQMP to address water quality associated with the cultivation and production of lily bulbs in the Smith River Plain.  The SRPWQMP is an adaptive management pollutant control plan that will provide information for the development of a Waste Discharge Regulation (WDR) permit for lily bulb growing operations in the Smith River watershed.  The SRPWQMP was developed by Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) staff at the direction of the Regional Water Board to address water quality impacts associated with lily bulb cultivation in the Smith River Plain. 

The plan sets up a program of implementation, monitoring, and reporting to the Regional Water Board and the public.  It includes a surface water monitoring program and an adaptive management process to assess effectiveness of program implementation.  The plan was developed with input from the Smith River Watershed Stewardship Team composed of lily bulb growers, natural resources agencies, the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, and the Smith River Alliance, a local restoration group.

The SRPWQMP is not a regulatory order, nor is it part of a Basin Plan Amendment process, and therefore will not be considered a regulatory action by the Regional Water Board.  The Regional Water Board staff in consult with the Smith River Watershed Stewardship Team will evaluate public comments for possible refinements to the SRPWQMP.  After the revisions, if any, are complete, the draft SRPWQMP will be considered by Regional Water Board’s Executive Officer for approval of the final plan. 

Draft Smith River Plain Water Quality Program

  • Draft Smith River Plain Water Quality Management Plan Public Review Draft – February 11, 2021

Comments on the draft SRPWQMP are due March 12, 2021 to:
(707) 576-6750 or mail to:
Regional Water Quality Control Board
c/o Ben Zabinsky
5550 Skylane Blvd., Suite A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Please email if you have questions or problems downloading the draft plan.  


Dear Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Citizens:

RE: No 1099’s issued for 2020 CERP/ COVID-19 Payments

Using funds received under the CARES Act, following the strict guidelines of the Act, the Council has enacted this COVID-19 Emergency Response Program (“CERP”), pursuant to Resolution No. 2020-25, an approved program under the Nation’s General Welfare Ordinance.

The CERP distribution is a General Welfare Benefit made in accordance with the General Welfare Doctrine and Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Rev. Proc. 2014-35, 26 C.F.R. § 601.601. As General Welfare Benefits, the Tribal Council deems that these funds are not includable in tribal citizens’ gross income and do not need to be reported on your tax filings as revenues.