Date: June 5, 2019 

Contacts: Six Rivers National Forest, Bridget Litten, (707) 441-3673 

Tolowa Dee-ni′ Nation, Briannon Fraley, (707) 487-9255 x1125 



Smith River, CA – On Thursday, May 23, 2019, the Six Rivers National Forest (Forest) of the U.S. Forest Service and the Tolowa Dee-ni′ Nation (Tribe) entered into a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The document is the result of a two-year negotiation and is built upon the existing government-to-government partnership. 

The MOU provides for increased opportunity for the Forest and the Tribe to work together on projects of mutual interest and responsibility. The agreement recognizes the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation’s inherent sovereignty and stewardship responsibilities of tribal aboriginal lands and territory that also exist within the Six Rivers National Forest. 

Denise Richards Padgette, Chairwoman for the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, said, “with a majority of our aboriginal territory being federally protected lands, this agreement is paramount to revitalizing cultural practices and sharing of information with the Forest Service in an effort to inform modern-day management practices.” 

The Tribe and the Forest have agreed to meet twice a year on a government-to-government level to build upon the strong working relationship that supports the Tribe’s involvement in the management of Tribal resources and interests located within Six Rivers National Forest lands. The parties stated that this agreement would work towards achieving common goals rooted in the principles of stewardship, education and the preservation and management of natural and cultural resources within the Forest. 

The agreement places significant emphasis on the organized sharing of information between the Tribe and the Forest, with specific expectations on meeting times and frequent communication. The MOU will further serve to eliminate duplicative efforts made by the Tribe and the Forest, resulting in an increase in effective practices of each participating party. 

“We want to build upon the relationship we already have with the Tolowa Dee-ni′ Nation,” said Ted McArthur, forest supervisor for the Six Rivers National Forest. Adding, “As an agency, the Forest Service is looking at moving towards ecological restoration on a landscape scale. Working with our partners, like the Tolowa Dee-ni′ Nation who have managed these landscapes for generations, will help us move in that direction.” 

In the future, the Tribe and the Forest intend on entering into an appropriate wildland fire management and incident response agreement that will cover wildland fire activity within the shared lands of interest. 

About the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation 

The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation is a federally recognized, self-governing Indian Nation governed by the Tribal Council, which is comprised of seven (7) elected members. The Mission of the Nation is, [t]o exert and protect the inherent sovereignty endowed upon the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation to promote our tribal identity, and the wellbeing of our people, community, and environment by building a strong foundation, managing resources, and perpetuating our cultural lifeways and legacy. 

With over 1,800 tribal citizens, and an aboriginal territory that spans from Sixes River in Oregon to Wilson Creek in California, the Tribe has a Bureau of Indian Affairs five county near reservation service area that includes Humboldt and Del Norte counties in California and Curry, Coos and Josephine counties in Oregon. 54% of our population lives within the service area, with the highest resident population being Del Norte County at 30%, and the second being Curry County at 12%. 

About the U.S. Forest Service 

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 30 percent of the nation’s surface drinking water to cities and rural communities and approximately 66 million Americans rely on drinking water that originated from the National Forest System. The agency also has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 900 million forested acres within the U.S., of which over 130 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. 

Xeriscaping is the process of landscaping or gardening that drastically reduces or altogether eliminates the need for the watering of plants. Pronounced “zeroscaping”, and stemming from the Greek work “xeros” meaning dry, the word literally means “dry landscape”. The term and practice can be traced back to Denver in the 1970’s and 80’s, which was undergoing a difficult drought period and was thus on the hunt for creative solutions. Xeriscaping is oftentimes primarily used to conserve water, typically in dry areas, but it can be utilized in wetter areas like Smith River as well to make smart use of water resources. This can especially come in handy in drier than average years. 

The process typically involves utilizing native species, as well as non-living ornamental features like rocks, to replace a typical grass lawn. By replacing grass lawns you reduce the need for fertilizers, consistent water input (either via rain or irrigation), and mowing. Xeriscaping can not only save you money on water and fertilizer in the long run, but it can save you time and stress over keeping your lawn artificially green and short. You do not even have to totally eliminate Kentucky bluegrass, the grass typically used for lawns. A mere reduction in area of lawn grass is a great step forward from a water conservation perspective, and additionally can provide habitat for pollinators and other animals. Additionally, xeriscaping adds diversity to your plant species and improves overall aesthetics. The usage of pathways through your lawn, as well as mulch or rock to fill between plants, can really help round out your yard. 

One of the key principles of xeriscaping is to group up plants that need similar amounts of water, so that if you do need to water you do not overwater plants while still ensuring that they get the water they require. The most important decision involved with xeriscaping is in deciding what to grow. For Smith River, you are going to want plants that can tolerate the wet, cool winters and then make it through the dry, warmer summers without requiring much additional water. 

Now for a look at a list of just a few of the plants that can successfully be utilized in xeriscaping here in Smith River. Evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) shrubs love the regular rain we get during typical winters and additionally can tolerate drought during dry summers, making them good candidates for local water conservation efforts. The huckleberries are edible to humans and songbirds alike, and deer, elk and grouse can also browse on the foliage. 

Another solid choice is Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium), as it is very drought tolerant but can tolerate the downpours that we get here fairly often. The shrub is adapted to grow in poor soil types and tolerate browsing by ungulates like deer and its flowers attract bees. 

Wood or coastal strawberry is another fine addition to the list (Fragaria spp.) Energetic growers, strawberries spread by far-reaching runners carrying new offsets that can be left in place or easily transplanted to other spots in the garden. Left alone, it will form a lush, textured surface to the ground. Because of this underlying webwork of runners, Fragaria is useful as a soil-binding groundcover in coastal gardens as well as inland, especially the coastal F. chiloensis, which is evergreen. 

Manzanita (Arctospahylos spp.) shrubs are a good xeriscaping option because as they stay green all-year because their roots stretch to find damp areas. Their large stems can be used for firewood, and their white flowers attract butterflies. 

Finally, there is the Red Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum). It is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 13 feet tall. It grows near the coast and is very a flexible plant that can tolerate water and exposure. 

These are just a few options that fit well with the Smith River climate and precipitation patterns and offer various benefits to humans and wildlife alike. For more options, you could search online, inquire in a store that sells native plants, or check in with the natural resources department. It is important to be careful and check what variety of plant you are getting as one of the goals of xeriscaping is to benefit pollinators and other native wildlife species, and many stores specifically sell varieties of native plants designed not to attract pollinators or other wildlife. 

Article written by Brian Wagenaar, Watershed Stewards Program Member with the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Natural Resources Department Water Department, with assistance from Kagat McQuillen and Cynthia Ford with the Habitat and Wildlife Department. 

The TDN Department of Community and Family Services through a grant from the Department of Justice Systems and Alcohol and Substance Abuse program is pleased to announce that we have contracted with a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor to provide needed service in the TDN service area. The intent is to provide services to reduce the incidence of child abuse/neglect, youth delinquency, ATOD use and prevention services. 

The contractor is Michael Harling. Mr. Harling has over 24 years in the field of Human Services and AOD counseling 12 years nonprofessional and 12 years professional. He worked in a Residential Treatment facility in 2007 as support staff and worked his way up to Supervising Counselor then House Manager. Over the past eight years he worked in the prison system as a Journey level counselor as well as a transitional counselor. 

The Substance Abuse Program will provide services to TDN citizens and directly operate prevention, intervention, and/or substance abuse treatment programs including afterhours counseling and groups. 

The program will provide immediate access to services in the TDN Service Area. The purpose is to provide services to adults, youth and families who are in need of treatment. Referrals will come through CFS and be available to all programs and services. Mr. Harling will also assist CFS in developing necessary program design, policy and procedures to directly provide prevention, intervention, and/or substance abuse treatment programs. 

For more information contact Community & Family Services at 




Ages 7-13 August 6-8, 2019 at Shaa-xu’-xat (Rowdy Creek Park)

Camp Will Include: 

 Dee-ni’ Wee-ya’ (Language) 

 Traditional Activities 

For More Information on Attending Camp or Job Opportunities During Camp, Contact the Education Department at 707-487-9255 ext. 1190