Indian owned forest and woodlands cover nearly 18.6 million acres within the United States. Approximately 6 million acres of these lands are managed for commercial timber and provide more than $61 million in revenue and 19,000 jobs for families and communities across Indian Country.
For the Yakama these lands:
- Benefit from generations of intimate knowledge of the environment
- Offer ties to spiritual security and the comfort of Mother Nature
- Provide opportunities for social and societal stability
- Offer materials, foods and medicines for our health
- Support the individual, family, economic, and cultural needs of our People
A Yakama Nation General Council Resolution, GC-03-94, was passed in march 1994 by the Yakama Nation General Council who directed the Tribal Council to pass a sawmill operation to produce a value-added forest products program for the Yakama Indian Nation.
To maximize added value income and job opportunities through the manufacture and sale of forest products from the Nation’s annual timber harvest, for the benefit of the future Sovereign economy of the Yakama Nation and its members.
Yakama Forest Products is a successful and unique business enriching the quality of life of Yakama Tribal members by providing employment, lifetime and transferable skills and economic opportunity.
Respecting the Forest · Honoring the Past · Building the Future
Projects and Collaborative Efforts
Under the Tribal Forest Protection Act (TFPA) of 2004, tribes are uniquely positioned to helping the United States fulfill its trust responsibilities by promoting resource management on public lands in collaboration with federal agencies. In pairing tribal knowledge with modern management, the Yakama Nation and Yakama Forest Products have produced real accomplishments and model forest ecosystem programs of excellence.
Dry Stewardship Project Restoration, a “Win-Win” Strategy
In 2016, under the TFPA the Yakama Nation and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest entered a stewardship agreement to restore 548 acres of national forest lands in the Dry Creek drainage. The project included road surface repair, road decommissioning, cattle guard removal and commercial thinning of overstocked stands to provide additional restoration treatments. The tribe benefits by utilizing and processing the logs at Yakama Forest Products, thus supporting the local economy.
The Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative
In the Central Washington Cascades, five major land managers—the State Department of Fish and Wildlife, State Department of Natural Resources, The Nature Conservancy, USDA Forest Service and the Yakama Nation—signed an agreement in 2007 to form the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative (www.tapash.org), to coordinate, fund and implement active restoration projects to achieve landscape restoration goals.