The Washoe people have inhabited the Carson Valley and the Lake Tahoe Basin for thousands of years. Situated within the tribe's ancestral homeland, the Conservancy's 805-acre preserve contains important populations of native plants including tule and willow that are culturally significant to the Washoe people.
The Washoe people continue to practice age-old traditions and the agreement between The Nature Conservancy and the Washoe Tribe allows for the continuation of traditional cultural practices, by allowing practitioners to harvest medicinal and utilitarian plants on the River Fork Ranch lands.
“The lives of the Washoe people have traditionally been linked to the natural systems we seek to conserve and we are honored to support their native cultural practices,” said Kathryn Landreth, The Nature Conservancy's Nevada state director.
This agreement simply formalizes one element of a longstanding collaborative relationship with the Washoe Tribe, she said.
“The Washoe Nation embraces the positive collaborative partnership with The Nature Conservancy,” said Wanda Batchelor, chairwoman of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California. “Washoe people are connected to their aboriginal homelands. We value the opportunity to gather basket materials and other medicinal plants to continue our cultural way of life.”
Article appeared in the Nevada Appeal.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.