Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

After A Bad Fire Season, Northwest Tribes Question Federal Firefighting Priorities


This wildfire season has hit northwest tribal lands particularly hard. Firefighters’ first priority is “life and property.” But some tribal members wonder why protecting some kinds of property—like farms and even second homes— comes before tribal forest land.

Several inches of ash blanket the ground where a wildfire recently passed through a pine forest on the Colville Reservation. Most of the trees have scorched trunks and dull brown needles…but some could still bounce back. Cody Desautel, the tribe’s Natural Resources Director, grabs ahold of a scorched bough on a small sapling. “These buds in the end, see, they’ll still look pretty viable,” he says. “So next spring potentially these things could break bud and you could have green needles come out of this.”


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