Makah tribe buys 3,000 acres near Lake Ozette in Washington state for timber harvesting, using half its recent US$25M settlement from U.S. government; tribe plans to continue increasing land base

LOS ANGELES , June 29, 2012 () –

Approximately 3,000 acres near Lake Ozette, Washington, has been bought by the Makah tribe for harvesting timber, and the tribe aims to continue to increase its land base, reported the Peninsula Daily News on June 26.

The tribe paid $12.5 million for the 3,000 acres within the Olympic Range Tree Farm. Tribal Chairman Micah McCarty said on June 26 the funding came from a US$25-million settlement the tribe received from the U.S. government. The Makah was the first of 41 tribes to receive money from a $1-billion settlement and the only tribe on the North Olympic Peninsula.

The settlement, which was announced by the Justice Interior departments in April, is for royalties for oil, gas, grazing and timber rights on tribal lands and money lost in mismanaged accounts, the Peninsula Daily News reported.

The Makah Forestry Enterprises (MFE), which was established to foster economic development for the tribe, intends to become more directly involved in timber resources and increase its timber holdings, said McCarty.

In 2005, MFE paid more than $6 million to buy 3,811 acres from Cascade Timberlands LLC, said McCarty. The land had been ceded by the tribe to the U.S. government in the 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay, said Tribal General Manager Meri Parker, reported the Peninsula News.

The Makah tribe has complete control over how to spend the settlement money, said Michael J. Lawrence, vice chairman of the Makah Tribal Council, in an April letter to tribal members. .

The primary source of this article is the Peninsula Daily News, Port Angeles, Washington, on June 26, 2012.

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