Forest Service and Tribal Government Relations at the Cleveland National Forest
Howard, Cynthia Denise
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Upon an examination of the structure of relations between the Cleveland National Forest and the Tribal Governments in the area, it becomes evident that the relations are either non-existent or lacking shared concerns. The Forest Service has a set of announced goals that Cleveland aspires to maintain in their relations with local tribes. There are particular objectives when dealing with the tribes and policies that guide the Forest Service to accomplish these. The Tribal Government Program, within Cleveland National Forest, has appointed managers who are assigned to follow through with the objectives, however, there is a question as to whether the goals of the program are clear to all the employees involved. There are many instances when the Forest needs to deal with the American Indians. For example, the Forest Service within Cleveland includes a group of fire-fighters called the Red Hawks, made up mostly of American Indians from the surrounding reservations that help to protect their reservation lands and the surrounding Forest land. The employees who deal with American Indian issues are all responsible for knowing the policies made up by the administration, or Leadership Team in the Forest Supervisor's Office of the Cleveland National Forest. The Forest Service has designed a Special Emphasis Program with managers (SEPM) that deal specifically with one minority group. The SEPM works to promote awareness and understanding throughout the Forest community about the minority group. Through an examination of all components involved in the relations of the Forest Service's Cleveland National Forest and the Tribal Governments in the southern California region I hope to propose alternatives for the present ways in which the Forest Service consults with the tribes. I plan to explore the dynamics of the relations in terms of the intended interactions with focus on the economic, bureaucratic, and social aspects. Drawing references from Forest Service and Tribal government experiences and examples from sources that I either witnessed or read, I will explore Forest Service and American Indian concerns.
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