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Tribes sign option to buy Mazama Tree Farm
by Lee Juillerat, Herald and News October 29, 2008
The Klamath Tribes have signed an option agreement to purchase the 90,000-acre Mazama Tree Farm on former Klamath Indian Reservation lands from Fidelity National Financial. No purchase price has been disclosed.
The tree farm, which straddles Highway 97 for 24 miles between Spring Creek Hill and Chemult, has had various owners since the Tribes lost federal recognition in 1954.
Among the properties’ features, as listed in a 2006 online property sale ad, are frontage on the Williamson River and a system of logging roads. The property was offered for sale in 2006 with a minimum bid of $26 million.
Klamath Tribes spokesmen Jeff Mitchell and Will Hatcher said the property was attractive because triba l members retain hunting, fishing and gathering rights, and because it was former tribal lands.
Improving the health of the mostly lodgepole pine forest will be a priority.
“Under the right management approach, that land will continue to produce timber,” Hatcher said, noting it has been managed to produce about 8 million to 10 million board feet annually.
The forest also is expected to help supply a steady supply of timber to tribal managed businesses envisioned at the Tribes’ Giiwas Green Enterprise Park, the former Crater Lake Mill site 25 miles north of Chiloquin. (Giiwas is the Klamath Indian word for Crater Lake.)
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