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Forest Service-Potawatomi Ink Memorandum Of Understanding

Forest County Potawatomi Community

The Forest County Potawatomi Community and the U.S. Forest Service have signed a long-negotiated agreement to allow for more cooperation and government-to-government communication between the two parties. Both parties said the negotiations that concluded Wednesday with a signed agreement had been coming for two decades.

The agreement recognizes the Potawatomi as a sovereign nation and affirms the Forest Service’s commitment to this relationship. This includes natural resource management, forest and wildlife management, invasive species, water and air quality management; access to each other’s lands, roads and trails; historic preservation and cultural resource management; and training and education.

Forest County Potawatomi Chairman Gus Franks says this agreement makes sense to preserve the resources...

"...some of the cultural stuff. Our tribal people like to harvest. Medicines and plants they like to use. Some of them are only found in the National Forest lands itself...."

Forest Service Regional Forester Kathleen Atkinson says one concrete example of the agreement finds roads are open for access to all....

"...one great example is a road use agreement where we have formalized what roads we can work with...to have these roads open for access...."

She says the agreement if fairly unique and this is the first agreement with the Forest County Potawatomi Community.

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