Photo of three women, an older woman, a middle age woman and a young girl, smiling holding baskets

Mission

Maidu Summit Consortium & Conservancy is a non-profit group representing nine member organizations of Maidu Indians of Lassen and Plumas Counties, in their united quest to protect and steward our traditional homelands.

Our lands conservation projects focus on sacred sites and critical habitats that are integral to our goal of enhancing the resources that allow for the lifeways of the Maidu People.

We are forming partnerships with local groups that are also focused on protecting land. There is a mutual benefit among our partners, as we each work together to improve the wilderness management models used historically by various agencies and conservation groups. This change reflects a growing awareness that these models critically lack the traditional understanding of local resources and particular stewardship practices that will enhance the environment for all who share it.

Our nine original member organizations include: Greenville Rancheria, Maidu Cultural Development Group, Maiduk Weye, Mountain Maidu Historical Preservation Association, Roundhouse Council, Susanville Indian Rancheria, Tasmam Koyom Foundation, Tsi-Akim Maidu, and the United Maidu Nation.

The Maidu Summit Consortium & Conservancy envisions re-acquired ancestral lands as a vast and unique park system dedicated to the purposes of education, healing, protection, and ecosystem management based upon the Maidu cultural and philosophic perspectives, as expressed through traditional ecology.  These goals are achieved through the use of ancestral lands as places for the demonstration of Maidu traditional ecology and for the perpetuation of the unique culture from which that traditional ecology was derived.  We also envision reacquisition of ancestral lands as an opportunity for education about social justice through their use to demonstrate a process toward building greater social harmony and the on-the-ground application of the idea of ‘celebrating cultural diversity’ through real empowerment of a minority cultural population.  Healing can begin through the process of righting past wrongs. The healing will be on the part of the Maidu who can begin to rebuild their cultural lives, and on the part of society in general through restoration of faith in national ideals and the basic enactment of justice.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

 

Projects

Photo of a beautiful mountain valley with hills in the distanceThe Maidu Summit Consortium & Conservancy announced with profound satisfaction, in November, 2013, that it had successfully received recommendation for the land grant of 2,325 lush and pristine acres of Sierra Nevada mountain meadow, at Tásmam Kojóm (Humbug Valley), with its two year-round streams and its plentiful cold-water springs.

This beautiful site was and continues to be the home of many Maidu descendants from that area. Though a long period of suffering was endured during the 20th century, when Maidu People had been displaced at that site due to cultural and economic encroachment, present-day descendants of men like Syntonum, the Valley’s Headman of his time, still flock to Tásmam Kojóm as faithful pilgrims to their homeland. This has occurred for countless generations…

… and now, the Maidu Summit Consortium & Conservancy is on the cusp of presenting this property to the people of the Maidu Community. We are currently engaged in the multi-party land grant transaction and another year will be needed to finalize the complicated business related to the conveyance. A land management plan is currently being developed for the site. More information on this can be found below.

Humbug Valley will be place to go and continue practicing old traditions. A place where teaching the critical knowledge of the local indigenous people to their youth can occur; and to the public. Another great outcome is that Humbug Valley can now serve as a model for other Indian organizations seeking to successfully implement their own strategic partnerships with California agencies, as was pivotal to our success.

Lake Almanor lands acquisition

The Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Counsel has recommended that Maidu Summit Consortium & Conservancy receive five separate parcels of land within the Lake Almanor planning unit. The map below details the site locations and sizes.

Tásmam Kojóm Land Management Plan: Description of Phases and Tasks

The Project involves the preparation of the Humbug Valley Land Management Plan (LMP) to guide the long-term protection, restoration, and enhancement of the Humbug Valley Property. The LMP will be implemented by the Maidu Summit Consortium (MSC) consistent with conservation easements to be held by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Feather River Land Trust (FRLT). The LMP will inform the fee title transfer process for PG&E Watershed Lands to the MSC, and execution of the conservation easement. The LMP will guide the protection and enhancement of Beneficial Public Values and the integration of traditional knowledge and practices of the Maidu people into management of the property as key elements of the vision for the land.

Protection: The LMP will provide for the long-term protection of natural and cultural resources on the Humbug Valley Property. The LMP will inform the land transfer and execution of a conservation easement consistent with the Stewardship Council’s Beneficial Public Values.

Restoration: The LMP will include restoration concepts within the plan for Yellow Creek and other habitat restoration projects on the Humbug Valley property. The LMP will identify specific land and forest management actions for future implementation. Traditional ecological knowledge will infuse the restoration approaches in the plan.

Improvement: The LMP will identify necessary improvement projects consistent with the Stewardship Councils Beneficial Public Values, such as campground facility improvements, trails, or interpretive projects.

The Humbug Valley LMP will be developed in two phases. An overview of each phase and task is provided below, followed by a scope of work for each task. The scope of work for each task includes an approximate timeline for that task. Individual tasks do not need to occur sequentially, and there will be overlap in the timeline for tasks as shown in the Project Timeline at the end of this Scope of Work.

 

Phase I – Resource Assessments and Analysis

Task 1: Phase I Project Management and Coordination

Task 2: Project Initiation

Task 3:  Consultations and Literature Search

Task 4:  Site-Specific Analysis

Task 5:  Surveys and Mapping

Task 6:  Plan Vision, Opportunities, and Constraints

Task 7: Environmental Compliance Strategy

 

Phase II – Land Management Plan Development

Task 8: Phase II Project Management and Coordination

Task 9: Resource Group Workshops

Task 10: Plan Development

Task 11: Prepare Administrative Draft LMP

Task 12: Revised Draft and Final LMP

 

PHASE I: RESOURCE ASSESSMENTS AND ANALYSIS

Task 1: Phase I Project Management and Coordination

MSC and Ascent will provide ongoing project management and coordination throughout the planning process. This will include maintaining a collaborative working relationship between partner organizations (e.g., the MSC CDFW, and FRLT). Ascent will coordinate and oversee the work of sub-contractors and facilitate regular meetings by conference call or in person at least monthly. These coordination calls or meetings will serve to review progress in the planning process and resolve and issues that may arise.

Task 1 Timeline: 5 months

Task 1 Deliverables:

• Five sets of meeting agendas and notes

 

Task 2: Plan Initiation

Ascent will coordinate and attend an LMP kickoff meeting with the MSC, CDFW, and other stakeholders as determined by MSC. The purpose of the kickoff meeting will be to establish communication and deliverable review protocols, to gather available information, refine the planning process and schedule, and identify known issue areas or topics that may require special consideration. The team (MSC, CDFW, and Ascent) will also discuss the overall vision for the property. The Ascent team will provide meeting notes and a detailed project schedule documenting the outcomes of the plan initiation meeting.

Task 2 Timeline: less than 1 month

Task 2 Deliverables:

• Meeting materials and summary notes documenting key decisions

 

Task 3: Consultations and Literature Search

The Ascent team will first review information collected on Humbug Valley through the PG&E and Stewardship Council program of evaluating planning units and the ethnographic report prepared by MSC. Ascent will also create a list of agencies, organizations, and individuals that could have relevant information or knowledge about Humbug Valley property. After review of the draft list by the MSC and CDFW, the Ascent team will contact identified entities to gather available existing data and information. It is assumed that the team will contact Lassen and Plumas National Forests, Plumas Corporation, Plumas County, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), and relevant University staff and members of the Maidu community with specific technical data and knowledge. The Ascent team will also query available databases, including the California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB) and the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) Inventory for data on special-status species.

Task 3 Timeline: 1 month

Task 3 Deliverables:

• Compiled resources library and existing conditions documentation

• CNDDB and CNPS data summaries

 

Task 4: Site-Specific Analysis

The Ascent team will review information gathered through the consultations and literature search. After review of existing information, the team will organize and conduct reconnaissance-level field surveys of the Humbug Valley property to verify information gathered from other sources and fill information gaps. Field surveys will document existing conditions related to natural resources (e.g., vegetation communities and habitat types), public uses, facilities, locations of traditional practices, cultural resources, and other topics necessary to inform the LMP. Ascent will also organize and attend an on-site tour with MSC and CDFW staff, and other partners or tribal constituents, as determined by MSC, to discuss management issues, potential facilities, future uses, and restoration needs. After completing the review of available information and field surveys, the Ascent team will prepare a conceptual LMP outline identifying management issues to be addressed. The team will also prepare a brief memo identifying any critical information gaps for MSC and CDFW review and comment.

Task 4 Timeline: 2 months

Task 4 Deliverables:

• Field notes, photographs, and survey data

• Conceptual LMP outline

• Memo identifying critical data gaps (if any)

 

Task 5: Surveys and Mapping

The Ascent team will coordinate with the MSC and CDFW to identify natural resource or cultural resource surveys, mapping, or other data collection necessary to fill critical data gaps. Ascent will work collaboratively with the MSC, CDFW, and volunteers to identify the most efficient staff to complete each survey or mapping task. The exact survey and mapping tasks will be determined after completion of tasks 3 and 4, and identification of critical information gaps, but specific survey or mapping tasks could include trail mapping, protocol-level surveys for special status species, campground use surveys, cultural resource surveys, or mapping of habitat degradation and restoration opportunities. The Ascent GIS specialist and planners will prepare draft maps for inclusion in the LMP, such as maps depicting existing conditions, vegetation communities and habitat types, management zones and use areas, property and easement boundaries, cultural resources, and other resource or topic-specific maps.

Task 5 Timeline: 3 months

Task 5 Deliverables:

• Base map and resource maps

 

Task 6:  Plan Vision, Opportunities, and Constraints

Ascent will synthesize the information collected through the consultations and literature search, site-specific analysis, and surveys and mapping. Based on this information, Ascent will prepare an issues, opportunities, and constraints memo. The memo will include a draft LMP vision statement based on input received during previous tasks. The memo will identify key management issues and decisions, as well as opportunities and constraints related to restoration, recreation or other site improvements. The memo in combination with the surveys, mapping, and analysis completed in prior tasks will provide a comprehensive overview of existing conditions and management opportunities constraints and decisions necessary to prepare the Land Management Plan.

Task 6 Timeline: 2 months

Task 6 Deliverables:

• LMP Vision Statement

• Issues, Opportunities, and Constraints Memo

 

Task 7: Environmental Compliance Strategy

Ascent and the MSC will coordinate with potential CEQA lead agencies (i.e., CDFW, CPUC, and Plumas County) to develop an environmental compliance strategy for the LMP and future restoration and implementation projects that would implement the LMP. The environmental compliance strategy will determine whether the LMP would qualify for a Categorical Exemption as a planning and feasibility study. The Environmental Compliance Strategy will also evaluate whether a programmatic CEQA review of the LMP would sufficiently streamline the environmental compliance of future restoration and implementation projects on the property to justify the cost and time to prepare the programmatic CEQ review. In addition, the environmental compliance strategy will identify relevant regulations and permits necessary to for future restoration and implementation projects on the property.

Task 7 Timeline: 2 months

Task 7 Deliverables:

• Environmental Compliance Strategy Memo 

 

PHASE II: LAND MANAGEMENT PLAN DEVELOPMENT

 

Task 8: Phase II Project Management and Coordination

MSC and Ascent will provide ongoing project management and coordination throughout the planning process. This will include maintaining a collaborative working relationship between partner organizations (e.g., the MSC CDFW, and FRLT). Ascent will coordinate and oversee the work of sub-contractors and facilitate regular Meetings by conference call or in person at least monthly. These coordination calls or meetings will serve to review progress in the planning process and resolve and issues that may arise.

Task 8 Timeline: 8 months

 

Task 8 Deliverables:

• Eight sets of meeting agendas and notes

 

Task 9: Resource Group Workshops

The team (Ascent, MSC, and sub-consultants) will coordinate and attend in-person meetings with a volunteer Environmental Resource Group (ERG). The ERG will include individuals with specific knowledge on relevant topics. The ERG is expected to include member of the Maidu community, experts form UC Davis and/ or other Universities, and CDFW and other agency technical specialists. The ERG meetings or workshops will occur at three times, expected to include 1) an early meeting to discuss opportunities and constraints, 2) a mid-course meeting to review alternative plan features, and 3) a later meeting for input on a preliminary version of the LMP. After each ERG workshop, Ascent will prepare meeting notes summarizing key decisions and actions.

Task 9 Timeline: 7 months

Task 9 Deliverables:

• Three sets of meeting materials and summary notes documenting ERG input

 

Task 10: Plan Development

MSC and Ascent will build upon the Issues, Opportunities, and Constraints memo produced in task 6, and incorporate information from the first ERG workshop (under task 8). MSC and Ascent will develop and evaluate alternate features or management approaches for consideration in the LMP. Ascent will prepare materials necessary to evaluate alternative features or approaches (e.g., maps, technical analysis), facilitate a second ERG workshop (under task 8) to gather input on key management decisions or alternative approaches.  Ascent and MSC will, also identify step-down or future actions that would be necessary to implement the LMP, such as a specific implementation plan for a conservation action, detailed site planning, or ongoing resource monitoring. Ascent and the MSC will update the Issues, Opportunities, and Constraints memo prepared under task 6 to document decisions and rationale related to specific alternative features or approaches, and step-down actions. Ascent will also prepare the preliminary LMP map with proposed management zones and a list of key management zone objectives for review and approval by the MSC and CDFW, as applicable.

Task 10 Timeline: 3 months

Task 10 Deliverables:

• Alternatives evaluation and management decisions memo

• Preliminary list of step-down actions

• Preliminary LMP Map with management  zones

 

Task 11:  Prepare Administrative Draft LMP

The Ascent team will prepare an administrative draft of the LMP and provide it to the MSC and CDFW for review and comment. The organization and content draft LMP will reflect the detailed outline previously reviewed and approved by MSC and CDFW. Content elements will include:

  • Cultural resources and sacred site protection
  • Ethnography of the Maidu, including traditional narratives, ecological practices, and uses of the valley
  • Recovery periods for ecosystem processes, functions, and qualities
  • Ecosystem heterogeneity objectives using Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • Invasive plant/noxious weed management
  • Educational programs for Maidu community, universities, and schools
  • Fire risk management
  • Restorative forest management using traditional practices
  • Managed public outdoor recreation uses, including camping
  • Ecosystem restoration actions
  • Yellow Creek restoration using traditional methods
  • Maidu community hunting and fishing
  • Stewardship Council Beneficial Public Values management and enhancement
  • CDFW habitat and fish/wildlife management objectives, including State Wildlife Action Plan targets
  • Climate change adaptation strategies
  • Monitoring and adaptive management approach
  • Collaborative/cooperative agreements with local landowners, agencies, and educational institutions

After MSC and CDFW review of the Administrative Draft LMP, Ascent will organize and lead one of the workshops with ERG to provide an update on the status of the plan and collect feedback on key elements of the Administrative Draft LMP.

Task 11 Timeline: 3 months

Task 11 Deliverables:

• Administrative Draft LMP

 

Task 12: Prepare Revised Draft and Final LMP

Ascent will incorporate comments from MSC, CDFW, and the ERG and, in close coordination with the MSC, prepare a Revised Draft LMP for Stewardship Council and affected agency review. Ascent will work with the MSC and CDFW to identify reviewing agencies and organizations. Ascent will consolidate agency comments and incorporate them to prepare a Final LMP. The Final LMP will identify specific management actions and restoration or improvement projects to be implemented by the MSC. Outcomes of the LMP will be measured in two ways. First the LMP itself will be reviewed by the Stewardship Council, MSC, CDFW, FRLT, and other agencies to ensure that it protects the beneficial Public Values and provides for the long-term management of the Humbug Valley Property. Additionally, the LMP will include an implementation element or strategy that will identify specific implementation actions, responsible parties, and where appropriate, timelines for implementation. The outcomes of the LMP can be measured in terms of the implementation of specific restoration or improvement actions called for in the LMP.

Task 12 Timeline: 2 months

Task 12 Deliverables:

• Draft LMP

• Final LMP

 

PROJECT BUDGET

Phase I – Resource Assessments and Analysis:   $100,000

Phase II – Land Management Plan Development:   $250,000

 IIA Administrative Draft LMP   ($180,000)

 IIB Draft LMP    ($  50,000)

 IIC Final LMP    ($  20,000)

 

PROJECT TIMELINE

Initiation of the project is expected on November 1, 2015. Completion of Phase I is expected in March 2016, with Phase II completed by November 2016. The proposed schedule is shown below.