(CNN) — A northern California Indian tribe’s sacred land is now back under their ownership, thanks to the help of a conservancy group.
“These lands are home to many ancient villages of our people, and directly across the Little Sur River sits Pico Blanco or ‘Pitchi’, which is the most sacred spot on the coast for the Esselen People and the center of our origin story.”
Future of the land
The land, which was known as the Adler Ranch, first came to the attention of WRC in 2015 when the long time owners had being trying to sell the property for years, Sue Doroff, president of WRC, told CNN on Wednesday.
A view of the redwoods on the property.
Doug Steakley/Western Rivers Conservancy
The area piqued the conservation group’s interest because it is known for it’s giant redwoods, an ideal nesting place for one of the largest flying birds in the world, the California condor.
“The old-growth redwoods on this property are genetically adaptive to the warmer dry climate of Big Sur,” Doroff said. “These trees will be important for the future effort to assist in redwood survival.”
Both parties agreed that the land will not be commercially developed on and that conservation efforts will continue, according to Doroff.
“We are proud of our involvement here and conserving this landscape,” Doroff said. “We are honored to be a part of rebuilding the Esselen Tribe.”
In addition to conservation efforts, the ETMC plans on building a village that other indigenous tribes in the area can utilize. They are also planning to host public educational events to teach others about their culture, according to Doroff.