California Should Honor the Sovereignty of Tribal Nations

New law would prioritize co-management; Pew recommends passing Assembly Bill 1284

California Should Honor the Sovereignty of Tribal Nations
Dark blue ocean water is speckled with near-shore black rocks, and green plants and flowering bushes are along the shoreline in the foreground and right side of the photo.
Offshore rocks in the distance and lush foliage and flora along the shore define the Yurok Tolowa-Dee-ni’ Indigenous Marine Stewardship Area near Trinidad, California.
L. Toshio Kishiyama Getty Images

On Jan. 12, 2023, The Pew Charitable Trusts submitted a letter to California state legislators encouraging passage of Assembly Bill 1284, which addresses co-management agreements with Tribal Nations and was introduced by Assembly member James Ramos. Pew’s letter notes the legislation is an opportunity to honor the sovereignty of Tribal Nations by creating a law that defines co-management and aligns California with the U.S. federal government’s responsibilities and unique government-to-government relationships with Tribal Nations. The measure also would ensure co-management as a state priority into the future, creating the opportunity for innovative partnerships and resource management that enhances California’s ability to address the effects of climate change and bolsters the state’s conservation goals.

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