Channel Islands National Park is set to receive nearly $100,000 in federal funding for ecosystem restoration on Santa Cruz Island, the Biden administration announced Thursday.
The grant will come from the administration’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which will invest $1.4 billion in such projects nationwide over the next five years.
Rehabilitation work on Santa Cruz, one of five islands off the coast of Ventura that make up the park, will be carried out in partnership with the Chumash Indian Band of Santa Ynez.
“This investment in this project will rehabilitate and improve trail safety, and it will also protect invaluable cultural and natural resources,” Bryan Newland, assistant secretary of administration for Indian Affairs, said Thursday at a press conference. at the park visitor center in Ventura. .
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The Channel Islands “are the sacred homelands of the Chumash people”, he said. “And it’s essential that the Chumash tribe and people are included in the work of the park as we continue to protect and restore.”
Under a tasking agreement, the Santa Ynez Band Fire Department will work on trail construction and its cultural department on resource protection.
Reggie Pagaling, a Santa Ynez Band tribal elder and vice chairman of the Native American Heritage Commission, said after the press conference that the funding is “just the start, but it’s a step in the good direction”.
Dayna Barrios, who is Ventureño Chumash and vice president of the Mission Barbareño/Ventureño Indian Band, said she, too, welcomes the funding.
“Anytime the federal government works with tribes, I always think it’s a positive thing,” she said. “It’s our land and a lot of our ancestors are there too.
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“So we want to make sure we have a voice in this project,” she said.
Park Superintendent Ethan McKinley said the trail restoration phase of the project is expected to begin by the end of the year.
Mike Harris covers the county towns of Moorpark, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, as well as countywide transportation. You can contact him at [email protected] or 805-437-0323.
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