Opportunity Fund Partner Receives Permission to Release Endangered Species
The State of California and US Government have announced that the Yurok Tribe has been given permission to release captive-bred condors into the Redwood Coast, where the giant bird has not soared for more than a century. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/yurok-tribe-release-condors-california-23464744
Last year, Opportunity Fund provided $12.2 million in financing to support the purchase of a massive parcel of land and a major tributary of the Klamath River in Northern California from a timber company and transfer its management and restoration to the Yurok Tribe as a sustainable forest and reserve.
The Yuroks are California’s largest Indian Tribe, with 5,000 members. They have lived in the region for thousands of years. At 63,035 acres, the Yurok Reservation is larger than many cities or counties. Without a tax base, gaming or other business revenues, the Yurok Tribe does not have the resources to construct essential community facilities, to install or replace eroding infrastructure or to create sustainable economic development on the Reservation. Over 70% of the Yurok reservation has no access to basic telephone or electricity services. Poverty rates average 80% on the reservation.
The Opportunity Fund Yurok Community Forest and Salmon Fishery Preserve project will provide an estimated 193 jobs in river and fishery restoration and forestry management to Yurok tribe members. At the conclusion of the 7 year NMTC compliance period, the ownership of the land will be transferred at no cost to the Tribe.
The Project creates the largest forestry carbon sequestration project in the State of California, under California’s new global warming laws.
Combined with the other phases, this project will result in a five-fold increase in tribal holdings and much greater economic stability for the Yurok Nation. Revenues from the management of a salmon fishery and from sustainable timber harvesting will lead to increased environmental and economic opportunities.
For more information on California condors: http://www.defenders.org/california-condor/basic-facts