Forest Service to close a part of river for Winnemem Wintu Tribe

The U.S. Forest Service agreed to close a section of the McCloud River to the Winnemem Wintu Tribe of California can host a ceremony.

Boaters won't be allowed on the river while the coming-of-age ceremony takes place from June 30-July 3. The agency cited safety concerns in making the decision.

"Due to the past incidents of harassment of the tribe during the ceremony, we believe it is necessary to close the river to enhance the safety of the ceremony," Randy Moore, the Pacific Southwest Regional Forester said in the decision, The Redding Record-Searchlight reported.

Caleen Sisk, the Winnemem chief and spiritual leader, said the decision would still allow people to enter the tribe's campground. "He's leaving us vulnerable on the land side," she told the paper.

The tribe lacks federal recognition so the agency has been reluctant to take action.

Get the Story:
Winnemem chief blasts Forest Service decision to close only part of Lake Shasta area for ceremony (The Redding Record-Searchlight 6/22)

Related Stories:
Opinion: Winnemem Wintu Tribe deserves respect for ceremony (6/4)
Winnemem Wintu Tribe requests privacy for a sacred ceremony (5/31)
Dan Bacher: Winnemem Wintu Tribe closes river for a war dance (5/30)
Editorial: Winnemem Wintu Tribe goes to war to practice religion (5/25)
Winnemem Wintu Tribe plans blockade of lake during ceremony (5/23)

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