Traditional Indigenous Land

A river running through a foggy redwood forest
Surrounded by ancient redwood forests, ‘O Rew lies roughly in the center of Yurok ancestral lands. Image by CalTrout/Michael Wier.

The traditional lands of the Yurok people include the Pacific Coast of Northern California from Little River in Humboldt County to Damnation Creek in Del Norte County, as well as most of the lower Klamath River Basin. The 125-acre former Orick Mill Site lies within this ancestral territory and encompasses a significant place for the Yurok people on Prairie Creek. This site is called ‘O Rew in the Yurok language.

During the mid-1800s, there was an attempt to forcibly remove Yurok people from their homeland, including ‘O Rew and nearby Owr-rekw, to expedite the exploitation of natural resources in the region, including old-growth coast redwoods. Despite this displacement and associated genocide, the Yurok people retained deep cultural, spiritual, and ecological bonds with their ancestral homeland. Today, Yurok descendants are citizens of several tribal nations in Northern California, including the Yurok Tribe.

Save the Redwoods League acknowledges that Indigenous peoples have lived in this region since time immemorial and are the original stewards of these ancient redwood forests and salmon-bearing streams. The League celebrates the opportunity to restore Indigenous guardianship to these sacred lands and recognizes the value of tribal land stewardship in creating a more just and sustainable model for redwoods conservation.


Roosevelt elk
Wildlife is already benefiting from the ecological restoration at ‘O Rew, including the majestic Roosevelt elk that frequently visit the property. Photo by Max Forster, courtesy of Save the Redwoods League.