Thursday, June 9, 2011

Forest's tribal relations program manager honored : from

CONGRATULATIONS DAN! We know how valuable you are to "Us", Glad to see other's do as well!

INLAND: Forest's tribal relations program manager honored

Special to The Press-Enterprise
San Bernardino National Forest Tribal Relations Program Manager Daniel McCarthy has worked with Native American tribes at local and state levels for the past 30 years.
He recently received the National Office of Tribal Relations Lifetime Achievement Award.
"It's rather heartfelt to be the first recipient of this award," said McCarthy, of Riverside.
2009 / The Press-Enterprise
Daniel McCarthy, tribal relations program manager for the San Bernardino National Forest, received the National Office of Tribal Relations Lifetime Achievement Award. Here he shows off what could be a a metate, or grinding stone, near Big Bear Lake.
The Tribal Forest Protection Act of 2004 opened up many opportunities for theForest Service and tribes to work more closely together. The program covers nine regions that serve 17 national forests.
"Daniel has always been eager to lend a hand and participate in many of the tribal traditional programs within the San Bernardino National Forest as well as within Indian Country," said Carrie L. Garcia, cultural program manager for the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians.
McCarthy's Parry Pinyon Pine Protection Project uses volunteers to reduce hazardous fuels on the Santa Rosa Reservation near Hemet and the Ramona Reservation near Anza. He is raising pinyon seedlings and reintroducing them in burned areas in conjunction with the forest's botanists. The trees produce nuts and acorns that are harvested and used as food sources.
Steven Estrada, the Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians' Tribal Council secretary, met McCarthy more than 10 years ago when his grandmother, Jomay Modesto, introduced them during an agave harvest at the Santa Rosa reservation.
"He gave me my first job (after high school) in cultural resources working for theForest Service," Estrada said. "My grandmother and other elders like Alvino Siva always spoke very highly of him and appreciated everything that he did."
McCarthy regularly participates in the gatherings of the California Indian Basketweavers Association. He is also a co-founder, and current board member, of Nex'wetem, formerly the Southern California Indian Basket Weavers.
"Daniel has been instrumental in helping tribal members from the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians access the forests for traditional uses," said Rosemary Morillo, Soboba Tribal Council member and a fellow co-founder and board member of Nex'wetem. "The Forest Service realizes its trust responsibilities to provide access for Native Americans for gathering and accessing religious/sacred areas and Daniel has been a reliable contact for many years. He protects the sacred sites."
McCarthy, an archaeologist, has been a key participant in the annual Agave Roast at the Morongo Band of Mission Indians reservation near Cabazon.
"I'm delighted to see Daniel receive an award that acknowledges his commitment to our people," said Michael Contreras Jr., Cultural Heritage Program coordinator for Morongo. "... Daniel has always been devoted to sharing his deep understanding of our rich culture with others to help further our ongoing efforts to promote cultural preservation and revitalization."
Even with 10,000 years of prehistory in California, McCarthy said the Native Americans still have a viable culture and people can learn a lot from them.
"My favorite part of this job is learning about traditional uses of plants and sharing my knowledge of the prehistory and archaeological sites with the tribes," he said.
Diane A. Rhodes is a Press-Enterprise correspondent. Reach her at 951-763-3461 or

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