Posted: Fri, May 18 2012 at 5:38 PM, Updated: Fri, May 18 2012 at 6:25 PM
A historic step, as the Bureau of Land Management, Nature Conservancy, and Cow Creek Tribe reform a treaty signed over 160 years ago regarding the Rogue Valley Table Rocks.
"We all recognize it's more than rocks, plants, it's a symbol and we want to reflect that," says Bureau of Land Management Jim Whittington.
Rising some 750 feet from the valley floor, the Upper and Lower Table Rocks are the subject of a ceremonial signing this Saturday.
"It's a memorandum of understanding between the three groups over how we proceed in managing resources and education events at table rocks."
In 1853 the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe Indians signed a treaty with the government- losing their land to live in a reservation on the rocks. Only three years later, they were forced to leave the historic landmarks- at least 8 dying in the journey.
In the past few months, other tribes associated have also signed similar agreements. The action allowing the tribes to be involved in management and preservation of both plateaus.
"One of the ideas is we look at is where it would be appropriate to put fire back in the landscape."
And Whittington says the document won't change public access, but could enhance it.
"Maybe we'll be able to get some of their resource specialists and to teach people why it's so important."
An important step, that hopes to heal old wounds.
The ceremony will take place at the Tou-velle state park on Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m.