Federal officials and the Coquille Indian Tribe have announced plans to collaborate on managing and harvesting federal timber.
The unprecedented partnership is endorsed by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
The pilot project involves 59,000 acres of Coos Bay Wagon Road land. In a joint press release from the tribe and BLM, Tribal Chairman Edward Metcalf said the project aims to demonstrate how tribal management can help communities and county governments prosper.
Tribal spokesman Ray Doering said tribe initially won't make money on the pilot project. But it could lead to a revenue-splitting arrangement benefiting the tribe and Coos County government.
County Commissioner Bob Main hailed the venture in the press release, saying it could bolster revenue for services such as public health, youth programs and road projects.
Officials say they'll employ sustainable harvesting principles, under the guidance of forestry experts Norm Johnson from Oregon State University and Jerry Franklin from the University of Washington.
'Part of the reason the tribe is involved is to help shape a new direction for sustainable forest management," said Tim Vredenburg, the tribe's director of land resources and environmental services.