SACRAMENTO, CA — Governor Gavin Newsom appointed the Yurok Tribe’s Forest Department Director Dawn Blake to the State Board of Forestry and Fire protection. Blake is the first Native American and first woman to be appointed to the board.
If confirmed, Blake will bring 20 years of experience in land administration, fire prevention and forestry. She is a Hoopa Tribal member and Yurok descendant with a Master of Science in natural resources.
“My traditional upbringing, university education and professional career have prepared me for the opportunity to manage the state’s natural resources on behalf of all state residents,” Blake said in a press release.
Yurok Vice Chairman Frankie Myers submitted a letter on behalf of the Yurok Tribal Council in support of Blake’s nomination, stating Blake “is preeminently qualified to manage and protect California’s incredibly diverse natural environment.”
During her time as Forestry Director for the Yurok Tribe, she has managed over 70,000 acres of Yurok-owned forest land alongside the Tribe’s 15,000-acre Old-Growth Forest. She also oversaw the Salmon Sanctuary on Blue Creek as part of the Klamath River.
The State Board of Forestry works in developing and planning the state’s forest policy. California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection also influences natural resources in Northern California where fires continue to threaten tribal lands, state forests and residents.