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Onon Daganation regains 1,000 acres of New York Forest with a historic agreement

(CNN)Onon Daganation will have the Home Office reclaim more than 1,000 acres of indigenous land in central New York. Called "one of the largest returns of land to indigenous peoples by the state."

"This historic agreement represents a unique opportunity to return traditional hometowns to indigenous peoples and manage them for the benefit of the community," Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said.I mentioned in the news release on Wednesday. ..

"We look forward to leveraging the expertise and indigenous knowledge of the Onondaga people to help manage the region's precious wildlife and habitat. President of the United States. In line with this beautiful initiative, we all have a role to play. In this administration's efforts to ensure that our conservation efforts are locally led and support the health and well-being of our communities.

Land relocations include the headwaters of the Onondaga Creek, more than 45 acres of wetlands and floodfields, and about 980 acres of forests and fields, the Ministry of Interior said. The area is home to a variety of wildlife, including brook trout, great blue herons, songbirds, waterfowl, hawks, bald eagles, frogs, bats, and white-tailed deer.

Onondaganation Chief Taddaho Sydney Hill expressed his joy in the return of groundbreaking land.

"It is a great pleasure for the Onondaga to welcome the return of the first substantial area of ​​their ancestral hometown," Hill said in a release. "The country can now restore these lands and waters and renew its administrative obligations to preserve them for future generations."

"The country is this cooperative We hope that these intergovernmental efforts will be a new step in healing with all the other people living in the Onondaga hometown, ”Hill continued.

The land was previously owned by Honeywell. Honeywell was ordered to transfer full ownership and ownership to Onondaga as part of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. A settlement was reached over Honeywell's environmental pollution.

Honeywell has been polluting Lake Onondaga, some of its tributaries, and surrounding wetlands with mercury and other dangerous substances for years, according to a 2017 announcement from the Justice Department. rice field.According to the Ministry of Interior, the 2018 Reconciliation under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) program required Honeywell to hand over land to the Onondaga and implement 18 restoration projects on the affected land. ..

Honeywell, which operated several manufacturing plants in Onondaga County, is now involved in grassland restoration, wetland habitat conservation, and improved public services such as hiking trails and public boat lamps. We are working on some of these repair programs. The Ministry of Home Affairs says.