SANDPOINT, Idaho — The Kalispel Tribe reclaimed a portion of their traditional homeland, Moose Mountain, on Dec. 27, 2021.
The Moose Mountain parcel is estimated to be 75 acres located at the west shore of the Pack River Delta. According to a press release from Kanisku Land Trust (KLT), the location is significantly valuable for conservation.
The tribe was able to reclaim the land after William Haberman, managing member of Valiant Idaho and owner of The Idaho Club, proposed a deal with Kanisku Land Trust about placing the parcel in a conservation agreement. The goal was to protect the property as open space and natural habitat from “encroaching development”.
Originally, Haberman wanted to donate the land outright to KLT, believing that they would be in a better position to manage the land for conservation.
However, KLT decided to converse with the Kalispel Tribe’s Director of Wildlife and Terrestrial Resources, Ray Entz. Through these conversations, KLT learned that the Kalispel Tribe had been working to revive their canoe culture but was limited by a lack of suitable access points.
After learning that the Moose Mountain Parcel had once belonged to the tribe, KLT proposed that the Idaho Club should donate the land back to the tribe instead.
"KLT is honored to have served as a facilitator in support of this very meaningful gift. We recognize the value in returning this wild mountainside to its original caretakers," KLT Conservation Director Regan Plumb said.
For Jay Entz, the gift from KLT and The Idaho Club is less about conservation and more about the value of meaningful connection.
"There is strength in partnership, “Entz said. “We probably wouldn't have even been aware of the potential of this project if not for our relationship with KLT.”