Sauk-Suiattle Tribe makes donations, buys land

DARRINGTON The Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe has had an active November.
Their twice-annual donations to civic groups came this month, totaling $7,500 for the Darrington community.
The town of Darrington itself received $1,500, the Cascade Senior Center and the Darrington Early Music Guild received $2,500 each, and the Friends of the Darrington Library and the Darrington Co-Op Preschool received $500 each.
Darrington Mayor Joyce Jones described the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe as the single-biggest private donor to the communitys programs, and explained that the town plans to use its donation to repair the blacktop at the Old School Park, in the center of town.
Darrington Co-Op Preschool treasurer Laura Helling noted that its donation amounts to a third of the schools $1,500 annual fundraising budget, which covers the costs of classroom activities and its one teachers salary.
Darrington Library branch manager said their donation would be used to pay for new tables and chairs in the new multipurpose room, scheduled to be built this summer, and possibly to buy tables and chairs for a teenagers space inside the existing building.
The Sauk-Suiattle Tribe also held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 19 for eight recently acquired homes, on 5.64 acres, that Tribal spokesperson Denise Baird explained would increase existing Tribal housing from 17 to 25, addressing some of their critical housing needs.
The eight residential buildings and five vacant lots were sold to the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe by the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest for $1.5 million. The property was part of the Darrington Ranger Station compound. The sale has been pending for about a year, following governmental procedures that require public comment and negotiations between interested parties.
We didnt need the parcels or houses anymore, said Darrington District Ranger Peter Forbes. When the houses were built in the 1920s through the 1960s, the Forest Service provided housing for some staff at remote locations. Forest-wide downsizing of its workforce over the past 20 years led to a decision to not build more residences, and private housing is now more available in the area. These factors prompted the Forest Service to look for a buyer.
The administrative buildings, including the ranger station, will not be sold.
In 2005, Congress authorized the Forest Service to dispose of administrative sites with the Forest Service Realignment and Enhancement Act, and in Title V of the 2006 Interior Appropriations Act. The law allows direct sales without competitive bids to Tribal, local and state governments.

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