Tribal Government & News

Tribal Council OKs purchase of 91 more acres at Chahalpam site

Tribal Council approved the purchase and sale agreement for acquisition of the Chahalpam Phase 2 property, which entails 91 more acres, at its Wednesday, Sept. 3, meeting.

The Tribe originally acquired 338 acres on the North Santiam River southeast of Salem in Marion County and just downstream from Stayton in 2013.

The original property was valued at more than $3.5 million and purchased through the Bonneville Power Administration's Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program, a 15-year agreement that requires BPA to provide stable funding for habitat acquisitions in the Willamette Basin to offset the effects of federal dams on the Willamette River and its tributaries.

The additional 91 acres will cost $935,000 and also will be paid for through the BPA program.

Chahalpam is within the traditional homelands of the Santiam Kalapuya, one of the ancestral bands that formed the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

"The Tribe has not yet closed on the property and it is still in due diligence, but we are working closely with Legal to get through due diligence and hope to close on the property sometime this fall," said Ceded Lands Manager Michael Karnosh.

The land will be protected in perpetuity with a conservation easement that guarantees that it will be managed by the Tribe for fish, wildlife and other conservation values, with an emphasis on restoring the land to a more natural, indigenous condition.

"Chahalpam" means "place of the Santiam Kalapuya."

In other action, Tribal Council:

  • Re-appointed Shonn Leno to the Ceremonial Hunting Board for a term ending in March 2016;
  • Appointed Jonathan R. George to the Timber Committee for a term ending in March 2016;
  • Appointed William Rogers to the Grand Ronde Tribal Housing Authority Board for a term ending in September 2017;
  • Approved applying for a $186,000 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Tribal Wildlife Grant to perform a population study on black-tailed deer on the Reservation in 2015;
  • Approved the Natural Resources Department's plan to purchase approximately 19,600 cubic yards of crushed rock from one or multiple sources for about $215,600;
  • Extended the contract for the Portland Harbor environmental services agreement and allowed applying for a $50,000 grant to the Environmental Protection Agency for an environmental cleanup grant;
  • Approved the Tribal Fish and Wildlife Management Plan and an Oregon Administrative Rule that delegates authority over fish and wildlife resources on Tribal trust lands from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to the Tribe.

Also included in the Sept. 3 Tribal Council packet was an authorization to proceed that allowed submission of the annual Community Services Block Grant application that would bring approximately $10,000 to the Tribe and pay to provide services to clients of the Social Services Department.

Cultural Protection Program Manager David Harrelson, Cultural Outreach Specialist Bobby Mercier, Education Department Manager Eirik Thorsgard, Tribal Council member Jon A. George and Ceded Lands Manager Michael Karnosh were among those who provided the cultural drumming and singing to open the meeting.

The Sept. 3 meeting is available for viewing at the Tribal website,, under the Video tab.