COOS BAY Nearly 4,000 acres near Coos Bay has been given to the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians to protect the marbled murrelet. The land was handed over to the tribe for conservation management as part of the restoration plan drafted after the New Carissa oil spill off the Oregon coast in 1999. Oil killed an estimated 262 birds. Trustees from the Siletz, the Bureau of Land Management, the Oregon and U.S. departments of fish and wildlife, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians brokered a $15.5 million deal for the land, which was owned by Forest Capital Partners and the Plum Creek Timber Company. But the chapter isn’t closed on the impact of the 70,000-gallon oil spill. It’s only part of a bigger plan involving “more land and more money,” according to Mike Kennedy, Siletz natural resources manager. Other future projects include habitat maintenance for the western snowy plover, funding to educate schools about shorebirds and protection of other birds.
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