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Posted 8/23/2013

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By J.D. Hardesty

The Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians returned to their ancestral homelands under the shadow of Warm Springs Dam July 27 for the "Big Event," a 10-tribe pow-wow-style celebration.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers San Francisco District and the Pomo Tribe signed a 25-year lease for 27 acres downstream of the dam. The lease includes four 25-year renewals.

The Pomos built the new redwood brush arbor where they host cultural celebrations for the first time since the Corps of Engineers built the dam that created Lake Sonoma in 1980.

The 27 acres run along Dry Creek where the Corps of Engineers, Pomos, Sonoma County Water Agency, land owners and business have collaborated to restore fish habitat for Coho and Steelhead.