Progress often provokes a vicious response from those who wish to maintain the status quo... It is clear that the progress this community has made toward acknowledging the Wiyot peoples' rightful place on this land and in leadership is now provoking the anger of those who have become accustomed to holding power for generations — namely, wealthy landowners and developers. 

Bongio's tantrum at having the privilege of the developer class called into question by the California Coastal Commission and local tribes on the basis of completely legitimate concerns was best summed up by his parting words: "That was a waste of my fucking time." Classy.

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Planning Commission Chair Alan Bongio spent much of last week’s meeting expressing frustration and outrage.
The matter under discussion concerned permits for a very large, partially built home off Walker Point Road, a one-lane strip of asphalt accessed via the Indianola cutoff between Arcata and Eureka. The dead-end road traces the ridge of a knoll that overlooks the surrounding estuarine wetlands including Fay Slough, Freshwater Creek and, across the freeway, the shifting colors of Arcata Bay.
Historically the Walker Point area was known as Da’dedi’lhl, which means “sunshine” in Soulatluk, the language of the Wiyot people. 
Late last year, after starting construction on his very large home, the applicant, local business owner Travis Schneider, violated the terms of his Coastal Development Permit. He did so by laying down an un-permitted access road through some environmentally sensitive habitat and by using a CAT 310 excavator to clear blackberry brambles and other foliage from the property, potentially damaging tribal cultural resources in the process. 
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A months-long dispute over a stop-work order issued on the construction of a prominent local developer's private home bubbled into public view at the Aug. 18 Humboldt County Planning Commission meeting. From the dais, commission Chair Alan Bongio said he's "lost all trust" in two local tribal governments, while making some far-reaching comments about "Indians" that tribal leaders found "inappropriate" and "offensive."
The dispute centers around local developer Travis Schneider's construction of his family home at the end of Walker Point Road near Fay Slough, south of the Indianola Cutoff and east of U.S. Highway 101. Late last year, it was determined the 8,000-square-foot house already under construction has a slightly different footprint than what had been listed on an approved building permit plan, that Schneider had cleared brush in areas deemed ecologically and culturally sensitive, including one identified more than a century ago as a historical Wiyot village site, and cut an unpermitted temporary construction road on the property, all in violation of his coastal development permit.
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The fog gave way to the sun late morning on Friday, Aug. 19, as dozens of people gathered around the podium positioned in the meadow. Spruce trees and huckleberry bushes stood in the near distance as the scent of saltwater and highway traffic drifted up from the bay and road below. Tribal Chair Ted Hernandez called for the elders to sit as they began the ceremony to mark the reclaiming of Mouralherwaqh — “wolf’s house” — by the Wiyot Tribe. When open chairs remained, former chairwoman Cheryl Seidner teased, “I see some white-hairs out there!”
The tribe worked with local partners at Cal Poly Humboldt, Humboldt Baykeeper and Friends of the Dunes to secure a $1.2 million grant from the state Ocean Protection Council (OPC), enabling the Wiyot to purchase 46 acres of land from a private property owner. Plans for the site include environmental restoration and building resilience to sea level rise. It’s a historic first in terms of the state funding ancestral tribal land return to address climate change. But the story began in the mid-1800s, when settler-colonialism and land theft left the Wiyot Tribe with less than 1 percent of its ancestral territory.
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Members of the Wiyot Tribe and other community members gathered near King Salmon on Friday afternoon to celebrate the transfer of a 46-acre piece of land to the Wiyot people. 
The property – known by the Wiyot as “Mouralherwaqh,” which means “wolf’s house” – is one of the the last undeveloped pieces of land in this section of Humboldt County and is ecologically rich and diverse, containing wetlands, meadows and spruce forest and is full of native plants and wildlife. 
The land was purchased from a private land owner using a $1.2 million Ocean Protection Council (OPC) Proposition 1 Grant, aimed at funding projects that restore important species habitats and develop more sustainable water systems. The tribe partnered with Cal Poly Humboldt, Humboldt Baykeeper and Friends of the Dunes to obtain the grant funding and make this acquisition a reality. 
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