The Yurok Tribe’s Mad River Brewing Company and California State Parks’ Redwood District recently joined forces in support of a commendable cause.
The Mad River Brewing Company and the State Park are teaming up to promote the release of Historic State Park India Pale Ale, a preeminently palatable and sustainably produced micro brew. A portion of the sales generated from the newly created ale will be invested in the co-management of the Stone Lagoon Visitor Center, which is part of Humboldt Lagoons State Park, one of the singularly most stunning and biologically diverse places on the redwood coast.
“The Tribe and the Park are blazing a brand-new trail when it comes to working cooperatively on behalf of the environment and the communities we serve,” said Joseph L. James, the Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “I would like to thank the State Park for partnering with us on another ground-breaking project. Together, we are redefining the relationship between tribes and state parks.”
“The State Park is excited to embark upon this innovative, environmentally conscious endeavor with the Tribe and the Mad River Brewing Company,” said California State Parks Redwood District Superintendent Victor Bjelajac. “Similar to the park, the Tribe and the company have longstanding track records for being responsible stewards of the natural world. We proposed to co-promote this product because we support sustainable commerce.”
“When I was a kid, the state park was a physical manifestation of injustice because it represented the loss of our lands. I could never have imagined that we would be working with the park to right the wrongs of the past, while building a brighter future for the next generation,” added Linda Cooley, a Yurok citizen, Mad River Brewing Company CEO and lifelong Humboldt resident. “The Mad River Brewing Company is greatly appreciative of our new partnership with the park. We hope the Historic State Park India Pale Ale will raise a boatload of funds for the Stone Lagoon Visitor Center.
Mad River Brewing Company has won seven awards for its environmentally sustainable production practices, in addition to the many accolades the company has earned for its best-quality ales. Holistically brewed, the Historic State Park India Pale Ale is a deep golden hued IPA that boasts bold citrus tones, a tinge of tropical fruit and subtly bitter, malty finish. Matching its magnificent taste, the hand-crafted ale’s label is decorated with equally extraordinary artwork featuring bull elk browsing at the edge of a lagoon and raptors hovering overhead. This bucolic scene could be encountered any day of the week at the wildlife-dense lagoons.
In 2020, the Tribe and Park formed a first-of-its-kind joint powers agreement, which transferred the operations of Stone Lagoon Visitor Center to the Yurok tribal government. The Tribe and the California State Parks’ Redwood District have collaborated on many other substantive projects too. For example, the Tribe’s world class, watershed restoration team has implemented largescale fish and wildlife habitat revitalization projects within the Park.
The paradigm-shifting partnership between the Tribe and the California State Parks’ Redwood District can be used as model in California, the state with the most federally recognized tribes.
There are 109 federally recognized Tribes in the Golden State, where the state department of parks and recreation manages 280 state parks and 1.5 million acres of land, all of which was formally owned by tribes. Many of these tribes are struggling due to the loss of their ancestral homelands.
The close relationship between the Yurok Tribe and the California State Parks’ Redwood District has grown incrementally over a period of years. The co-management agreement for the Stone Lagoon Visitor Center in Humboldt Lagoons State Park is reflective of the evolution of this extraordinary partnership between the two entities and there will be many more similarly meaningful cooperative endeavors in the future. The Tribe and Park have plans to initiate a separate and equally noteworthy project later this year.
The Humboldt Lagoons State Park supports myriad native fish, bird and mammal species, such as steel head trout, elk and bald eagles. Comprised of three coastal lakes and one verdant salt marsh, the biologically unique water bodies also provide critical winter habitat for numerous migratory waterfowl and many other nomadic avian creatures. A portion of the revenue generated from Historic State Park India Pale Ale will be invested in the holistic management of the lagoons.
“The Mad River Brewing Company is doing something similar with all of our new products. We are creating the best-quality ales and seltzers, while giving back to the environment and the local community,” said MRB CEO Linda Cooley.
Earlier this year, the Mad River Brewing Company launched the first in a line of hand-crafted, best-quality seltzers. The cucumber mint and ginger imbued hard seltzers are selling out at several different locations. A percentage of the sales of the small batch-brewed UnDammed Seltzers will be contributed to the Yurok Tribe’s effort to restore the Klamath River, which will soon be the site of the largest dam removal in US history.
Mad River Brewing Company Located in Humboldt County, California has been brewing best-quality beers for more than three decades. Mad River Brewing Company employs a time-honored, meticulous approach to hand crafting the finest quality ales. The company has received four Gold Medals, four Silver Medals and one Bronze medal from the Great American Beer Festival, which offers the most prestigious awards in the industry. The company has also received seven waste reduction awards for its environmentally sustainable production practices.
Carmen Davis - Founder, Publisher and Executive Editor of Native Business Magazine
Mrs. Davis is the founder, publisher and executive editor of the only Native American owned and operated national tribal business publication, Native Business Magazine, and the producer of the annual and nationally attended Native Business Summit.
Mrs. Davis is also president of Davis Strategy Group has over 23 years of service to Indian Country and as an entrepreneur she has successfully established, operated, managed and grown several businesses in multiple sectors. She is equal parts a strategic visionary and behind-the-scenes implementor, essential in guiding and overseeing every process of brand development, business expansion, nation-to-nation relationship building and more.
She was named in 2009 as one of the first recipients of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s, “40 Under 40” award which recognizes up and coming community and business leaders from across Indian Country.