Wilton Rancheria Places 77 Acres of Land in Trust

ELK GROVE, CA – Wilton Rancheria has signed 77 acres into federal trust, safeguarding a place for the tribe to protect and celebrate their culture for generations to come. Wilton Rancheria, the only federally recognized tribe in Sacramento County, now has 113 acres in federal trust.

“Today is a historic step in our journey to reclaim our home and reunite our communities,” said Jesus Tarango, Wilton Rancheria Chairman. “By placing this land in trust, we preserve a space for future generations to gather and thrive. I’m filled with pride as I reflect on the many people who have made today possible, and for the bright future of Wilton Rancheria.”

Landless tribes often have members spread across the country, making it difficult to have centralized health and housing services and stay united as a community. The newly reacquired property is located along Green Road and will be used to re-establish cultural and ceremony areas for the tribe, including an arbor, as well as housing an elder’s center.

“It’s always a good day when we can restore tribal homelands for the benefit of tribal citizens,” said Amy Dutschke, Regional Director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs Pacific Region.

This land is part of the original tract that was purchased from the Cosumnes Company, which formally established the Wilton Rancheria in July 1928. Thirty years later, the Rancheria Act terminated federal trust responsibilities to 41 California Indian tribes, including Wilton Rancheria. As a result, the tribe lost its federal recognition in 1964. Following a hard-fought legal battle led by tribal elders, the tribe’s federal status was restored in 2009.

The federal government established the trust process in an effort to help tribes regain lost lands and promote tribal self-determination. There are currently over 56 million acres of land held in trust by the federal government.