In Virginia,Interior Secretary Deb Haaland joinedthe Chesapeake Conservancyand the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the return of roughly 465 acres to the Rappahannock Tribe. Located in the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge, theFones Cliffsare home to one of the largest nesting populations of bald eagles on the Atlantic coast. The land will remain publicly accessible, with a permanent conservation easement that legally limits use of the sacred land for conservation efforts. The tribe plans to create trails anda 16th-century village replica to educate visitors about its history and conservation. In addition, they hope totrain tribal youth in traditional river knowledge. The return shows how Tribes, private landowners, and other stakeholders are all working to ensure conservation efforts are locally led and support communities' health and well-being, Haaland said.

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