Popular hike returns: Heart K from a Maidu perspective

Trina Cunningham points out the unique willows on the Heart K that have been used for basket making for hundreds of years. Photo courtesy Feather River Land Trust
Feather Publishing

  All are welcome to take a hike on the Heart K Ranch in Genesee Valley on Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with Trina Cunningham entitled “The Heart K Ranch from a Maidu perspective.”

  Cunningham’s ancestors founded the Davis Ranch (now part of Feather River Land Trust’s Heart K Ranch), where she grew up, and her Mountain Maidu ancestors have inhabited Genesee Valley from the beginning of memory. Cunningham is a member of the Maidu Summit Consortium composed of nine Mountain Maidu groups, with a vision of site protection and stewardship throughout the Maidu homeland.

  The recently protected 900-acre Heart K Ranch in California’s Genesee Valley is a Sierra Nevada treasure, boasting scenic mountain beauty and a rich historical and cultural past. It is perhaps the most species-diverse property in the Feather River Watershed, supporting 26 species of conservation concern. It is also of great importance to the local Mountain Maidu people.

  This unique interpretive hike is sponsored by the Feather River Land Trust to raise awareness about Maidu history, culture and unique relationship to the lands of the Feather River region.

  The Maidu Indians of Genesee Valley are a federally unrecognized tribe. During the Gold Rush, land reservation treaties were left unratified, leaving the Maidu landless and in danger of losing cultural knowledge and practices. The Feather River Land Trust is working with Cunningham and others to protect and promote Maidu access to land and to incorporate Maidu traditional ecological knowledge into stewardship and restoration activities on the Heart K Ranch.

  There is no charge for the hike. However, the land trust will be accepting donations to support the management of the Heart K Ranch and to compensate Cunningham for her time and expertise. The Feather River Land Trust is a private, nonprofit organization founded by residents of the Feather River region.

  Meet at the Heart K Ranch house at 10 a.m. and be sure to bring lunch and water. The Heart K Ranch is approximately 15 miles from the intersection of Highway 89 and A22 (aka the Taylorsville “T”). Follow A22 to Taylorsville (5 miles) and bear right onto Genesee Road for 9 miles until you see the big red barn on the left. Parking is available to the left of the ranch house. The ranch is located at 702 Beckwourth-Genesee Road in Taylorsville.

  For more information, contact Karen Kleven at the Feather River Land Trust, 283-5758 or Or visit

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