More than 9,200 acres of wildlife rangeland in Okanogan County is being returned to the Colville Tribes.

A nonprofit conservation group has purchased the land from a private owner and transferred ownership to the Tribes.

The acres were part of the original Colville Reservation until it was shrunk by Congress in 1892

The land transfer is being praised by Native American and conservation groups.

The property was purchased this month by the nonprofit Seattle-based Conservation Northwest from Figlenski Ranches, LLC.  It's been part of a family cattle operation that dates back more than 100 years.

The purchase is meant to preserve a wildlife habitat corridor that stretches between the Cascade and Rocky Mountains.

It’s also intended to hand stewardship of the land over to tribes who originally occupied it.  

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