April 2021 EBCI Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Newsletter

— Written By Benjamin Collette
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Here is the April edition of our Agriculture and Natural Resources newsletter!

Spring is nearly in the air! What a year it has been, no doubt one that will be forever etched into our memories. We all have been asked to sacrifice much over the last year in order to protect ourselves, our family, fellow community members, and society at large. We have laid to rest loved ones from the impact of COVID-19. Some are still reeling and recovering from its symptoms. Yet, at the end of the day, we remain. As the division and its team have prepped for our upcoming annual events, such as fishing tournaments and gathering sochan in the park, we remain steadfast in delivering services to the EBCI communities and carrying on the invaluable work that defines division. I am pleased to inform you that we have filled all 36 permits available for enrolled members to enter into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to gather sochan! After last year’s disruption due to COVID, this is a phenomenal achievement that would not have been possible without the focused effort of Ms. Maria Dunlavey, Conservation Outreach Coordinator. We look forward to collecting the harvesting data from participants that will continue to highlight the importance of providing access to new harvest grounds for EBCI citizens. Look out, ELK!!! This month’s photo is from the Chief Joyce Dugan Cultural Arts Center at Cherokee Central School, in which Natural Resources staff delivered a full body elk mount to be displayed in the foyer of the CAC. Given the size of the animal, we worked with Mr. Yona Wade to arrange for it to be displayed as a beautiful feature, but more importantly as an educational tool for our students. We are pleased to continue providing you insight into the happenings of the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. I hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter! (Photo. L-R, Dr. Caleb Hickman, Mr. Nicholas Reed, Mr. Joey Owle, and Mr. Dallas Bradley)

Front page of the newsletter

EBCI Regulatory Compliance Office 15 years is worth the wait for artisans Fish and Wildlife Reprocessing Home Canned Foods. Cherokee’s 2021 tagged fishing tournaments are a go this year. We have four scheduled events: (1) Opening Day, March 27-28; (2) Memorial Day, May 29-30; (3) Tim Hill Memorial, July 24-25 (4) Qualla Country Tournament. Qualla Country Tournament dates September 4-5 all legal fishing methods apply Biy Y Free Labor Raised Garden Bed Sale Large bed: $175, small bed: $125, garden plowing FREE: Contact 828-788-4879. N.C. Cooperative Extension Office: Chumper Walker, Extension Director: (828) 359-6930 or chumwalk@nc-cherokee.com Laura Walkingstick, Empowering Youth & Family's Program assistant (828) 359-6856 or lawalkin@ncsu.edu Laura Lauffer, EMFS Project Director: (828) 359-6926 or lwlauffe@ncsu.edu Jessica Mrugala , EMFS Project Regional Area Specialized Agent: (828) 359-6927 or jmrugal@ncsu.edu Adam Griffith, RTCAR: (828) 359-6930 or adamgriff@nc-cherokee.com Tracie Edwards, Admin: (828) 359-6939 or tracedwa@nc-cherokee.com Christine Kanott, Cannery: (828) 359-6933 or chrikano@nc-cherokee.com Tammy Jackson, Community Development: (828) 359-6934 or tammjack@nc-cherokee.com Janet Owle, Family and Consumer Sciences: (828) 359-6937 or janeowl@nc-cherokee.com Sally Dixon, 4H Youth Development: (828) 359-6936 or salldixo@nc-cherokee.com Benjamin Collette, Agriculture: (828) 359-6928 or benjcoll@nc-cherokee.com Natural Resources office: Joseph Owle, Secretary of Agriculture & Natural Resources: (828) 359-6260 or joeyowle@nc-cherokee.com Michael J. LaVoie, Natural Resources Manager: (828) 359-6113 or michlavo@nc-cherokee.com Paula Price, Program Coordinator: (828) 359-6083 or paprice@nc-cherokee.com Brittany Mathis, Fiscal/Grants Coordinator: (828) 359-6112 or britwats@nc-cherokee.com Michael Bolt, Water Quality Section Supervisor: (828) 359-6225 or michbolt@nc-cherokee.com Dylan Rose, Watershed Coordinator: (828) 359-6093 or dylarose@nc-cherokee.com Tommy Cabe, Forest Resource Specialist: (828) 359-6225 or tommcabe@nc-cherokee.com Maria Dunlavey, Conservation Outreach Coordinator: (828) 359-6141 or maridunl@nc-cherokee.com Katie Tiger, Air Quality Supervisor: (828) 359-6115 or katerenw@nc-cherokee.com Caleb Hickman, Supervisory Fish and Wildlife Biologist: (828) 359-6109 or calehick@nc-cherokee.com Micah Walker, Lead Wildlife Biologist: (828) 359-6108 or micawalk@nc-cherokee.com David Anderson, Horticulture Operations Supervisor: (828) 359-6099 or daviande@nc-cherokee.com Doug Reed, Hatchery Supervisor: (828) 359-6097 or dougreed@nc-cherokee.com David Rowland, Fish Culturist: (828) 359-6096 or davirowl@nc-cherokee.com Gary Sneed, Environmental Regulatory Specialist: (828) 359-6119 or garysnee@nc-cherokee.com Derek Tahquette, Environmental Compliance Specialist: (828) 359-6119 or deretahq@nc-cherokee.com

In this edition

April 2021 Newsletter Derek Tahquette The EBCI is a member of the National Flood Insurance Program, this program is vitally important for keeping flood insurance premiums as affordable as possible by having all NFIP insured structures share the risk of flood damage. Tribal code lays out the requirements, for development in the floodplain, that are needed to comply with Tribal law and ensure proper insurance coverage. The EBCI Regulatory Compliance Office regulates the 100-year floodplain and the regulated floodway/non-encroachment zone. The goal of regulating the floodplain is to protect human life, property, and minimize damage from high water events. Natural floodplains provide space for the capture of nutrients, contaminates, and flood waters so it is important they are protected, and development follows floodplain regulations. Development within the floodplain can easily be done, but development within the floodway is a more lengthy and costly process. The requirements can be as simple as elevating your structure, but they could also require surveying and computer modeling. New construction and remodeling of existing structures within the floodplain require a floodplain development permit issued by the Regulatory Office. Please contact our office early in your planning process so any delays or other issues can be avoided. We can provide you with a map highlighting your personal property and the regulated floodplain to assist you in making planning decisions. It may even be possible to alter your development and stay completely out of the floodplain and reduce costs by avoiding elevating structures and reducing flood insurance costs. The Regulatory Office can be reached at 828-359-6118 or 828-359-6119.

Regulatory office

On February 10th, RTCAR coordinated a white oak harvest on land managed by Mainspring Conservation Trust for members of Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual Cooperative. The trees were planted as an RTCAR funded project in 2005 by Mainspring and needed to be thinned to allow room for more growth. That 2005 grant was coordinated by Mainspring staffer Dennis Desmond who retired in March of 2021 after spending nearly 20 years with the organization. He said, “It was great to see a project come to fruition after so long without knowing that it would work.” EBCI artisans Butch, Louise, George, and Eddie Goings were joined by Lucille Lossiah, and Faye Junaluska for the trip. After felling the trees and limbing them, they split one log and Louise and Lucille worked the wood to be sure it was suitable. Fortunately, they were optimistic about the material and excited. After the white oak was harvested, a few limbs from the butternut plantings were harvested. If you are an artisan and would like to stay informed about RTCAR events, please contact Adam Griffith at adamgriff@nc-cherokee.com or by calling 828.359.6935.

15 years is worth the wait for artisans

Fish and Wildlife Newsletter Articles April 2021 By: Micah Walker Turkey Season Turkey Season on EBCI land will begin on April 10th and run until May 15th. For turkey, hunters must use either a 12, 16, or 20 gauge shotgun or bow and arrow only. The limit is 2 Male turkeys per hunter, per season. No hen turkeys may be harvested. Any EBCI enrolled member may hunt on EBCI trust lands with their enrollment card serving as their license. Any non-enrolled spouse and first descendants that live on EBCI trust land may hunt as well but must purchase a license from Fisheries and Wildlife Management. License fees are $10. Enrolled hunters must have enrollment cards on hand when hunting. Hellbender Sightings Wanted The Office of Fisheries and Wildlife Management is seeking Information regarding Hellbender sightings on EBCI lands. Hellbenders are large aquatic salamanders reaching lengths of over 20 inches. These harmless salamanders are seldom seen due to their natural brown camouflage and slow-moving tendencies but are occasionally spotted moving across the river bottom where water is clear. These creatures rely on undisturbed large flat rocks for shelter, so please do not move any rocks when enjoying our waterways. Elk in Gardens As garden season begins, please remember that you are not the only creature in the area that enjoys fresh vegetables. Elk are known to enter people’s gardens and help themselves to whatever vegetables they find. Although two recent surveys showed that the vast majority of EBCI citizens (over 80%) gardeners (over 90%) enjoy elk, some gardeners (8%) and citizens (13%) have experienced damage to their agricultural fields and gardens. To protect your garden, we recommend installing an electric fence as the best way to keep elk out. Electric fencing works not only by providing a physical barrier, but also by training elk to avoid an area in the future. In our experience, elk nearly always avoid electric fences if they have been installed correctly. After one experience with an unpleasant (though harmless) electric shock, they learn to stay away.  Cherokee Fisheries and Wildlife Management staff are available to provide consultations and technical assistance about how to effectively use fencing. They can advise on how to design fencing specifically for deterring elk. If you want consultation, please contact us at (828) 359-6110 for further information. 

Fish and Wildlife

Proper processing protects against microbes that cause spoilage and foodborne illness. Acid or acidified foods like most fruit or pickles may be safely boiling water canned; the combination of heat and acidity (lower pH) control for microbes and enable shelf stability. Low acid foods like vegetables, meat, fish and poultry must be pressure canned, here the combination of heat and anaerobic (without oxygen) environment control for microbes and enable safe shelf stability. When unsealed processed or sealed under-processed canned foods are left at room temperature for too long, microbes associated with produce, meat, fish and poultry can produce toxins that may not be destroyed by cooking, these toxins can cause foodborne illness. Reprocessing may be safely done following these guidelines: Processed correctly but lids have not sealed This would include acid foods processed at the right time and boiling temperature, and low acid foods processed at the correct time and pressure. Reprocess within 24 hours, repeating of all the original instructions using new lids and clean jars. Another option is to freeze instead of reprocessing, or refrigerate and use within 7 days. Under-processed and lids have or have not sealed Under-processing of foods could be due to incorrect pressure (too low), incorrect time (too short) and or incorrect temperature (not actively boiling for the entire processing time). Reprocess low acid foods within 4 hours, due to a chance of bacterial growth and/or toxin formation. If more than 4 hours has passed, discard sealed or unsealed jars. Reprocess acid and acidified foods within 24 hours. Low acid foods may be refrigerated within 4 hours and food eaten within 7 days. Break seals before storing due to the risk of toxin formation at temperatures higher than 38ºF. For any of your canning needs, please contact the Tribal Cannery at 828-497-2440 for an appointment.

Reprocessing Home Canned Foods

2021 EBCI Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources newsletter. Catch up on upcoming dates and learn more about what’s happening in Cherokee, NC!