Second year of tribal sochan gathering within Great Smoky Mountains NP sees participation boost
An agreement many years in the making came to fruition on March 25, 2019 as the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and the National Park Service (NPS) signed an agreement regarding the gathering of sochan (Rudbeckia laciniate) in the Park by tribal members. Now, in its second gathering season, the tribal program has grown from 11 permits issued the first year to 24 this year.
Maria Dunlavey, EBCI Natural Resource Program conservation outreach coordinator, thanked the program’s participants for their help and cooperation in guiding its growth. “The gatherers who participated really helped us iron out the details of how to run the program, and this year we were able to hit the ground running.”