Daniel Kessay, with the White Mountain Apache Tribe’s forestry department, and Jan Pertruzzi, with NRCS in Whiteriver, Ariz., review plans for ponderosa pine tree plantings. Photo by Beverly Moseley, NRCS.
From the top of Limestone Ridge, 6,000 feet up, the scars of a massive wildfire on Arizona’s White Mountain Apache Reservation in east central Arizona are still visible. As far as the eye can see are bare mountain ranges where century-old ponderosa pines once stood.
A decade ago, the Rodeo-Chediski fire burned more than 270,000 acres and an estimated 80 million trees, leaving behind few pine trees to help seed the beginnings of a new forest. Read more »
Millie Titla, NRCS district conservationist in San Carlos, Ariz., and her nephew Noah Titla work at the San Carlos 4-H Garden Club’s community garden.
An Apache youth, Noah Titla, 13, has chosen to follow in the footsteps of generations of San Carlos Apaches by growing and harvesting his own food. His passion for reconnecting growing food with tribal traditions has been a catalyst for increasing awareness of the benefits and availability of fresh food on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in southeastern Arizona.
Through his hard work at the San Carlos 4-H Garden Club’s community garden, Noah is making a difference in a state included in the USDA’s StrikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity. The initiative addresses high-priority funding and technical assistance needs in rural communities in 16 states, including Arizona, with a special emphasis on historically underserved communities and producers in areas with persistent poverty, such as the San Carlos Apache Reservation. Read more »
The Apache people were hunters and gatherers. Their food offered much variety…wild herbs, fruit, berries, wild game and pinto beans. They also relied on hunting, mainly wild turkeys, rabbits, deer, bears, and buffalo.
Once settled into villages, they began to grow their own food, primarily corn and squash. Corn, squash and beans—supplemented by the meat that the hunters provided—was a healthful combination.
In Arizona, families of the San Carlos Apache people settled on 2-3 acre plots, many near the San Carlos River which runs through the reservation. Here they grew the traditional Apache foods. But in the 1960s the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), in order to provide additional housing, broke up those small 2-3 acre plots to make room for more homes. Read more »
By Nancy Conway, USDA Rural Development, Arizona
A group was on hand for Arizona Rural Development State Director Alan Stephens announcement that the San Carlos Apache Telecommunications Utility, Inc. (SCATUI) will receive a grant of $5.2 million and a low-interest loan of $5.2 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). The loan/grant combination will be used to design, engineer, and construct a fiber-to-the-premises network to service the San Carlos and Bylas communities. “This project will bring broadband and telephone services and will serve a hospital and several doctor facilities that are currently unserved in the San Carlos area,” said Stephens. Joining in the announcement was Arizona U.S. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick. Read more »
As we approach the end of the year, millions of Americans are counting their blessings and many are bringing Christmas trees into their homes to celebrate the season. At USDA, the Forest Service helps with the nation’s holiday traditions by providing a tree to be displayed as the Capitol Christmas Tree. This year’s tree, a 65-feet tall Blue spruce, will be will be officially lit today at 5:00 PM EST by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Kaitlyn Ferenick, a 7th grade student from Arizona. Read more »