Smokies, Cherokee group come to agreement on sochan harvesting

Local News

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians signed an agreement Monday that will allow 36 permitted tribal members to gather Rudbeckia laciniata, known as sochan, for traditional purposes.

The Cherokee have a history of harvesting edible plants, such as sochan, with the application of traditional economical knowledge. Park managers determined there will be no significant impact to the park by allowing a limited number of tribal members to gather it.

Approved tribal members must complete an annual, mandatory training class and may only gather one bushel of sochan leaves per week from March 29-May 31.

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