Article contributed by SLELO partners, Les Benedict, Jessica Raspitha and Denita Ireland  with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe

Our partners, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe (Tribe) learned that it is a successful recipient of the USDA Projects program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). This program allocates $70.5 million to support 386 projects under the Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721 (PPA 7721) to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, threat mitigation, and safeguard the nursery production system.

In support of USDA’s Goal 6, Enhance Mitigation Capabilities, the Tribe plans to build on the existing framework of State and Federal response plans while integrating culturally relevant components that provoke mitigation action through community-based collaborations. Engaging with the community of basket makers and ash log produces is a notable collaboration in the plan.

Below are the main components of the project:

  • The delivery of technical assistance to an underserved Native American community for plant health emergencies.
  • Addressing a high-risk area for EAB infestation.
  • Developing a community based and culturally relevant EAB response plan to protect culturally significant black ash.
  • Enable appropriate response to insect pest infestations through Incident Command System (ICS) training.
  • Identify resources, e.g. request for an assistance call list

As an outcome of this project, the Tribe envisions strengthening collaboration and shared successes among interagency partnerships and other Tribal nations.  Special acknowledgment for the many partnerships that lead to the approval of this project and for the cultural support received by the USDA-APHIS.

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