Palmer Alaska, June 6 –Tyonek Tribal Conservation District is pleased to welcome United States Department of Agriculture officials visiting from Washington D.C. Office of the Secretary Director of Tribal Relations Leslie Wheelock, Office of the Secretary Tribal Relations Manager John Lowery, and NRCS Assistant Chief Kirk Hanlin are visiting from Washington D.C. Alaska’s Rural Development State Director Jim Norlund, Farm Service Agency State Director Danny Consenstein, NRCS State Conservationist Bob Jones and State Director for Senator Begich Schawna Thoma will accompany them on Tuesday, June 10 to the Village of Tyonek.
Tyonek Tribal Conservation District Executive Director Christy Cincotta will host a tour for the USDA representatives. The visit will include a stop at the community garden and high tunnel, discussions with elders, and viewing fish passage projects. The D.C. guests want to learn about subsistence lifestyles and how USDA can assist tribes in Alaska. Leading a discussion about tribal conservation districts in Alaska will be the Alaska Tribal Conservation Alliance Executive Director Angela Peter who is also the Alaska representative on the Council for Native American Farmers and Ranchers.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Serviceis excited to share with Tyonek and all eleven Alaska Tribal Conservation Districts about new Farm Bill opportunities pertinent to Tribal lands. The new programs are the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program, which provides funding to landowners who allow hunting, fishing, hiking, or other recreation on their land, and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which provides funding for stream habitat, wildlife habitat, and flood control. Both programs provide national support to local priorities.
The Tyonek Tribal Conservation District was formed in 2005 as the first Tribal Conservation District in Alaska and the thirty-first in the nation through a mutual agreement between the Native Village of Tyonek, Tyonek Native Corporation, and the USDA. The District covers a total of 6.6 million acres of land including the Native Village of Tyonek, and shares its boundaries with Alaska Game Management Unit 16B.
The District has been critical to completing several projects including the development of a District-wide Natural Resource Assessment, developing a Tyonek Community Garden, and fish passage improvements through culvert replacement. The Tyonek Tribal Conservation District currently has four program areas to address conservation needs and goals. These programs are the Fish Passage and Habitat Program, the Community Agriculture Program, the Technical Assistance Program, and the Outdoor Science Education Program.
Contact the Tyonek Tribal Conservation District – Anchorage Office: (907) 646-3109 or visit www.ttcd.org/ .
Contact NRCS – Palmer State Office: (907) 761-7760 or visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/ak/home/.