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Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma Partners with USDA-NRCS to Develop First Tribal Co

Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma Partners with USDA-NRCS to Develop First Tribal Conservation District in Oklahoma

Gary Mast, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment and Billy Evans Horse, Kiowa Tribal Chairman, Kiowa Tribe Oklahoma, shake hands to celebrate the signing of a working agreement as the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma Conservation District directors look on.

Gary Mast, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment and Billy Evans Horse, Kiowa Tribal Chairman, Kiowa Tribe Oklahoma, shake hands to celebrate the signing of a working agreement as the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma Conservation District directors look on.

The Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and the USDA-NRCS signed a cooperative conservation agreement establishing the first-ever Tribal Conservation District in Oklahoma. The mutual agreement was signed during the Native Americans Coming Together Caring for Mother Earth, Indian Agriculture Symposium that was hosted by Indian Nations Conservation Alliance & Intertribal Agriculture Council in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 13, 2007.

Signing this agreement formed the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma Conservation District, the 29th Tribal Conservation District organized by USDA. The Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma Conservation District will be the first federally-designated district in Oklahoma; the 88 existing soil and water conservation districts are state-affiliated.

Representing Oklahoma at the signing ceremonies for Oklahoma was NRCS State Conservationist Ron Hilliard, NRCS District Conservationist Carol Crouch, Kiowa Tribal Chairman Billy Evans Horse, and Kiowa Tribe conservation district members. Gary Mast, USDA deputy under-secretary for natural resources and environment, represented USDA in the official signing of the working agreement between the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and USDA.

Tribal Conservation districts are being established across the United States to focus on working with USDA agencies and other local partners to care for Mother Earth, strengthen agriculture, encourage youth 4-H and FFA, work to increase the number of Tribal farmers and ranchers and to help protect and strengthen the amount of culturally significant plants and animals. These Tribal Conservation districts are established by the Tribe or Tribal entity and they enter into a working agreement with USDA agencies to assist in the delivery of conservation to all populations; which helps the agency's mission to achieve parity in the delivery and implementation of USDA conservation programs to all populations.

By Carol Crouch, district conservationist, Purcell, OK
and
Dee Ann Littlefield, public affairs specialist, Waurika, OK
NRCS February 2008


Last Modified: 04/15/2008

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